Friday, January 18, 2019

Best German Wines and Winemakers – Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2019 Awards, Germany

Picture: Christian Schiller Tasting with Helmut Dönnhoff (Eichelmann WeinGuide 2019 Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement) at Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff

The Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2019 - one of the 5 main wine guides in Germany (along with GaultMillau, Vinum, Feinschmecker and Falstaff) - was released in November 2018.

In the Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2019, Gerhard Eichelmann presents 980 winemakers and reviews 11150 wines. For the rating of the winemakers, he employs a system that awards a winery up to five stars, where 5 stars indicate “world class, top international producers”. There are about 2 dozens of German winemakers in this group. See here for last year's list: Germany's 28 Best Winemakers - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2018. The wines are assessed using a 50-100 point scale rating system.

Picture: Eichelmann Deutschlands Weine 2019

Pictures: Eichelmann Deutschlands Weine 2018, Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2018, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2018, Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung with Stuart Pigotts Favorites (Photo: Philipp Wittmann)

Additionally, in each issue of the Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland a (1) Rising Star of the Year as well as the producers of the best collections of (2) red wines, (3) white wines and (4) noble-sweet wines are named. Further, Gerhard Eichelmann presents a “Classic of the Year” Wine and an Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Picture: Gerhard Eichelmann at the VDP.Grosses Gewaechs Pre-release Tasting in Wiesbaden

Best Sekt Collection: Sekthaus Raumland, Flörsheim-Dalsheim

Rheinhessen
10 hectares
40% Spätburgunder, 22% Chardonnay

At the the presentation of the new Eichelmann Wein Guide in the Sandhof restaurant in Heidesheim near Mainz, Gerhard Eichelmann presented the winemakers of the year. The prize for the best sparkling wine collection was awarded for the first time. Handcrafted Sekte are steadily gaining in importance. Never before have so many Sekte been submitted as this year, Eichelmann justified the new prize. The winner of the award is Volker Raumland, who has produced a wide range of outstanding Sekte year after year and who has become the model for many young winemakers who produce sparkling wine.

Pictures: Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland. See: Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Best White Wine Collection: Weingut Georg Breuer, Rüdesheim

Rheingau
35 hectares
85% Riesling, 10% Spätburgunder

"A great year for Theresa Breuer and her team. 2017 is another milestone in her career. All Rieslings are expressive and mineral, from the estate wines to the top wines" Eichelmann praised the current collection.

Picture: Theresa Breuer and Guiseppe Lauria (Editor-in-Chief of Weinwisser). See: A Riesling Feast in an Historic Setting: Riesling Gala 2016 at Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau, Germany

Best Red Wine Collection: Weingut Bernhard Huber, Malterdingen

Baden
28 hectares
65% Spätburgunder, 10% Weissburgunder, 10% Chardonnay

"With the vintage 2016 Julian Huber has produced great Pinot Noir - pure, sustainable and thoroughly alive", praised Eichelmann in the eulogy.

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden, with Yquem Viehauser and Julian Huber – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Pictures: Dinner with Sebastian Fürst and Julian Huber. See: Winemaker Dinner with Chef/ King of Spices Ingo Holland and Sebastian Fürst (Weingut Rudolf Fürst, Franken), Julian Huber (Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden) and Jérôme Legras (Champagne Legras & Haas)

Best Fruity-sweet and Noble-sweet Collection: Weingut Horst Sauer, Eschendorf

Franken
18 hectares
40% Sylvaner, 20% Müller-Thurgau

"Year after year, Horst Sauer delights with his noble sweet wines, but the wines of the 2017 vintage are among the absolute highlights in Horst Sauer's career," praised Gerhard Eichelmann in his eulogy.

Pictures: Vinyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Rising Star of the Year: Weingut Vetter, Gambach

Franken
2 hectares

The newcomer of the year, Steffen Vetter, is also from Franconia. Stefan Vetter does not come from a winery. But that may even help as you do not need to take care of the existing stock of customers, when you take over your family's winery.. The vineyard work is done manually, the wines are organic, there is no chaptalization and of course the wines are neither fined nor filtered. Eichelmann concluded in his eulogy: "With the vintage 2016, which came on the market in 2018, Stefan Vetter has achieved great things."

Klassiker des Jahres/ Classic of the Year: Fellbacher Lämmler, Spätburgunder, GG, Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann, Fellbach

Württemberg
24 hectares
26% Spätburgunder, 15% Lemberg, 15% Riesling

In addition to the wineries of the year, Gerhard Eichelmann presented the classic wine of the year, which will become part of the "Mondo Classics Library" This is a collection of the great wines of Germany. Every year a wine from a great vineyard is added. For Eichelmann, the classic wine of the year is a wine that offers high quality, shows a clear for every vintage and can be considered a classic, a prototype with regard to the grape variety and the region. He calls these wines German Grand Crus. This year, the choice fell on the Lämmler vineyard in Fellbach/ Württemberg, with the Spätburgunder Grosse Gewächs of Rainer Schnaitmann.

Pictures: At Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann with Rainer Schnaitmann. See: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Rainer Schnaitmann at Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann in Fellbach, Württemberg – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement: Helmut Dönnhoff, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff, Oberhausen

Nahe
26 hectares
80% Riesling

"Already in the first issue of this wine guide Dönnhoff belonged to a handful of German winemakers who enjoyed a world wide reputation. Since then, German wine has dramatically improved in the premium level, including the wines of Helmut Dönnhoff. In addition to his fruity sweet and noble sweet world class Rieslings, he has also moved with the dry Rieslings into a new dimension" Eichelmann justified his choice.

Picture: Annette Schiller with Armin Diel, Schlossgut Diel, and Helmut Dönnhoff, Weingut Dönnhoff, at the 2017 VDP Weinbörse in Mainz

Picture: Christian Schiller with Helmut Dönnhoff, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff

Picture: Annette Schiller, Helmut Dönnhoff and Daughter Christina Dönnhoff (Weingut Dönnhoff) and Didier Cuvelier (Chateau Leoville Poyferre) at Weingut Dr. Robert Weil

Pictures: An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

Picture: Helmut Doennhoff and Mrs. Doennhoff, Weingut Doennhoff, in Seattle

Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland

For previous years, see:

Germany's 28 Best Winemakers - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2018
Best German Wines and Winemakers – Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Awards, Germany 

Germany's 27 Best Winemakers - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2017
Best German Wines and Winemakers – Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2017 Awards, Germany

Germany's 28 Best Winemakers - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2016
Best German Wines and Winemakers – Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2016 Awards, Germany

Germany's Top 27 Winemakers: 5 out of 5 Grapes - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2015
Best German Wines and Winemakers – Eichelmann Wine Guide Deutschland 2015 Awards, Germany

Germany’s 26 Top Winemakers - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2014
Best German Winemakers – Eichelmann Wine Guide Deutschland 2014 Awards, Germany

Best German Wines and Winemakers – Eichelmann Wine Guide Deutschland 2013 Awards, Germany

Best German Wines - Eichelmann Wine Guide 2012 Awards, Germany

Wine ratings: German wine --- Eichelmann 2010 (Awards)

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Ombiasy Wine Tours 2018: 3 x France and 3 x Germany - Ombiasy Newsletter December 2017

Germany's 28 Best Winemakers - Eichelmann WeinGuide Deutschland 2018

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

A Riesling Feast in an Historic Setting: Riesling Gala 2016 at Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau, Germany

Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden, with Yquem Viehauser and Julian Huber – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Winemaker Dinner with Chef/ King of Spices Ingo Holland and Sebastian Fürst (Weingut Rudolf Fürst, Franken), Julian Huber (Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden) and Jérôme Legras (Champagne Legras & Haas)

Vinyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany






Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Returning to Cahuita in Costa Rica - on the Carribean Side - after 31 Years




Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller on Playa Blanca in Cahuita, Costa Rica, in 2018 and 1987

Annette Schiller and I spent about 2 weeks in Costa Rica, from Thursday, December 20 2018 to Tuesday, January 1, 2019. We were joined by our daughter Katharina Schiller Suarez and her husband Diego Suarez. After we left, Katharina and Diego stayed on until end-January. Diego is from neighboring Nicaragua and Katharina and Diego met in Nicaragua.

See: An Amazing Week in Nicaragua, Central America, with Beer, Rum and Wine

Picture: Map of Costa Rica

Our trip was mainly a beach vacation, comprising 3 parts.

Upon arrival in the afternoon of Thursday, December 20, 2018, we stayed for 2 nights at the Radison in Costa Rica's capital San José. From there we drove to the Caribbean coast to the very south close to Panama and spent 5 nights at a hotel In Puerto Viejo. The hotel was not on the beach but a bit up on the hill in the jungle. From there we explored the various beaches of Puerto Viejo and of Manzanillo by car.

The remainder of the trip we stayed in Cahuita in a hotel right on the beach. In Cahuita we essentially only walked and did not need a car.

Interestingly, Annette and I had been in Cahuita 31 years ago, in a hotel that no longer exists but was located right next to the hotel were we stayed this time. Cahuita has changed in the last 31 years but not as much as other tourist spots have done. Essentially, it is the same charming, rastafarian, eco-tourism paradise it was back then.

The text below is from Wikitravel.com. All the photos are mine.

Flying into San José

We took United from Washington DC via Newark/ New Jersey. We flew over Nicaragua,





Costa Rica

Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica) is a small country in Central America bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

For a developing country, Costa Rica is an expensive destination, something that is particularly noticeable when compared to its neighbours, Nicaragua and Panama. Prices for hotel accommodation, restaurant meals, and private transportation are on par with what's found in the United States and Canada, and only slightly less than typical prices found in Western Europe.

2 Nights in San José













Understand

Since the late 1980s Costa Rica became a popular nature travel destination, and its main competitive advantage is its well-established system of national parks and protected areas, covering around 23.4% of the country's land area, the largest in the world as a percentage of the country's territory, and home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, in a country that has only 0.03% of the world's landmass, but that is estimated to contain 5% of the world's biodiversity. The country also has plenty of world renowned beaches, both in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

By the early 1990s, Costa Rica became known as the poster child of ecotourism. According to the Costa Rican Tourism Board, 46% of international tourists visiting the country in 2009 engaged in activities related to ecotourism, including trekking, flora, fauna, and bird watching, and visits to rural communities.

Costa Rica historically managed to stay away from the political turmoil and violence from which neighbouring nations still suffer. The nation constitutionally abolished its army permanently in the 1940s. It has also managed to be the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 oldest democracies, paying homage to its stance as a peaceful and politically stable nation. Costa Rica has also consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index.

This nation has bewilderingly diverse culture, climates, flora, fauna, and landscapes. From rain forests, to dry tropical and temperate forests, to volcanoes, to Caribbean and Pacific beaches, to high mountains, and marshy lowlands.

Dinner at Restaurante Silvestre – Cocina Costarricense Contemporánea

Silvestre is among the best if not the best restaurant in San José.

table.skift.com: Santiago Fernández Benedetto, chef and owner of Restaurante Silvestre, who says that strategies like changing the menu constantly and playing with the seasons have been key for his team to continue working with local suppliers.

Restaurante Silvestre opened in August 2017 with a sophisticated tasting menu that combines storytelling and rich flavors. In a recent iteration of the tasting menu, each plate represented one of Costa Rica’s seven provinces with ingredients from that region.

Fernández has an interesting perspective on why Costa Rica, a country with such inherent abundance, has not emerged as a leader in the local culinary movement.

“We are blessed every year with everything we need without having to worry about strong seasons, hard weather, hurricanes, or wars that make for a culture to have a strong culinary background. Hardness is the key for culinary evolution…together with history, culture and many other factors,” he says.

We had the nuevo menú degustación "CHINAMO SILVESTRE": Les presentamos nuestro nuevo menú degustación "CHINAMO SILVESTRE", un tributo a nuestra cultura y tradiciones en forma de un menú lleno de sorpresas, hecho con sabores muy criollos y ricos, a base de ingredientes obtenidos de parte de nuestros más disntinguidos proveedores. 6 tiempos. ¡Pruébelo antes de que acabe el año!






























On the Pan-American Highway

The following day we drove to the Caribbean coast to the very south close to Panama.



History

Costa Rica has a rich and vibrant history that first marked the history books on September 18th 1502. This date was when the land mass was first discovered by Christopher Columbus. Originally the land belonged to the four tribes of Carib, Boruca, Chibcha and Diquis Indians (The Carib met Columbus as he landed there and showed him the island). There is also further evidence to suggest that the country had human life up to 10,000 years prior. Although it cannot be pinpointed to an exact date this is the closest scientists can estimate intelligent lifeforms living in the territory. The name Costa Rica (Rich Coast) was given to the land by a Spanish man who noticed the heavy golden jewelry that the Indians wore. When the Spaniards started to move into Costa Rica to colonize the territory in 1524, many of the indigenous people died from disease or moved away. This did not lead to a huge rise in immigration because there was not many resources from the land to make a profit on. The people there lived a simple life with the bare minimum and worked to sustain themsleves. Many only moved there to further their claims in Central America where the gold and silver was heavily mined. Others used it as a stepping stone to reach Mexico, Central America and North America. Juan Vasquez De Coronado created the first city in 1562, before that it had only been small communities and towns.

Later on in 1821 Costa Rica successfully declared independence from Spain and two years later after disputes in the capitol declined to be a part of Mexico. In 1848 "Don Pepe" took charge of the country and Costa Rica became a republic. This granted voting right to minorities and established rules and regulations to check and balance the country when needed. It then hit a peaceful period which some would call "neutral." Peace and stability reigned over the land and prevented uneccessary conflicts. This is when Costa Rica constitutionally and permanently abolished its army in 1949. Finally in the 1970's the economy there took a serious hit and instead of relying on exports, the country now looks to the mass tourism it receives every year.

Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo

We spent 5 nights at a hotel In Puerto Viejo. The hotel was not on the beach but a bit up on the hill in the jungle. From there we explored the various beaches of Puerto Viejo and of Manzanillo by car.

Hotel Resort Bugabutik







Flora and Fauna

Costa Rica is one of the world's most popular destinations for eco-tourists because of its biodiversity. Costa Rica possesses the greatest density of species in the world, and around 25% of its national territory is protected by a system of conservation areas and national parks. It has been stated in various places that Costa Rica may contain as much as 6% of the world's plant and animal species. Both tropical plant and animal species abound in Costa Rica. Some of the more impressive plants range from huge ficus trees with epiphytes abounding on their limbs to approximately 1500 different orchids. The animals are equally as impressive, whether it's a jaguar (the largest cat in the New World), the ever-elusive Margay, or the wonderful birds like the green or scarlet macaws (lapas in Costa Rican Spanish.) The amphibians are also quite impressive; the poison dart frogs with their bright colors are bound to catch your attention, or the giant cane toads.

At the Beach

Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo















Street Food in Monzanillo



Puerto Viejo in the Evening








Wildlife

Costa Rica is world famous for having an incredibly high level of biodiversity throughout its tropical forests (this covers what you may hear referred to as rain forests, cloud forests, and dry forests). There are tropical mammals such as monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and wild cats as well as an amazing assortment of insects and other animals. There are many many birds (both migratory and resident) - more on that below. With 25% of the country being national parks and protected areas, there are still many places you can go to see the abundant wildlife and lush vegetation of the country. Just like anywhere, the farther you get off the beaten path, the more likely you are to see a wide variety of flora and fauna.

There is such biodiversity in Costa Rica not only because it's a land bridge between North and South America, but also because the terrain is so varied and there are weather patterns moving in from both the Pacific and Atlantic/Caribbean. There are impressive volcanoes, mountain areas, rivers, lakes, and beaches all throughout the country. There are many beautiful beaches - most of the popular ones are on the Pacific side but the Caribbean has many excellent beaches as well.

Diego in the Coconut Tree





Beaches

Costa Rica is a country with an extraordinary wealth of things to do, but regardless of your travel interests, you're going to want to spend time at one of the country's great beaches. The lion's share of beach tourism is concentrated on the Pacific side, in the Central Pacific region near San José, the Nicoya Peninsula, and in the dry tropical forests of Guanacaste. Less touristed, but no less beautiful are the beaches in the tropical rainforest of the southern Pacific coast near Corcovado National Park, or on the exotic, rastafarian, eco-tourism paradise of the Caribbean side.

Cahuita

The remainder of the trip we stayed in Cahuita. Interestingly, Annette and I had been in Cahuita 31 years ago, in a hotel that no longer exists but was located right next to the hotel were we stayed this time. Cahuita has changed in the last 31 years but not as much as other tourist spots have done. Essentially, it is the same charming, rastafarian, eco-tourism paradise it was back then.


Hotel

The hotel was right on the beach. In Cahuita we essentially only walked and did not need a car.





Cauhita in the Evening





On the Beach in Cahuita

The beach was in the Parque Nacional de Cahuita.






















On the Beach in Cahuita 30 Years Ago






Animals



















New Year Celebration in Cahuita





Last Night in San Jose

On January 1, 2019, we drove back to San José, had dinner at Nuestra Tierra and took the United flight back to Washington DC, via Houston, shortly after midnight.




schiller-wine: Related Postings

UPCOMING Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: January 1, 2019)

Ombiasy Wine Tours 2018: 3 x France and 3 x Germany - Ombiasy Newsletter December 2017

Announcement: Renaissance of the Terroir in Germany. Back to the Roots - Wine Tasting Seminar lead by Annette Schiller at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), USA

An Amazing Week in Nicaragua, Central America, with Beer, Rum and Wine