Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Billy Wagner, Falstaff Deutschland 2011 Sommelier of the Year, in Hamburg,Germany
For the first time, the Falstaff Trophies Deutschland have been awarded. The wine/food/travel journal Falstaff has been around for a number of years, issued in Vienna, Austria, and reporting about wine, food and travel from an Austrian perspective, for Austria-based readers. About a year ago, Falstaff expanded into the German wine and food scene and started to issue a German version of Falstaff in addition to the well established Austrian version. As part of its expansion, Falstaff has now created the annual Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies, to be awarded to 5 German wine personalities. The first year’s winners are the following.
Horst Sauer is Winemaker of the Year
Horst Sauer, from Franken, is the Falstaff Winemaker of the Year. Weingtu Horst Sauer lies in Escherndorf, a wine village surrounded by the Main river. The lusciously sweet specialties of Horst Sauer have long enjoyed a sterling reputation. But Weingut Sauer also produces tremendous dry wines, not only from Silvaner, but also from Riesling. Horst Sauer is now assisted by his daughter Sandra.
Picture: Horst Sauer in Berlin
The Runners-up were Georg Prinz zur Lippe and Peter Barth
The runners up were Georg Prinz zur Lippe von Schloss Proschwitz in Sachsen and Peter Barth, Domänenweingut Schloss Schönborn in the Rheingau.
Sachsen, a small wine region in the former East Germany, does not yet play in the first league, but it is catching up. I am very pleased about this development as I was born in the capital of the State of Sachsen, Dresden. Georg Prince zur Lippe, who repurchased Weingut Schloss Proschwitz after reunification, produces increasingly fascinating wines. I met Georg Prince zur Lippe recently in Berlin at the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the VDP.
Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Georg Prince zur Lippe in Berlin
Domaenenweingut Schloss Schoenborn is one of the leading estates in the Rheingau, which continues to produce exceptional wines. Peter Barth is the head winemaker of Domaenenweingut Schloss Schoenborn. I met him recently at the 1. International Riesling Symposium, where I was sitting next to him during one of the tastings and enjoyed very much the conversation about the wines with him.
Stephan Attmann is Newcomer of the Year
Stephan Attmann manages Weingut Von Winning in the Pfalz – previously Dr. Deinhard. He is very much into organic and biodynamic winemaking. The Grosse Gewächs Riesling wines of the year 2009 were highly rated.
The Runners-up were Christian Bamberger and Felix Peters
The runners-up were Christian Bamberger of Weingut Bamberger in Bad Sobernheim (Nahe) und Felix Peters of Weingut St. Antony in Nierstein in Rheinhessen. I have written about the wines of Felix Peters and other wines of the Red Slope in Rheinhessen here.
Billy Wagner is Sommelier of the Year
Whenever I am in Berlin, I try to stop at the Rutz Weinbar in the Chaussee Strasse 8 in Berlin-Mitte and enjoy their outstanding wines. Rutz Weinbar is not only a top wine bar—it is also a top restaurant and a top wine store, but I go their for the wine bar.
Billy Wagner has been working Weinbar Rutz in Berlin since 2007. The last time, I was there was for 10th Bottle Party in 2010. The party started 30 minutes before midnight and at midnight, Rutz Weinbar was packed. The entrance fee was Euro 19 or alternatively a bottle of a Grosses/Erstes Gewaechs wine. I have written about the 10th Bottle Party here.
Picture: Billy Wagner at the 10th Bottle Party in 2010
The Runners-up were Lidwina Weh and Stephane Gass
The runners-up were Lidwina Weh, Louis C. Jacob Hotel, Hamburg, and Stephane Gass, Schwarzwaldstube in Baiersbronn. I recently met Stephane Gass at the 1. International Riesling Symposium at Schloss Rheinhartshausen in the Rheingau, where he led a tasting of Rieslings with a touch of sweetness. These were all delicious Rieslings with some remaining sweetness.
Picture: Stephane Gass at the 1. International Riesling Symposium at Schloss Rheinhartshausen in the Rheingau, where he led a tasting of Rieslings with a hint of sweetness
Werner Näkel Received the Trophy for his Live Achievements
Werner Naekel is one of the fathers of the German red wine revolution. 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.
At the VDP wine presentation in Berlin in 2010, my favorite red wines were the wines of Friedrich Becker from Weingut Becker in the Pfalz, Werner Naekel from Weingut Meyer-Naekel in the Ahr and Ludwig Kreuzberg from Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in the Ahr. But there were other red wine producers eye to eye with my 3 favorites.
Picture: Friedrich Becker from Weingut Becker in the Pfalz, Werner Naekel from Weingut Meyer-Naekel in the Ahr and Ludwig Kreuzberg from Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in the Ahr in Berlin (from right to left)
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