Tag Archives: wineryvisit

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RIESsearchING at Dr. Loosen!

Hi Riesling fans,

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I have some great news to report.
I am hired in a new Restaurant, which is about to open this November in Antwerp!
As real Sommelier! I am so happy about this!
Also last month (during my Germany trip) I received the amazing news that I passed my WSET Diploma Case Study about Social Media Marketing of wine!

So, only great news today and great wines of course, because today’s RIESsearchING is at
Dr.Loosen at the Mosel!

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We were a little too early, but Marcus the guide already let us in.
We talked a little from where we are and what we do and he decided to have us see the private cellars of Ernst Loosen.
Like all Beerenauslese and Eiswein is stocked in there. He keeps it for special occasions.
Ernst Loosen is the owner of Dr.Loosen winery.
The winery is already 200 years in the same family, which is quite rare.

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The other people started to come in for the tasting and we took off.
First a short introduction of the winery and how the VDP works because that can often be confusing.
So the VDP is the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter.
This is an alliance of German winery owners and winemakers who taste the entries and decide who becomes a VPD and who not. It’s sort of the elite club of German Wine.
There also is a classification as there is in Bourgogne.
At the base layer you have the VDP Gutswein: this is a Regional wine that reflects a grate basic quality standard that has been set by the VDP.
Then there is the VDP Ortsweine or Village wines: These wines originate from the village better vineyard sites, that are planted with regional grape varieties and there are yield restriction.
And so, we go on the Erste Lage: Which are the Premier Cru vineyard let say.
These wines are from the first class vineyards with a distinctive Character, they also provide perfect growing conditions and must be planted with regional grape varieties.
And at the very top we have the Grosse Lage: or the Grand Cru vineyards. These are the very best and most famous vineyards who have a very distinct character. These wines can be rather expensive and have great aging potential. They are planted with regional grape varieties.

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Now we have an idea of how the VDP works we move on to the tasting.
Dr. Loosen has wines made from 6 famous vineyards:
-Bernkastler Lay
-Graacher Himmelreich
-Wehlener Sonnenuhr
-Ürziger Würzgarten
-Erdener Treppchen
-Erdener Plälat
They all have a specific soil type all slate, but different types of slate and all bear a different exposure to the sun.

We started off with their Pinot Blanc.
Pinot Blanc, (maybe you already noticed) is becoming a hype in Mosel. So everybody has a Pinot Blanc.
This wine has 8 to 10 months ripening on the lies in big bariques.
What is a thing here at Dr.Loosen is that they make wine in the real Mosel style!
Which is really very interesting. So the Pinot has a slight sweetness to it is a little buttery, very fruity with medium acidity and a medium long finish, also some minerality can be found.
The mineral notes is a reason why the Mosel wineries like Pinot Blanc. It’s a variety that reflects the soil well also.

Then 2 blends were tasted the Blauwschiefer and the Rotschiefer.
Then we started out going on the single vineyard ones:

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-Graacher 2014 which delivered 12 months ripening on the lies in big Mosel barrels.
This is a wine from the vineyard Graacher Himmelreich, the Kingdome of heaven of
Graach.
The soil is formed out of multicolored slate.
The wine is rather dry with a high acidity to counter and salty, mineral tastes with
citrus and stone fruit you can also taste a little bitterness of almonds. The wine has
a quite long finish!

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-Ürziger Würtrzgarten 2014 or the Herb Garden of Ürzig.
The wine is grown on red volcanic soil of ürzig, this is a unique soil in the Mosel.
This Iron rich soil gives a little spiciness to the minerality of the wine. The wine is also very fruity, apricots and nectarines has a little alcoholic feeling trough warts the other wines. And besides a little CO2 prickle which makes it quite pleasant.

We also tasted their Feinherb. This was absolutely what I remember it to be…
Flabby, too sweet, not enough acidity, little mineral, but with a very short finish.
These sorts of wines are not to my likings but you know it is an authentic Mosel styled wine and that’s what the winery stands for!

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-Kabinet Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2015 or the sundial of Whelen.
This Sundial in the vineyard actually shows how a great exposure the vineyard has to the sun!
Because you can read the time from it, its perfectly south facing, and then that’s only good news for the vineyard. Also in this vineyard there is almost no topsoil, only beautiful blue slate.
This wine has a nice sweetness to it with a refreshing acidity, very ripe stone fruit and red apples, and a fresh wet stone minerality with a long finish.

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-Spetlese Erdener Trepchen 2013 or the little stairway of Erden.
This vineyard actually has a stairway going up the hill through the vineyard. There occurs the name from. Also, it’s a vineyard you recognize right away when you see it!
I also climbed a bit of the Erdener Trepchen with my mom (because you can do that!) but it was so freaking hot that day we didn’t climb it whole. It is an experience I have to say! This is the only way to know what the vineyard workers have to go through almost each day. I can tell you, it’s hard. Even harder because I am afraid of heights, which is not very useful if you’re going up a steel vineyard…
Anyway… Because it’s a Spetlese this is (almost always) a sweet wine. With high acidity making it still fresh,
Honey notes very ripe to overripe and baked stone fruit and white fruits and a minerality that does make me dreamy! Choo polish, petrol, a little smoky even and such a long finish! Way too young of course but it’s already awesome!

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-Auslese Ürziger Würzgarten 2014:
Again a wine from the volcanic soil of Ürzig (I know the name is almost unpronounceable).
This time a lushes sweet one. Also with a mountain high acidity which you would not say because it just counters the sweetness. This is a very concentrated wine! Caramel notes, honey, dried stone fruits or even candied, also again a spicy minerality and a short finish, which only says this wine needs decades more of bottle maturation to develop all complex flavors! This is on his path to become a fabulous wine!

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A further post will follow of all famous vineyards of the Mosel in a while!
So you don’t miss out on the amazingness that’s going on in that beautiful soil over there!

Oh, and in the evening we went to a restaurant in the Richtershotel and who sat the table next to us?! Mr. And Mrs. Loosen their selves! My mom made sure we have proof!

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That’s that for this RIESsearchING!

If you want to know more about the Dr. Loosen winery pleas ask or visit the website: dr.loosen.com

Enjoy and see you the next RIESsearchING!

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RIESsearchING at Dr. H. Thanisch

Hi Riesling lovers,

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Today another winery I visited on the Mosel in Germany.
RIESsearchING at Docter H. Thanisch!

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We visited the Docter Cellar behind the picturesque village of Bernkastel-Keus.
First, we saw the vineyards. Erik Rundquist let us discover the Doctor vineyard which also has a Roman Presshouse up the hill and is restored for touristic visits.
Besides, they do everything organic in the vineyards sins a year.
This year they stopped spraying by helicopter and perform almost everything by hand.
There is no other option cause the hill is so steep!

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We were greeted at the cellar door by his wife Barbara Rundquist-Müller.
The cellar door tells the story of the winery.
An elected Prins, Kurfürst was very ill and no one could heal him. Then he went to his castle on the Mosel.
A winemaker gave him a barrel of his finest wine and said to the prince this was the best medicine in the world.
The day after he drunk the wine the prince was better and called the winemaker to his caste and called the winemaker his Docter and gave him a vineyard that he called the Doctor vineyard. The only real doctor!
Since that day that vineyard was called the Docter and till today there is made wine from these vines at the doctor vineyard and cellar.

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It’s a very old cellar, 350 years old to be precise.
They still employ it for fermenting and maturing the wines and storing of their treasury (meaning very old wines of the estate) and to hold tastings.
It’s all year round between 8 and 10°C which they say it’s the ideal temperature.
At that time when I was there 3 weeks ago, it was really sunny and warm, but the week before it had been raining for so long! The ground was still quite wet. And the cellar was carved out the slate soil and rock, and then water was constantly pouring out of the soil in the cellar through the door onto the street.
But that totally adds to the charm of everything!
Because it’s an old cellar, it was rather dark inside. But again that adds to the story!

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They have 12ha of vineyards spread over the Bernkastler Docter, Bernkasteler Badstube, Bernkasteler Graben, Bernkasteler Lay, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich and Wehlener Sonnenuhr.

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The wines are made organically no addition of sulfur or anything else for that matters, the grapes are crushed and macerate for 2 to 4 hours before being gently pressed.
Also, no yeast strains are added after 350 years the yeast has settled in the cellar and does his work well!
Also the filtration is really light and gentle. And everything happens in the typical 1000 liter Mosel barrels.

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We tasted 6 of their wines.
They are made in the real Mosel style.
Quite full bodied (because of the natural fermentation),
Deep in color as well, with a nice residual sugar content and a sky high acidity to counter the sweetness. As well, almost all wines were very concentrated!
They also have something unique, wild but very pleasant to it!
Most have a medium to long finish. It’s not for everyone I believe because of the little wild side, but it is still typical Riesling! A nice minerality, and ripe white fruit and peaches.
I like the wines very much and I think they are best drunk with matching foods.
Seafood, fat fish, foigras, spicy foods and the very concentrated ones even with meat!

So this was it for the RIESsearchING at Dr. H. Thanisch.

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If you require more info, please me or visit the website: dr-thanisch.de

Enjoy reading and enjoy your Riesling!

Till the next RIESsearchING!

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RIESsearchING at Axel Pauly!

Hi Riesling fans,

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On my Germany trip I also visited Axel Pauly in Lieser.

We stood in front of the shop and tasting room and along the stairs where lavender and slate.
The lavender smelled so good that morning!
The first impression was set and was already wonderful before we even got to the front door!

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He came to greet us in his state of the art shop and tasting room.
It’s only 3 years old the building and renowned winery.

First he took us upward to the vineyards, because there is where it all starts.
He said you need to see it with your own eyes to understand it!
What is absolutely truthful!

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First stop was on a piece of vineyard where hi’s wife was working to remove some more foliage for the grapes to get ready for the last ripening stage.
That vineyard is planted with Fruburgunder which is a kind of Pinot Noir.
It is the first grape variety to ripen in the Mosel area.

They had a fan installed to hold back the wild pigs, they already started eating the grapes… And they were ready to hang the nets so the birds won’t eat all the grapes.
Nets only are not good enough because the wild pig’s suck the grapes trough the nets.
Because this variety ripens first it’s a problem to keep the animals off.

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The next vineyard faces the Mosel. And is so super steep…
He showed us that on the sun side the leaves are kept so the grapes won’t get sunburned and on the shadow side almost all the leaves are stripped so you have a good airflow.
Down the hill is a Roman press house, which is dug out and cleaned up for visitors.
This vineyards are true to the best vineyards further up the mosel and have almost all day sunlight!

He showed us how the old training system was on 1 post and the training scheme now on wires.

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After we went on back to the winery. He showed us the cellars, he has some oak bariques. A state of the art press, which he can temperature control and puts a gas on it so oxygen does not affect the grapes and most.
He presses the grapes very slowly and does some maceration for his Riesling’s, because the most flavor is in the skins and he want to extract as much as possible.
Else, there are stainless steel tanks, big and modest ones for the single vineyard wines.

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And so we got to the most important moment of the visit!
Tasting the wines!
His shop/tasting room is beautiful with sight on the vineyards!

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While we were tasting people came in just to buy some wine. He said this is a real big income. People who simply stop by, taste something and take some boxes of wine with them.
He want’s to export more to other countries and I support him in this because he has very good wines. And also real good for the Belgium market. Because he makes wines on the drier side and very pure.

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He’s bottle design is awesome! If you look at it wile the bottle is upright you see the landscape of the Mosel. If you hold the bottle horizontally you see 3 profiles of faces!

That’s his grandfather, his father and Axel himself.
It’s pure! Exactly like the wines. You also discover the purity in the building.
It’s altogether very well executed!

He told us that his philosophy is to create a drink flush.
So he want’s to make enjoyable, nice wines.
Also more high end, but really people just have to enjoy his wines.
Drinking wine should be easy, not rocket science!

We tasted a lot, I think almost everything he produces!
Amazing! All the wines were so mineral, also fruity, pure and refined!

It’s incredibly difficult to pick favorites here.
Ok, so I won’t.

I do want to give my note from a wine!

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The Purist Riesling 2014,
Which is very fresh, mineral, fruitiness of peaches, high acidity, medium bodied and has a medium finish. But is so light, fresh and pure.
This was the first wine we tasted and it immediately gives you the style of wine he makes!

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The Trink Flush 2015 is made of Pinot Blanc, Elbling and Riesling!
This wine has a little less acidity, is very fruity, is quite mouthfilling with a medium finish.
It’s what he described he want’s! A light, comfortable drinking, no fuss wine!

We tasted a great deal more, but again quite boring to read!

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What I found out is that a lot of wineries in Germany make a Secco.
I was like what in the world…. Is Secco?!
Well, it’s wine with CO2 added.
In most cases it’s a little sweeter with a high acidity, very fruity and quite affordable!
It’s really refreshing, easy drinking!
Also, Axel made a Rose Secco. Very fresh, red fruits, not very complex, but it’s not necessary for this style of wine.

This for the RIESsearchING at Axel Pauly!
If you require any more information, please ask or visit the website: Axel Pauly.de

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Enjoy reading with a nice glass of Riesling and I’ll see you the next RIESsearchING!

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RIESsearchING at Carl Loewen!

Hi Riesling lovers,

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As I said, I have been on a wine/Riesling trip to Germany.
Together with my mom, who was amazing help as always!

First, we visited the Mosel for 3 days and afterward we went to the Rheingau.

We visited a lot of Wineries and had a lot of explanations, as seen before:
Everybody does it different.

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About the Mosel I have found out that every village has a vineyard that is called
after a Sonnenuhr. Which at first was rather confusing…
But it all worked out well!

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The first winery we visited!

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Carl Loewen!

Karl Joseph left, Christopher right
Karl Joseph left, Christopher right

 

His son Christopher welcomed us and gave us an explanation of the winery, how they work and
a small explanation of the region.

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The winery is found in Leiwen on the Mosel a little beyond Trier.
The most famous vineyards around there are with no doubt the Ritch, Maximin Herrenberg, Maximin Klosterlay and Laurentiuslay.
A lot of slate in the vineyards, gray and red.

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The first thing Christopher said almost immediately is that “Riesling is made in the vineyard”.
Not in the cellar!
What I utterly understand!
So, the only thing he does after the grapes are picked is: press the grapes, put the most in tanks and let it ferment. They do not add yeast strains and there is no temperature control.
Everything happens naturally.

They too have some Pinot Blanc planted. This has become the second most important grape variety at the Mosel. Because also Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) reflects the soil in a great way in the glass.

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At Carl Loewen they use an Alsace clone Pinot Blanc. So they can create a little depth in the wine and it can handle some oak maturation. The Pinot Blanc is not made in a typical style from the Mosel.
A slight residual sugar, very fruity and let’s face it made as Riesling?!
They don’t do that here.
They give the wine a maceration, before pressing and the wine stay’s 12 month’s on the lees.
The Pinot Blanc is a very nice everyday drinking wine!
With white fruits, rather high acidity, very buttery and a touch of oak. Besides, it’s very light in alcohol.
This is what Mosel is typically recognized for.

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He’s Rieslings are all quite different, this is because of there is no intervention during fermentation.
Overall they are all very mineral reflecting the soil and some more fruity than other ones.

For the Riesling vines he uses or very old vines, or he uses a clone that produces very tiny concentrated berries even if it’s a young vine.

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Let’s talk about my favorites:
The Quant Riesling: this is a blend of different vineyards.
And Quant in the local dialect stands for Good!
It’s quite mouth filling for a Riesling, it has some residual sugar but also has a lot of acidity to counter the sweet touch.
There is some minerality and fruitiness like apricots and peaches.
The finish is medium to long and refreshingly clean.

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The Varidor Riesling:
Also a blend.
Vari means variety and Dor means gold.
The wine is very mineral with a hint of petrol. Ripe apricots are detected,
also with a lot acidity.
It’s a very refreshing wine with a long finish!

 

 

I could go on about the wines, but that can be quite boring to read.

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So, this for the RIESsearchING at Carl Loewen.
Enjoy reading and if you desire to find out more about the winery and the wines
You can always ask me or visit the website: Weingut Carl Loewen.de

Enjoy a nice glass of Riesling and I see you the next RIESsearchING!

Not so RIESsearchING at Venissa!

Hi wine friends,

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Today for my last “not so RIESsearchING” for now!
This one took place at Venissa on Mazzorbo, Venezia!

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The morning of the visit, I departed from Verona quite early.
The winery sent me an email after I departed to come and meet them later on the day. I never received it… So, I arrived too early.
Only this was no problem, they invited me in, in their Osteria Contemporanea and gave me a glass of very nice Prosecco.
Which made the waiting very pleasant. The man who showed me around the winery, named Marco apologized like a 100 times he let me waiting. This was not necessary at all! But very polite.

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We began the tour outside. They own a big vegetable garden, where the vegetables are grown for the 2 star restaurant and the Osteria. The garden is maintained by local retired people.

 

 

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The vineyard is only 0,8 Ha, with 4000 vines present. This is the Dorona Veniziana.
Translated means Gold of Venice. The vineyard and garden are Biodanamicly sustained. Dorona is an ancient species which was almost disappeared.

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Nowadays this is almost the only vineyard on Venice, but centuries ago, there were a lot more! Like the San Marco square was one big vineyard long ago.

On Burano you even have a street called Via Della Vigna, the street of the vine.

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Also in their garden they have 2 ponds, they look very dirty, but these are also Biodynamically and this is a breeding place for the native fish “Ghiozzi”.
They assist the re-introduction of these fish in the Laguna by these ponds!

 

After the outside tour, we went inside for an introduction movie.

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The bottles also tell a story:
The glass bottles are hand made by Moretti glass work on the island of Murano.
On this glass bottle a foil of gold is attached. This gold is made by the Battiloro family in Venice who makes gold foils for centuries. They likewise made the gold that you can see on the Lion and the wings of the angels on the Basilica of San Marco.
After the gold is attached they go back to Moretti for a last bake in their ovens.
Each bottle is numbered in 2011 there were 3911 half liter bottles made, 188 Magnums, 88 Jeroboams and 36 Imperials.

 

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Then there followed a tasting of the 2012 vintage.
The wine is gold in color, it has great structure almost like a red wine. Which is not weird because the wine has skin maceration for up to 12 weeks. Also peach and honey flavors can be detected. The wine has a velvet full body, it’s dry and a savory almost salty. It has a long and rich finish.
The salty taste can be because the vineyard floods 6 times a year with the salt water from the Laguna. After the flood they need to rinse the soil with sweet water for 3 day’s to get the salt water out of the soil. Because vines do not live of salt water!
That’s why they have an irrigation system in the vineyard.

 

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While I was tasting the wine, Marco opened the doors of the room, I sat in and there was a nice view of the Laguna. And he said: this is our terroir.

 

 

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Venissa also makes a Rosso of Merlot and Carmenére grown on another island of Venice: Torcello not far from Burano.
This bottle is hand made by the same company, but there is not a sheet of gold but copper on the bottle.
I did not taste this one.

 

 

At the end, I got an empty bottle of the Venissa 2012! Which proudly stands in my living now!

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This visit was a great experience! If you go to Venice, you should go visit Venissa!
The visit cost 25€, but it’s so worth it!

I thank Marco at Venissa for the wonderful winery tour!

And thanks to everyone for the great hospitality during my visit in Italy!

See you the next real RIESsearchING again! Riesling here we come again!

Not so RIESsearchING at Sandro De Bruno

Hi Riesling fans,

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There came some sad Riesling news last week from the Hugel Famille in Riquewihr, Alsace.                         On 9 April 2016 Etienne Hugel past away at the age of 57.
He was in charge of promoting the Hugel wines abroad.
The passing of a great Riesling man, hits the wine world hard.
RIESsearchING’s heart is with the family in these times!

 

 

 

Now for “not so RIESsearchING” at Sandro de Bruno!

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I stayed at Musella, so I had to drive 20 minutes to Pergola (Verona) near Soave.
Once I came into the neighborhood of the winery it was clear the area was called Pergola. Because all vines I saw were trained in Pergola style.

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I arrived at the quite new winery, and the scene was breathtaking!

Cherry blossoms were blooming, the sun was shining. It was just so right.
And quite new because there first bottled vintage was 2007. And next year is the 10th anniversary of the winery.

 

Alessandra gave me a tour of the winery. She was very welcoming from the very start. Which was very nice.

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We started outside where she pointed out where the vineyards where on the volcanic mountain of Soave.
Also closer by on the plain area they own some vineyards of Durella.

 

 

This is a grape variety that only grows here in this particular area.
The grape is generally used for sparkling wines, because of the great structure and amazing high acidity. So perfect for a sparking base wine.
But Sandro (the owner and winemaker) did make a still wine from this grape.
It is something quite different, it had quite a deep color, very mineral from the soil of course. You had lemon and fresh, crisp apple some pineapple, some yeasty notes and a strong medium finish.

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On the principal floor, they have their stainless steel tanks where all grape most is received in and the white wine stays. They red wine and sparkling wine go to the cellar.

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In the cellar, they have this idyllic tasting room with fireplace. Where they organize food and wine pairings with their own wines.
Behind a glass wall in the tasting room you have the oak casks, where the red wine ages.
In the rear of the barrel chamber, they created a sparkling room!
A room built out of bottles of sparkling wine laying sur lat, waiting for remuage.
It’s such a nice sight!

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They work with nature in mind. They only spray chemicals hen needed and they only add the minimum required sulfur dioxide to their wines.
They also don’t filter the hell out of the wines. They’re all wines with amazing texture.

Later, I tasted the Soave Superiore 2013, the Durello still wine 2008, the Pinot Noir 2010 and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

I highly recommend these wines. They are different but really nice!
The Pinot Noir was exquisite! Because it is grown on the volcanic soil of Soave, it delivers a delicate mineral and smoke touch on the palate. Which is not expected, but so wonderful! It has quite high tannin, but they’re integrated with the fresh red fruits and smokey flavors. The wine has quite a long finish as well.

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And the name Sandro de Bruno. I thought de Bruno is Sandro his last name.
This is not…
Sandro’s last name is Tasoniero.
Bruno is the name of his father, who passed away when Sandro was very young.
It was Sandro’s dream of starting a winery in honor of his father.
That’s why Sandro de Bruno! It’s like Sandro son of Bruno!
This makes me even respect the wines more, there is a whole story about the winery! It’s not exactly an “Oh, let’s just start another winery” story!
That’s what I love about this place.

Azienda Agricola Sandro de Bruno has a particular place in my hart!
It’s a beautiful company, with beautiful wines and beautiful people!
Thank you so much for the great experience! Sandro de Bruno!
More info:
www.sandrodebruno.it

And I’ll see you guy’s the next “not so RIESsearchING” for my last winery visit in Venice!