Thursday, December 2, 2010

3. German Twitter Wine Awards – German Pinot Noir Below Euro 20

Pictures: Dirk Wuertz and the TWA Jury

3. Twitter Wine Awards in Germany

The 3. German Twitter Wine Awards (TWA) took place at the Restaurant Rebstock in Oberbergen in the Kaiserstuhl area in Germany on November 27, 2010. The Rebstock is the second restaurant of Fritz Keller - star winemaker, famous wine retailer and owner of the well-known Schwarzer Adler, just across the road of the Rebstock. The participants of the event had to select the best wine of the almost 100 submitted Pinot Noir wines - in the below Euro 20 (= US$ 28) price range.

For the first time, the contest was held under the auspices of the German Wine Institute (DWI). The idea for the TWA grew out of the German Twitter Wine Tastings that take place once a month, initiated by Dirk Wuertz. Dirk Wuertz is a well known German winemaker, who exports most of his production to the US and the Nordic countries; recently, his back-in-box Riesling (bone dry) has become available at Whole Foods in the US. He is also a web 2.0 guru. See here. Co-organizer was Partick Johner, Weingut Johner and Johner Estate. Patrick, with his father Karl-Heinz, owns and runs two wine estates, one in the Kaiserstuhl area and one in New Zealand. Patrick is another leader in the German wine web scene. See here.

German Red Wine Boom

German red wines are increasingly appearing in the international wine market. Of course, given its location, they tend to be not like the fruity red wines we know from warmer countries, but lean and more elegant, with a lot of finesse. 30 years ago, in the international scene, people would not talk about German red wine. But this has changed. Germany now produces red wines that can compete with the best of the world. The share of red wines in terms of production has increased from 10 percent in the 1980s to about 35 percent now in Germany.

Pinot Noir

In Germany, the Pinot Noir is called Spätburgunder. It is to red wine what the Riesling is to white wine: the cream of the crop. In the US, Pinot Noir shows great promise in Oregon and California. The reputation that gets Pinot Noir so much attention, however, is owed to the wines of the Bourgogne in France, where it has probably been cultivated since at least the 4th century (first documented, however, in the 14th century).

Pictures: The TWA Tasting - Dirk Wuertz, Frank R. Schultz (DWI), Christian G.E. and Annette Schiller in the picture below.

Regardless of where it’s grown, Pinot Noir is not typically a value wine. That is so because Pinot Noir is such a delicate grape that it is difficult and expensive to grow and make into the spectacular wine it can be. It is sensitive to climate and soil, Pinot Noir needs warmth (but not intense heat) to thrive and does well in chalky soils. As the German name implies, it ripens late (spät).

The Submitted Wines

Weingut Karl H. Johner, 2007 Spätburgunder vom Kaiserstuhl
Weingut Götz GbR, 2009 Spätburgunder trocken
Weingut Götz GbR, 2007 h3 Spätburgunder trocken
Weingut Klaus Runkel, 2008 Bechtheimer Spätburgunder
Weingut Jürgen von der Mark, Pinot Noir von der Mark - Village
Weingut Jakob & Jonas Kiefer, Blauer Spätburgunder Rotwein trocken
Weingut Jakob & Jonas Kiefer, Blauer Spätburgunder Rotwein feinherb
Weingut Braunewell, 2008 Spätburgunder KALKMERGEL trocken
Weingut Braunewell, 2008 TEUFELSPFAD Spätburgunder
Weingut Feitig-Richter, 2008 Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken
Weingut Feitig-Richter, 2009 Spätburgunder Rotwein Spätlese trocken
Weingut Heinrich Vollmer, 2009 Ellerstadter Kirchenstück Spätburgunder Rotwein Auslese
Fischborn-Schenk, Biebelsheimer Kieselberg Spätburgunder
Nals Margreid, Pinot Nero “Mazzon” D.O.C.
Domaine Frédéric Mochel, Pinot Noir Frederic Mochel
Weingut Rainer Schlumberger, Pinot Noir "Eich"
Weingut Försterhof, Ahrweiler Rosenthal Spätburgunder Qualitätswein
Weingut Försterhof, Ahrweiler Rosenthal Spätburgunder Auslese trocken
Friedrich Kiefer KG Privatkellerei - Weingut, 2008 Eichstetter Herrenbuck Spätburgunder Rotwein QbA trocken
Friedrich Kiefer KG Privatkellerei - Weingut, 2009 Eichstetter Herrenbuck Spätburgunder Rotwein AUSLESE PRACHTSTÜCK

Picture: Patrick Johner and Dirk Wuertz

Friedrich Kiefer KG Privatkellerei - Weingut, 2007 Eichstetter Herrenbuck Spätburgunder Rotwein*** Gutsabfüllung QbA trocken
Zalwander, Spätburgunder
Weingut Villa Heynburg GmbH, Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken
Weingut Villa Heynburg GmbH, Spätburgunder Rotwein "Réserve" Qualitätswein trocken
Winzerkeller Hex vom Dasenstein eG, Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken -Barrique-Ausbau
Winzerkeller Hex vom Dasenstein eG, Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken - Selection ALTE REBE
Winzerkeller Hex vom Dasenstein eG, Rotwein Qualitätswein -Selection ALTE REBE
Weingut Feitig-Richter, 2009 Spätburgunder Rotwein Kabinett trocken
Weingärtner Brackenheim eG, Spätburgunder QbA trocken
Shelter Winery, 2008 Spätburgunder
Shelter Winery, 2008 Pinot Noir seven-seven-seven
Weingut Steinmühle, Fam. May-Weissheimer, 2009 Spätburgunder trocken
Weingärtnergenossenschaft Dürrenzimmern-Stockheim eG, "Divinus" Spätburgunder QbA trocken -im Barrique gereift
Weingut Klaus Runkel, 2007 Spätburgunder
Weingut Wolfgang Kühn, 07er Klingenberger Schloßberg Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken
Weingut Wolfgang Kühn, 08er Klingenberger Schloßberg Spätburgunder "U" trocken Spätlese
Weingut Dr. Helmut Scholl, Pinot Noir 2008
Lauffener Weingärtner eG, Lauffener Katzenbeißer Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken Poet
Weingut Michael Wiesler, Spätburgunder
Weingut Michael Wiesler, Spätburgunder "Edition Wiesler"
Weingut Josef Walter, 2007 Spätburgunder "J" Centgrafenberg
Weingärtnergenossenschaft Mundelsheim eG, Rozenberg Spätburgunder QbA trocken im Eichenfass gereift

The Winners

1. Platz – 1. Place:

M Runkel, Weingut Jakob und Klaus Runkel, Bechtheimer Spätburgunder Trocken, 2008, Rheinhessen.

Weingut Runkel is a family-run winery in Bechtheim, Rheinhessen, with 10 hectares of vineyard land. The award winning wine is one of their top-of-the-line wines, the M Runkel series, all made by Runkel-junior, Matthias Runkel.

Weingut Jakob und Klaus Runkel
Petersgäßchen 2
67595 Bechtheim

Tel. 0 62 42 - 21 10
Fax 0 62 42 - 55 54

2. Platz – 2. Place:

Weingut Weishaar, Eichstetter Herrebuck, 2007, Baden and
Weingut Kiefer, Eichstetter Herrenbuck, 2007, Baden.

The special Twitter Wine Awards for best low price, good quality wines went to:

Lauffener Katzenbeisser POET, Lauffener Weingärtner (6,50 Euro) and
Klosterpfad, Weingut Stefan Meyer (6,30 Euro).

Citizen Jury, Tweet-Ups and Twitter Wine Tastings

Twitter wine tastings are becoming increasingly popular. Basically, your taste the wines at home, anywhere in the world (with decent internet) and communicate with fellow tasters by Twitter. The critical thing is to agree on a wine, a time and a #hashtag in advance, so that everyone can buy the wine in advance and then taste it at the agreed time, while tweeting and following the tweets of others. If the winemaker himself or somebody else more competent than the average consumer is among the participants, this adds value to the Twitter wine tasting. One step further is the same thing but with live streams in the net. Patrick Johner, for example, did this recently, with a Skype connection to his father in the vineyard in New Zealand and streamed live in the net.

Picture: Patrick Johner and Christian G.E. Schiller

Another thing are so-called wine Wine Tweet-Ups. This are Twitter wine tastings, where the participants meet in the same room for a walk-around tasting and communicate via Twitter. Typically, the tweets are shown on a large board in the meeting room. So you taste, tweet and read the tweets of others on the large Twitter wall or your own device. The Four Seasons Hotel Austin just organized a Twitter wine tasting cum Tweet-Up, in which I participated. You could join the crowd either at 6 pm Central Standard Time at a device near you with the hashtag #FSWine via Twitter, or directly attend the Tweet-Up at the Four Seasons Hotel. The featured wines were Dr. L Riesling, Paraiso Syrah and Chappellet Mountain Cuvee. Loosen Bros. VP Kirk Wille joined in the Twitterverse and you had a chance to fire questions at him.

The 3.German Twitter Wine Awards event was neither a Tweet-Up nor a Twitter wine tasting in the conventional sense. It was a Twitter event in the sense that most of the people there know each other via Twitter. As for me, for example, I knew almost all participants, but almost all of them through the virtual Twitter and Facebook world. Thus, the TWA event was part of the transformation process that is going on from the old system of wine criticism (the ivory tower critics) to the new system of wine citizen bloggers. The young generations like to share opinions and tasting notes with their peers on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The award winning wine of Weingut Runkel at the TWA was chosen by a citizen jury, composed of wine consumers, bloggers and wine makers present at the event. Anybody was invited to attend and participate. I had never heard of Weingut Runkel before the TWA. Now I know that they make outstanding wines.

The Participants

Here are some of the participants.
Matthias Metze (
Jochen Uebel (
Philipp Breiten¬feld (
The Ritsch (
Patrick Johner (
Andreas Kaul, DWI (
Frank R Schulz, DWI (
Stefan Schwytz (
Richard Kerber
(me) Christian Schiller (
Annette Schiller
Martin Schmidt
Gabi Wuertz
Dirk Würtz (

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

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In the Glass: Wuertz 2007 Rheinhessen trocken at Ten Bells in the Lower East Side in Manhattan

Wine and Web 2.0 in Germany

Dirk Wuertz and His Bag-in-a-box Rieslings

German Wine Society Tastes Outstanding German Wines at the National Press Club in Washington DC

The Avantgarde Wine World of Dr. Martin Tesch

Impressions from the Riesling & Co World Tour 2010 in New York

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

An Unfortunate, uninformed Article in the Decanter about Dry German Riesling

Germany's VDP Wine Estates Celebrate 100th Anniversary in Berlin

70 Galleries - 200 Praedikat Winemakers - 1000 VDP Wines: Art and Wine in Berlin


  1. I like your blog! I check it once in a while and always find interesting reading.

  2. ...participants ... and
    and kathrin and mac from

    My Story:


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