Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Relaunch F in Rheinhessen

Pictures: Relaunch F Poster and the Cathedral of Mainz, Rheinhessen, Wine Capital of Germany

Faberrebe is a new white grape variety that after some success is now on a downward trend. A group of winemakers from Rheinhessen in Germany is trying to stop the decline and to relaunch the Faberrebe under the Relaunch F Initiative. I participated in the third Relaunch F tasting in Ingelheim in May 2010, just a few miles down the Rhine river from Mainz, Germany's wine capital


The Faberrebe was created in 1929 by Georg Scheu at the Landesanstalt für Rebenzüchtung in Alzey, Rheinhessen, Germany and released with varietal protection in 1967. Scheu created Faber by crossing Pinot Blanc and Müller-Thurgau. The name "Faber" (Latin for smith) was chosen in honour of Karl Schmitt in Landau, who hosted the trial plantations. The "Rebe" suffix is German for vine. The Faberrebe accounts today for about 0,7 percent of German wine production, down from 2.3 percent 20 years ago. However, the Faberrebe is still ahead of such popular grape varieties as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in Germany. Wines produced from Faberrebe are light to golden yellow in the glass, fruity and rather "muscaty" on the nose and are crisp with good acidity on the palate.

Relaunch F

Relaunch F is an initiative of Stefan M. Friedrich, supported by a growing number of winemakers from Rheinhessen. The now about 20 supporters were all present at the event with their new Faberrebe wines.

Under the Relauch F Initiatiave, the Faberrebe wines are medium sweet; they have to have remaining sugar in the 20 to 30 grams per liter range. There was an agreement at the tasting that this level of remaining sugar gives the wine a nice acidity/sweetness balance.

Picture: The Event Took Place at the Winzerkeller in Ingelheim

Picture: The Participating Winemakers

Picture: (from left to right) Matthias Hessdörfer, Managing Director, Winzer der Rheinhessischen Schweiz, Wöllstein, Dr.Ludwig Tauscher, Director of the Landwirtschaftskammer Rheinland Pfalz Zweigstelle Alzey, Stefan Maria Friedrich, Initiator of Relaunch F, Pfaffen-Schwabenheim, Katharina Faust, Wine Princess of Rheinhessen, Siefersheim, Dr. Otmar Bauer, Director of the Winemaking School Alzey until 1997, Thomas Roos, Managing Director, Ingelheimer Winzerkeller GbR.

Picture: Tasting the Relaunch F Wines


All wine bottles produced under the Relaunch F Initiative have the same front label, with 3 trulli on it. A trullo is a traditional Apulian (Italy) stone dwelling with a conical roof. Trulli can also be found in Rheinhessen, built in 18th century by vineyard workers (some from Apulia) as huts.

Picture: Relaunch F Wines

Reigning Wine Princess Katharina and Former Wine Princess Alexandra

Together with Relaunch F initiator Stefan M. Friedrich, Katharina Faust, one of the 3 reigning Wine Pincesses of Rheinhessen and daughter of Relaunch F supporter Karl Hans Faust from Siefersheim, Rheinhessen, welcomed the winemakers and guests. Also present was former Wine Princess Alexandra, now a Wine Ambassador and wife of Marco Becker, winemaker from Mainz and Relaunch F supporter.

Picture: Stefan M. Friedrich and Princess Katharina Faust Opening the Tasting

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Former Wine Princess Alexandra Becker and Husband and Relaunch F Supporter Marco W. Becker

Relaunch F
Stefan M. Friedrich, Rheinhessen, Germany

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