Thursday, August 25, 2016

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

Picture: Passing Pfalzgrafenstein (Kaub)

Following the lunch at the Krone in Assmannshausen and the visit of Weingut August Kesseler in Assmannshausen (see: xxxx), we did a cruise on the Rhine River from Lorch to Boppard. We passed the famous Loreley Rock and the slopes of the Mittelrhein wine region. Time to indulge in the breathtakingly beautiful view of the Rhine River and its banks dotted with vineyards, and castles, fortresses, and ruins dating from the Middle Ages. The Middle-Rhine valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Picture: Mittelrhein (Photo: Germany Wine USA)

Beginning just below Bonn and extending about 100 km south along the banks of the Rhine, the Mittelrhein is a beautiful region of steep, terraced vineyards and some of the wine world's most splendid scenery, medieval castles and ruins clinging to rocky peaks, sites of ancient legends where Siegfried, Hagen and the Loreley seem to spring to life.

Nearly three quarters of the vineyards are planted with Riesling. Viticulture was established in the region by the Romans, once they had established the cities of Cologne (Colonia) and Bonn (Bonna). The region saw its heyday in medieval times, at a time when the Cistercian order built the Kloster Heisterbach abbey above Oberdollendorf. The small town of Bacharach is an ancient centre of the wine trade. The name of the town of Bacharach comes from the Roman "Baccara" = "Altar of Bacchus".

Pictures: Cruise on the Rhein River in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region

The Mittlerhein below St. Goarshausen is one of the few vineyards in the world where phylloxera has not yet struck. Small, family-run wineries are typical of the region. But winemaking in the Mittelrhein is shrinking at a rapid pace. Today, with 500 hectares vineyard area, it is less than 25% of what it was 100 years ago. The slopes are extremely steep, discouraging young winemakers to continue with the tradition of their fathers, while consumers are flooded with reasonably priced and good quality wines from all over the world. However, increasingly young and dynamic winemakers, such as Johannes Müller, Weingut Matthias Müller, which we visited, are successfully trying to reverse this trend.

At Hotel- and Golfresort Jakobsberg in Boppard

That night we stayed at the Hotel- and Golfresort Jakobsberg in Boppard. This is a 4 star luxurious hotel in the mountains overlooking Boppard with a fantastic view on the Rhine River and the “Bopparder Hamm”, the famous vineyard site.

Picture: Hotel- and Golfresort Jakobsberg in Boppard

Postings: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger – Germany-North 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch and Tour: Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Bourgogne in Riesling Land: Tasting at Chat Sauvage in Johannisberg, Rheingau, with Winemaker Michael Städter – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Ralp and Bernd Schönleber - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

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

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut August Kesseler in Assmanshausen, with Winemaker Simon Batarseh – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Cruise on the Rhine River from Lorch to Boppard

Tasting at Weingut Matthias Müller in Spay, Mittelrhein, with Matthias Müller and son Johannes Müller

Visit and Tasting at Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss, Ahr

Tasting Pinot Noir at Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr with Owners/ Winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten

Tasting at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel

Tasting at Weingut Jos. Jos. Prüm in Bernkastel-Wehlen, Mosel, with Frau Prüm

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 at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser, Mosel, with Thomas Haag

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken in Saarburg, Saar with Hanno Zilliken

Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe: Remembering Klaus Peter Wodartz' Ente in Wiesbaden

Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe

Dinner with Wine Pairing at the new Wine Tavern of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Bingen, Rheinhessen, with Stefan Rumpf

Tasting at Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim, Nahe, with Martin Tesch

Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang in Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps   
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tour of Château de Rully and Tasting of Domaine du Château de Rully Wines, with Count Raoul de Ternay - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Château de Rully

Visible from far away among the vineyards, the Château de Rully is a medieval fortress built in the 12th century. Visiting the castle took us on a journey through French history from the middle ages to today. Since its origin, the castle has been kept in the same family. The current owner Count Raoul de Ternay guided us through his home, showing the history of his ancestors. By being a private property (and not a museum) every single visit is a unique and authentic experience. The tour ended with a tasting of the Château’s wines in the medieval kitchen.

Since 1986, Maison Antonin Rodet has leased the vineyards of Château de Rully and makes and sells the Domaine du Château de Rully wines.

Pictures: Château de Rully from a Distance

Rully

Rully wine is produced in the communes of Rully and Chagny in the Côte Chalonnaise. Around two-thirds of the AOC Rully (357 hectares) consists of white wine, and around one-third is red. There are 23 climats within the Rully AOC classified as Premier Cru vineyards (96 hectares).

Pictures: Arriving at Château de Rully

Maison Antonin Rodet

Maison Antonin Rodet is a négociant house with substantial holdings (160 ha) in both the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise.

Maison Antonin Rodet has been based in Mercurey since 1875, the year of the founding of the House, by Antoine Rodet, known as Antonin. His father, Francois was a grocer in Chalon-sur-Saone and a clever businessman and quickly added the trade of wine-broker to his various activities. Chalon-sur-Saone at this time was an important hub in the wine trade.

In 2009, Boisset bought rival négociant Antonin Rodet from Sequana Capital, an investment holding company. The acquisition cemented Boisset’s position as Burgundy’s biggest wine producer, and the fifth largest fine wine company in France. The company already owns names including Bouchard Aîné et Fils, Domaine de la Vougeraie, Jaffelin and Ropiteau.

Tour

The current owner Count Raoul de Ternay guided us through his home, showing the history of his ancestors. By being a private property (and not a museum) every single visit is a unique and authentic experience.

Pictures: Tour of Château de Rully with Count Raoul de Ternay

Tasting

The tour ended with a tasting of the Château’s wines in the medieval kitchen.

Pictures: Tasting at Château de Rully with Count Raoul de Ternay

Bye-bye

Thank you very much Count Raoul de Ternay for a wonderful tour and tasting.

Picture: Bye.bye

Postings: Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History

Dinner at a Bouchon - Chez Paul - in Lyon: Schiller’s Favorite Bouchons in Lyon, France

Introduction to the Burgundy Wine Region at Antic Wine in Lyon with Flying Sommelier Georges Dos Santos - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Paul Bocuse’s Iconic Restaurant in Collonges­ au­ Mont­ d’Or, France - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

In the Most Prestigious AOC in the Mâconnais: Pouilly-Fuissé, France

Vineyard Walk, Cellar Walk and Tasting at Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, Poully­ Fuissé, Mâconnais, with Winemaker Audrey Braccini - Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Visit and Tasting at Domaine Georges Descombes in Vermont, Villié­-Morgon, Beaujolais - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch at Restaurant Le Mercurey in Mercurey - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

At Domaine Theulot­-Juillot in Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise, with Nathalie Theulot - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit of Château de Rully and Tasting of the Château de Rully Wines with Count Raoul de Ternay

Cellar Tour, Tasting and Lunch at Domaine Michel Prunier & Fille in Auxey­ Duresses, Côte de Beaune, with Michel Prunier

Vineyard walk in Meursault with Karoline Knoth

Maison Olivier Leflaive in Puligny­ Montrachet, Côte de Beaune: Vineyard Walk and Cellar Tour with Olivier and Patrick Leflaive along with Sommelier Charles Devarennes

Wine Pairing Lunch at Restaurant La Table d’Olivier Leflaive in Puligny­ Montrachet

Visit of the Hospice de Beaune

Lunch at Brasserie le Carnot in Beaune

Tour of the Ancient Cellars and Tasting at Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune, Côte de Beaune

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne

An American in Burgundy: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Dublère in Savigny ­lès­ Beaune with Owner/ Winemaker Blair Pethel

Charcuterie and Cheese Paired with 12 Burgundy Wines at La Maison de Maurice in Beaune with Maurice Marle

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-­Saint­-George, Côte de Nuits

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Jean­-Jacques Confuron in Prémeaux­-Prissey Côte de Nuits with Louis Meunier

Lunch at Restaurant La Cabotte in Nuits-­Saint-­George

Visit and Tasting at Domaine Thibault Liger­-Belair in Nuits­-Saint­-George with Thibault Liger-­Belair

Visit of Château du Clos de Vougeot

Where the Most Expensive Red Wines Come from: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Anne Gros in Vosne­-Romanée, Côte de Nuits

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Guillon & Fils in Gevrey­-Chambertin, Côte de Nuits, with Jean-Michel Guillon

An Institution: Lunch at Restaurant Chez Guy in Gevrey­-Chambertin

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Armelle et Bernhard Rion in Vosne­-Romanée, Côte de Nuits, with Alice Rion

Tour at the Fontenay Abbey (Bernard de Clairveau), Montbard

Wine Pairing Lunch, Cellar Visit, Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Domaine Jean­ Marc Brocard in Préhy, Chablis

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and other Wine Venues in Chablis, France

Champagne – An Introduction, France

French Champagne Houses and German Roots 

Visit and Tasting at the Grower Champagne House Champagne Jean Josselin in Gyé­ sur ­Seine, Champagne, with Jean Pierre Josselin, his Wife and Sharona Tsubota

Cellar Visit and Tasting at the Champagner House AR Lenoble in Epernay, Champagne, with Export Manager Christian Holthausen

Cellar Visit and Tasting at the Champagner House Taittinger in Reims, Champagne

Lunch at Brasserie Flo in Reims

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Visit, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe - Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Visit, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

We spent many hours with Prinz zur Lippe on the tour. We started with a Sekt in the Weinbergshäuschen (a little house in the vineyard), overlooking the city of Meissen. From there, we moved to Schloss Proschwitz, where Prinz zur Lippe gave us a quick tour of the chateau. Then, we drove to another vineyard (Seusslitzer Schlossweinberg) and talked more about the vitivultaral side of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz. Next was the winery, where Prinz zur Lippe gave an extensive tasting with Prinz zur Lippe in the tasting room of the winery.

Pictures: Welcome!

The winery also has an excellent restaurant, the Lippe'sches Gutshaus, Schloss Proschwitz, where we had dinner; Prinz zur Lippe joined us for dinner.

During the dinner, of course, we had more time to talk about the Sachsen wine region, the history of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz and the tumultuous years after the Russian occupation of East Germany and after the reunification of the 2 Germanys.

Pictures: At the Weinbergshäuschen, Overlooking the City of Meissen

Sachsen (Saxony)

Sachsen, located in the former GDR, is the easternmost German wine region and extends some 35 miles north and south of Dresden along the Elbe River. Most of the region’s vines are planted on terraces along the River Elbe, and being at such a gradient, a lot of the work is done by hand. For 8 centuries, vintners here have mostly planted Müller-Thurgau and Riesling, earning a well-deserved reputation for excellent dry whites.

Meissen porcelain, known locally as “white gold,” is one of the things Sachsen is best known for, being the first place in Europe to make china in the early 18th century.

Picture: Meissen

Anette Schiller: This region tickles all your senses with its unique voluptuous baroque architecture, a rich history, its wealth of art, and love of all the good things in life.

Picture: Semper Opera in Dresden

Weingut Proschwitz

The zur Lippe family was first mentioned in the early 12th century. The family belonged to the reigning dynasties in Europe until 1918. For more than 300 years, the family branch of Georg Prinz zur Lippe lived in Sachsen and produced wine. However there is a 45 year long interruption, when in 1945 the Russians occupied the eastern half of Germany and disappropriated and expelled the zur Lippe family.

Pictures: Starting with a Sekt

Immediately after Germany’s reunification Georg Prinz zur Lippe started to buy back his family’s wine estate and ancestral residence, the Proschwitz castle. Since then he has restored the castle to its former glory, and invested heavily to build up the winery to become a state of the art wine producing estate. With 90 hectares under vine Weingut Proschwitz belongs to one of the larger wineries in Germany and is the largest privately owned one in Sachsen. Great care is given to sustainable techniques in the vineyard to enable future generations to continue to produce outstanding wines.

Thirteen grape varieties are grown on the estate: Pinot Gris 20%, Pinot Blanc 12%, Müller-Thurgau 11%, Elbling 8%, Pinot Noir 8%, Riesling 8%, Dornfelder 7%, Goldriesling 7%, Scheurebe 8%, Traminer and others.

Weingut Schloss Proschwitz also has a hotel and restaurant (the Lippe'sches Gutshaus). The family’s 18th-century palace hosts conferences and weddings.

Pictures: At Schloss Proschwitz with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

The Communist Period and German Reunification

Before the 2. World War, the von Lippe family was one of the richest family in Saxony, with holdings in various sectors, including wine making. When the Soviet Red Army invaded eastern Germany in 1945, the parents of Georg Prinz zur Lippe were expropriated and imprisoned. Fortunately, although the communists hated royalty and routinely executed royals they captures, they were not murdered, but – after a period of imprisonment in Saxony - were able to leave to the western part of Germany. There, as a refugees without any means (lie so many others, including my parents), Christian Prinz zur Lippe had to start a new live. Initially, he took a job as a gardener. Obviously, his son, Georg Prinz zur Lippe was not raised in abashed luxury. Georg Prinz zur Lippe pursued a successful career as an agricultural engineer.

Then, the Berlin Wall fell. Christian Prinz zur Lippe suggested that Georg attempt to recover the family’s property in East Germany. But because the property had been expropriated by the Soviets – and not by East Germany during the GDR period – Georg Prinz zur Lippe did not benefit from the restitution law and did not get any of the assets back from the German Government. Instead, be borrow large sums of money and bought the former property back from the current owners. Eventually, he managed to buy back a large portion of the family’s original vineyards.

Pictures: At the Seusslitzer Schlossweinbergwith Georg Prinz zur Lippe

The story did not end there, however. Georg Prinz zur Lippe was not welcomed with open arms back to his ancestral home. In the minds of many East Germans, “the Georg Prinz zur Lippe family was still the incarnation of evil,” the Prince explained.

“People weren’t happy to see me and I got anonymous threats on the phone,” Georg Prinz zur Lippe said. “The callers said: ‘we got rid of our princes once, and we’ll do it again.’ My car tires were regularly slashed.”

Locals feared they would lose their homes, even though the German Government didn’t return properties seized under orders of Soviet leader Josef Stalin between 1945 and 1949 to former owners like the zur Lippe family.

Fortunately, the local resistance diminished over time, as Georg Prinz zur Lippe started to win the local people over. The sympathetic mayor of the town of Zadel offered to sell Georg Prince zur Lippe a courtyard of historic but dilapidated buildings for their winery. “Over the years a total of 800 people have come forward to sell us small parcels of land that was once ours” said Georg Prinz zur Lippe.

After extensive renovations, Georg Prinz zur Lippe opened a Weingut Schloss Proschwitz there, including a restaurant, where we had dinner with Georg Prinz zur Lippe. Weingut Schloss Proschwitz was the first in Sachsen to be admitted to the prestigious VDP, Germany’s association of about 200 elite winemakers.

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

Dinner at the Lippe’sche Gutshaus

The winery also has an excellent restaurant, the Lippe'sches Gutshaus, Schloss Proschwitz, where we had dinner; Prinz zur Lippe joined us for dinner. During the dinner, of course, we continued to talk about the Sachsen wine region, the history of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz and the tumultuous years after the Russian occupation of East Germany and after the reunification of the 2 Germanys.

Falstaff: In the historic, stylishly renovated and well-furnished Lippesche Gutshaus of Schloss Proschwitz, you find regional and while refined dishes made from fresh ingredients on the menu. The exquisite wines of the prestigious winery Weingut Schloss Proschwitz go very well with the superb food.

The Lippe’sche Gutshaus also has 10 rooms and 2 apartments.

Pictures: Dinner at the Lippe'sches Gutshaus, Schloss Proschwitz, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

Postings: Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Tasting at Weingut Uwe Lützkendorf, with Uwe Lützkendorf, in Bad Kösen, Saale-Unstrut – Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Visit and Wine Tasting Lunch at Weingut Hey in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut, with Matthias Hey – Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region: Wine Tasting with Marcus Pawis – Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany

Wine Lunch at the Historic Vincenz Richter Restaurant, Weingut Vincenz Richter in Meissen with Senior Boss Gottfried Herrlich – Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

Tasting at Weingut Tim Strasser/Rothes Gut in Meissen, Sachsen, with Tim Strasser

Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Drei Herren in Radebeul, Sachsen

Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Lunch at Weingut Lutz Müller, Schloss Albrechtsburg, Sachsen, with Lutz Müller

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Zur Schwane in Volkach, Franken with Winemaker Christian Kallisch

Vinyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Schmitt’s Kinder in Randersacker, Franken, with Martin Johann Schmitt

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Staatlicher Hofkeller in Würzburg, Franken, with General Manager Marcel von den Benken

Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg, Franken, Germany

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour, Lunch and Tasting at Weingut Fürst Hohenlohe Öhringen in Öhringen–Verrenberg,Württemberg with Winemaker Joachim Brand

Visit of Staatsweingut Weinsberg in Weinsberg, Württemberg, with Kyle Frank from the Finger Lakes

Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder in Schozach, Württemberg, with Kilian Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder