Monday, December 18, 2017

Dinner at Restaurant Schanz, 2 Stars Michelin, Piesport, Mosel – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Chef Thomas Schanz, Restaurant Schanz, Piesport, Mosel, 2 Michelin Stars, 17 Points Gault Millau

This was a busy day: We started in the Ahr Valley, visited the world class producers Weingut Markus Molitor, Weingut Immich-Batterieberg and Weingut Fritz Haag in the Mosel Valley, ended at a world class restaurant: Restaurant Schanz, 2 stars Michelin, in Piesport.

Pictures: Piesport

Restaurant Schanz

The Schanz family in Piesport are winemakers. Besides their winery they also opened a small guesthouse and a wine tavern. In the meantime the guesthouse became a modern, state of the art hotel, and the tavern a 2 Michelin star restaurant. Son Thomas Schanz had ambitions. He trained with top 3 Michelin star chefs and soon enough he received his first Michelin star. In 2016 he was awarded the second Michelin star.

Pictures: Hotel and Restaurant Schanz

Michelin: Thomas Schanz hat seinen Stil: aufwändig und exakt, kontrastreich und zugleich harmonisch interpretiert er klassische Küche auf moderne Art. Die Zutaten nur vom Feinsten. Sie mögen Wein? Besonderes Augenmerk liegt auf regionalen und natürlich auch auf eigenen Weinen. Ebenso niveauvoll: Ambiente und Service.

Thomas Schanz

After training at the Hotel Traube Tonbach in Baiersbronn (3 stars Michelin) in 1999, Thomas Schanz moved in 2003 to the Alte Kelterhaus in Wintrich and to the 3 star Michelin Restaurant Gästehaus Erfort by Klaus Erfort in Saarbrücken. From 2005 to 2011 he was sous chef at the Waldhotel Sonnora with Helmut Thieltges in Dreis (3 stars Michelin).

Since August 2011 he is the Owner and Chef of Restaurant Schanz in Piesport.

2011: Opening of Restaurant Schanz
2012: First Michelin star
2015: Second Michelin star

Picture: Chef Thomas Schanz and Christian Schiller

The Dinner

Menu


Brot


Grüsse von der Küche


Grüsse von der Küche


Grüsse von der Küche


Gänseleber Crostini mit Dörrobst, Haselnuss und Cremeeis


Warm Marinierter Schwertfisch


Hunsrücker Rehrücken


Geeistes Tartelette


Grüsse aus der Küche


Grüsse aus der Küche


The Wines

The four of us had 3 bottles of wine, from the Mosel and Bordeaux.


Postings: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung in Hattenheim, Rheingau: Cellar Tour, Art Tour, Tasting and Vineyard Tour with Winemaker Tim Lilienström - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Lunch, Tour of the Abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau: Tour and Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Ratzenberger, Mittelrhein, with Jochen Ratzenberger - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in Winningen, Mosel, with Reinhard Löwenstein - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Technical Director Albert Schamaun – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Jean Stodden, Ahr, with Alexander Stodden - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting with Markus Molitor at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting and Vineyard Visit at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel, with Gernot Kollmann - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany

Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany

Tasting and Vineyard Walk with Oliver Haag, Weingut Fritz Haag – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Dinner at the 2 Michelin star restaurant Schanz in Piesport, Mosel

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Visit and tasting at Weingut Maximin Grünhaus (VDP) in Mertersdorf, Ruwer, Mosel, with Dr. Carl von Schubert 

Visit and tasting at Weingut von Hövel (VDP) in Oberemmel, Saar, Mosel, with Max von Kunow

Tasting at Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber (VDP) in Monzingen, Nahe, with Frank Schönleber

Wine-pairing Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe, with Petra Hexamer and the wines of Weingut Hexamer.

Dinner with Wine Pairing the Restaurant of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Münster-Sarmsheim, Nahe, with Corenlia, Stefan and Georg Rumpf

Tasting at Weingut J.B. Becker, in Walluf, Rheingau, with Hajo Becker


Friday, December 15, 2017

A Journey through the Vineyards of Alsace - A Tasting Seminar at the National Conference 2017 of the American Wine Society, led by Annette Schiller (ombiasyPR & WineTours)

Pictures: A Journey through the Vineyards of Alsace - A Seminar at the National Conference 2017 of the American Wine Society, led by Annette Schiller

Annette and Christian Schiller participated in the 2017 American Wine Society (AWS) National Conference. Annette Schiller led 3 well-attended tastings (Germany, Bourgogne and Alsace). Annette and Christian Schiller poured 5 German wines from VDP producers (the association of about 200 elite winemakers in Germany) at the Showcase of Wines walk-around tasting dinner during the second evening of the conference.

This posting provides an account of the Alsace tasting seminar led by Annette Schiller.

This is the third in a series of postings related to the American Wine Society National Conference 2017 at the Kalahari Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania:

The 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens
Showcase of Wines at the 2017 National Conference of the American Wine Society: Annette and Christian Schiller Present German/ VDP/ Loosen Bros. USA Wines
A Journey through the Vineyards of Alsace - Seminar at the 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, led by Annette Schiller
Burgundy: What makes it so special? - Seminar at the 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, led by Annette Schiller
German Wines in the 21st Century - Seminar at the 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, led by Annette Schiller

The 2017 American Wine Society (AWS) National Conference

The 2017 American Wine Society (AWS) National Conference took place on Thursday, November 2 to Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the Kalahari Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Close to 800 AWS members from all over the USA came to this 3-day event, filled with tastings, seminars and presentations. The American Wine Society was founded in 1967 as a non-profit, educational, consumer-oriented organization for those interested in learning more about all aspects of wine.

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller at the 2017 American Wine Society (AWS) National Conference in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, USA

Pictures: Delivering the Wines for Annette and Christian's Tastings at the Storage Room

Alsace

Alsace is one of the several world class French wine regions, which produces many excellent still and sparkling, red and white wines, but above all it is highly appreciated for its unoaked, dry and crisp white wines. They tend to be different from those in other parts of France: Higher in acidity, sometimes really sour, but always a pleasant experience to have them in the glass. And they go very well with the Alsatian food, which is also unique in France. The famous choucroute you find only there in France. But of course, you find it also in neighboring Germany, for example in Frankfurt am Main. Compared with Germany, which also is famous for its world class dry wines, Alsace wines tend to be more full-bodied and higher in alcohol. Finally, sweeter white wines and red wines play only a minor role in Alsace, but they have a very good sparkling wine, the Cremant d’Alsace.

Alsace sits in the northeast corner of France, sheltered by the Vosges mountains to the west and hard against the German border to the east. The vineyards reach from around Wissembourg in the north to Mulhouse, 70 miles south. Some 12 million cases are produced annually from 32,000 acres of vineyards.

Alsace is a fascinating amalgam of the German and French. The end of the 30 Years’ War in 1648 gave Alsace to France. In 1871, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, Alsace was taken by Germany. After World War I, it was once more part of France — until 1940, when Germany reclaimed it. With the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, Alsace became French yet again — and so it has remained. Wine production in Alsace traces its beginnings to the early centuries of the Roman Empire, when the Romans conquered Alsace and introduced wine.

One of the most intriguing characteristics of Alsace wines is that they are bottled under their varietal names, unlike virtually all other French wines. Four grape varieties are considered to be the best:(i) Riesling – like in Germany, the most celebrated grape; (ii) Muscat – often used to produce sweet wines in France, the Alsace version is bone-dry; (iii) Pinot Gris and (iv) Gewurztraminer – Alsace's signature grape. Three other white grape varieties are also grown: (i) Sylvaner – A high-yielding grape, producing a refreshing wine, often used for blends, (ii) Pinot Blanc and (iii) Chardonnay – used only for sparkling wine. In addition, Alsace does have a little red wine made from the Burgundy grape, Pinot Noir. The Alsatian red wines tend to be quite light, but can be delicious. The share of red wines in total output is on the rise.

Alsace produces wines under three different appellations: (i) Appellation d'Origine Contrôlées (AOCs) for ¾ of the white, rosé and red wines, (ii) Alsace Grand Cru AOC for white wines from certain classified vineyards and (iii) Crémant d'Alsace AOC for sparkling wines. Alsace makes noble-sweet wines, but does not have the same reputation as Germany or Austria for its noble-sweet wines. I like the Edelzwicker from Alsace, which is blend and an easy to drink day-to-day wine, although it has become hard to find.

Since the creation of the Grand Cru AOC in Alsace, a number of winemakers have however shunned the system. Maison Leon Beyer is one of the most notable names to do so. The issue Maison Leon Beyer has with the Grand Cru AOC is that in their view the Grand Cru vineyards in a number of cases have too extensive boundaries.

Alsace also produces a sparkling wine similar to champagne, the Crémant d’Alsace. Crémant d’Alsace is made using the traditional method (bottle fermentation), mostly from Pinot Blanc grapes. Rosé Crémant d'Alsace is made exclusively from Pinot Noir grapes. Crémant d'Alsace is a significant part of the wine production in Alsace, with 18% of the region's vineyards used for this purpose.

A Journey through the Vineyards of Alsace

Tasting seminar at the National Conference 2017 of the American Wine Society,  led by Annette Schiller, Owner, Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours, November 3, 9:00 am to 10:15 am.

Overall, there were 49 seminars, with 7 seminars at the same time. Annette's Alsace seminar was in the first time slot on Friday morning (A4). Annette poured 6 wines. 120 people attended Annette's seminar. 160 people had signed up but attendace had to be limited to 120 people because of the number of bottles available for pouring.

Pictures: A Journey through the Vineyards of Alsace - A Seminar at the National Conference 2017 of the American Wine Society, led by Annette Schiller

The Wines Annette Poured


2014 Crément d’Alsace, Brut Natur, Dirler-Cadé


2015 Muscat, Zind-Humbrecht


2015 Gentil, Hugel&Fils


2009 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile, Maison Trimbach


2013 Pinot Gris Réserve, Maison Trimbach


2010 Gewürztraminer Grosse Laüe, Hugel&Fils


Domaine Dirler-Cadé

Domaine Dirler-Cadé exists since 1871. Today, it is managed by the 5th generation of the Dirler family, Jean Dirler. In 1998 Jean married Ludivine, daughter of Leon and Nicole Hell-Cadé, wingrowers in neighboring Guebwiller. In 2000, Ludevine’s parents plots of vines were integrated into the Dirler estate and the domaine was renamed Dirler-Cadé.

The domaine has 43 acres of vineyards of which 42% are Grand Cru sites. In the 19th century Domaine Dirler was pioneer with the Domaine Dopff of Riquewihr in producing sparkling wines according to the Méthode Champenoise, called Crément d’Alsace. In 1998 Jean Dirler and his father decided to convert the estate to a biodynamic agriculture. They introduced ploughing with a draft horse. The conversion process finished in 2004 and from the harvest of 2007 the estate is 100% Biodynamic, and obtained the label “AB” (biological agriculture) and the label “BIODYVIN” for biodynamic agriculture.

Pictures: Visiting Domaine Dirler-Cadé. See: Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Hugel & Fils

The Hugel family has been winegrowers since 1639. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Hugel family gained an enviable reputation for their winegrowing skills and for the meticulous way in which they cultivated their vineyards. In 1902, Frédéric Emile Hugel left the old family property and established himself in premises in the centre of Riquewihr which still form the heart of the family business.

The Hugel family has been instrumental for the official recognition for Alsace late-harvest "Vendange Tardive" and "Sélection de Grains Nobles" wines. They also introduced the “Gentil” wines, a blend like the “Edelzwicker” but only allowed for blending the four noble grapes of Alsace: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Gewürztraminer.

Hugel et Fils has three principal wine lines: (i) Hugel Maison: Wines made from grapes purchased from winegrowers under long-term contract, in a dozen of vineyards around Riquewihr. (ii) Hugel Tradition: Wines are also made from grapes purchased, but with a stricter selection of grapes. (iii) Hugel Jubilee: These wines come exclusively from the vineyards in the "Hugel" estates, and are made in only the very best vintages.

Pictures: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Hugel & Fils in Riquewhir, Alsace, with Jean Frédéric Hugel. See: Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Maison Trimbach

Maison Trimbach’s wine-making history goes back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr in Alsace. From then on, Maison Trimbach became renowned for its wines. However, it was not until the turn to the 20th century, when, under the leadership of Frédéric-Emile Trimbach, business really took off. Since then, Maison Trimbach has remained a family run business, based in Ribeauville, just a few miles north of Riquewihr, were it all began almost 400 years ago.

Maison Trimbach is very export-oriented with more than 85 percent of the production being exported. It is both a domaine and negociant, thus it produces wine sourced from own vineyards (40 hectares) and from lease contracts (60 hectares).

Maison Trimbach's vineyards are all situated around Ribeauvillé, where the soils are mainly limestone. The best sites include the Grands Crus Rosacker, Osterberg and Geisberg, but Maison Trimbach is one of the winemakers in Alsace that are staying away from the Grand Cru AOC system, while Maison Trimbach’s Clos Ste Hune, a Grand Cru, is arguably one of the finest wine of Alsace. In terms of grape varieties, the emphasis is on Riesling, but Maison Trimbach also grows all other classic Alsatian grape varieties, such as Gewuerztraminer.

The Trimbach wines come in 4 quality groups: (i) the Classic range, (ii) the Reserve range, (iii) the Reserve Personelle range and (iv) the Prestige and Collection wines.


Pictures: Christian Schiller with Jean Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in Ribeauville in Alsace. See: Visiting Jean Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in Ribeauville in Alsace (2011)

Pictures: Cellar Tour at Maison Trimbach. See: See: At Maison Trimbach in Alsace with Hubert Trimbach – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Trimbach Classic: This is the Trimbach entry level range. These wines represent the traditional, dry, crisp Alsace white wine style and come as Trimbach Pinot Blanc, Silvaner, Gewuerztraminer and Riesling.

Trimbach Reserve: The Reserve wines are made from sections with mostly old vines. These are more complex wines than the Classic wines and can age longer. The Reserve wines come as Muscat, Riesling, Gewuerztraminer, and Pinot Gris. Maison Trimbach is not particularly known for red wines, but they do produce a Pinot Noir Reserve as well as a Pinot Noir Reserve Personelle.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller and Steven Kent with Hubert Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in 2014. See: At Maison Trimbach in Alsace with Hubert Trimbach – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Trimbach Reserve Personelle: The wines of the Reserve Personelle range are from the best terroirs of the estate and not produced every year. These wines will keep for years. There are 3 Reserve Personelle wines: (1) the Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile, (2) the Gewurztraminer Cuvee des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre and (3) the Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle. They are clearly recognizable because of their golden labels. The Cuvée Frédéric Emile is probably the best known Trimbach wine. It is one of the finest wines of Alsace, if not one of the world's greatest white wines.

Trimbach Prestige and Collection Wines: This group comprises (1) the Riesling "Clos Sainte Hune", (2) the Vendanges Tardives wines and (3) the Sélection de Grains Nobles wines, made from Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewuerztraminer. The Clos Sainte Hune is an exceptional terroir, exclusively planted with Riesling, located in the heart of the Grand Cru Rosacker, in Hunawihr. This Clos totals 1.67 hectares and has been in the propriety of the Trimbach family for more than 200 years.

Pictures: Christian  Schiller and Annette Schiller with Jean Trimbach at Open Kitchen, Virginia, USA. See: Back in the Washington DC Area: Jean Trimbach Presented Maison Trimbach Wines at a Winemaker Dinner at Open Kitchen, USA (2013)

Sponsors: Thanks!

Annette Schiller: I could not have held the seminar without the generous support of my wine sponsors. I thank all of them very much for their donations which were instrumental to the great success of the presentation. The sponsors:

Domaine Dirler-Cadé:
- 2014 Crémant d’Alsace, Brut Natur
Hugel & Fils:
- 2015 Gentil
- 2010 Gewürztraminer, Grossi Laüe
Maison Trimbach:
- 2013 Pinot Gris « Réserve »
- 2009 Riesling « Cuvée Frédéric Emile »
Kobrand Wine & Spirits, New York:
- 2015 Muscat, Zind-Humbrecht

schiller-wine: Related Postings

The 2016 American Wine Society National Conference in California, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens

The New Germany: Red, Sparkling and Dry - Tasting at the American Wine Society 2016 National Conference in Los Angeles, USA, led by Annette Schiller

The New Classification of German Wines: The VDP Classification - Annette Schiller Conducting a Seminar at the 2016 National Convention of the American Wine Society in Los Angeles, USA

A Visit of the Vineyards of Alsace – Presented by Annette Schiller at the John Marshall Chapter of the American Wine Society, USA/ France

Germany meets France: Bourgogne, Baden, Alsace and Pfalz - Tasting with the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), led by Annette Schiller, USA/ France/ Germany

The World Class Wines of Alsace

In the world class white wine region Alsace

Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

At Maison Trimbach in Alsace with Hubert Trimbach – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

A Feast with Jean Trimbach, Maison Trimbach in Alsace, and Chef Bart M. Vandaele at B Too in Washington DC, USA/France (2014)

Back in the Washington DC Area: Jean Trimbach Presented Maison Trimbach Wines at a Winemaker Dinner at Open Kitchen, USA (2013)

Visiting Jean Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in Ribeauville in Alsace (2011)

With Jean Trimbach from Domaine Trimbach, Alsace, at Bart M. Vandaele’s Belga Café in Washington DC (2011)

Jean Trimbach and the Wines of Maison Trimbach in Washington DC (2010)