Friday, April 18, 2014

Pre-tour Visits: Schloss Neuweier, Franz Keller, von Gleichenstein, Dr. Heger and Restaurant Schwarzer Adler - The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South) by ombiasy

Picture: Annette Schiller and Bettina Keller, Weingut Franz Keller, Oberbergen, Baden

From September 14 – September 20, 2014, we will explore three wine regions (Baden, Pfalz, southern Rheinhessen) in the south of Germany and will experience the German red wine revolution.

For the exact itinerary, prices and other questions, visit the ombiasy Public Realtions website:
ombiasy Public Relations.

See also:
Upcoming in September 2014: Germany Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasyPR - The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South)

This tour is one of 3 tours by ombiasyPR coming up in 2014:
3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux

In preparation of the tour, Annette and I visited some of the wineries a few days ago. We focused on the wineries in Baden this time. Later in the year, and before the tour, we will also visit the wineries in the Pfalz and in Rheinhessen.

Below, I have copied the itinerary of the trip and supplemented it with pictures taken on the pre-tour visits and additional comments.

The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South)

We will visit a total of 17 wineries (12 are members of the VDP, the German association of elite wine makers; 1 is in Alsace) in 3 different wine regions where predominantly other grapes than Riesling are planted: Baden, the most southern German wine region and Germany’s answer to Burgundy; Pfalz with its almost Mediterranean climate and voluptuous whites and reds; Southern Rheinhessen where a variety of white grapes and also Pinot Noir grow.

DAY 1: Sunday, September 14

09:30 am Departure by coach from Frankfurt am Main.
11:30 am Visit at winery Schloss Neuweier (VDP) in Baden-Baden-Neuweier.

Wine has been produced at this impressive 13th century castle for more than 700 years. About 100 years ago Riesling became the dominant grape and passion. Still today, winemaking takes place in the vaulted cellars that date back to the 17th century. The Rieslings grown in the steep vineyards produce sumptuous, racy wines with delicate fruit. In 2012 the Schätzle family bought the estate and continues to produce wines of uncompromising quality. Robert Schätzle, the winemaker, studied oenology and comes from a family with a long tradition of winemaking in the Kaiserstuhl region to the south.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller with Robert Schaetzle, Weingut Schloss Neuweier - Robert Schaetzle

01:00 pm Wine pairing lunch at Röttele’s Restaurant in Schloss Neuweier.

Armin Röttele is a 1-Michelin star chef and I am sure that our lunch will be fabulous.

04:30 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery Karl H. Johner in Bischoffingen, Baden, Kaiserstuhl.
07:00 pm Arrival and check-in at Mercure Hotel in Freiburg im Breisgau.

Evening on your own. Explore the 700 year old city and admire the Gothic Cathedral completed in 1513. Enjoy the view of the Black Forest Mountains to the East. If you are lucky you can also glimpse the Vosges Mountains to the West. Dinner on your own.

DAY 2: Monday, September 15

09:45 am Visit and tasting at winery Freiherr von Gleichenstein (VDP) in Oberrotweil, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

Since 1634, this estate has been in the hands of the family of the Baron von Gleichenstein. The estate comprises 75 acres of the finest vineyards exclusively planted with the classic Burgundy grapes. Baron Johannes and Baroness Christina von Gleichenstein manage the estate in the 11th generation. They aimed at producing top level wines: through consistent yield reduction and other measures to optimize quality, they produce wines that have won several awards, in particular the spectacular Pinot Noir.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller with Christina von Gleichenstein, Weingut Freiherr von Gleichenstein, Oberrotweil

12:00 pm Wine paring lunch at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

This 1-Michelin star traditional restaurant run by the Keller family of winegrowers offers a harmonious mix of Baden country charm and elegance. The menu is a successful marriage of French and German cuisine reflecting the frontier on the nearby Rhine River, which is the border between Germany and France. The impressive wine list boasts 2 600 different wines, including a good selection of bottles from both Baden and France.

Pictures: Lunch at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler

02:00 pm Visit and tasting at winery Franz Keller (VDP) in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

With the Keller family, which can trace its roots as winemakers and hoteliers back to the Thirty Year War in the early 17-hundreds, everything started with producing and offering outstanding food. Franz and his wife Irma, parents of the current owner, were among the first generation of chefs to start the German revolution in the kitchen more than forty years ago. Well beyond the immediate post WWII era, the urge to simply have enough food on the table – quantity over quality- lingered on. In 1969 Franz and Irma Keller and their restaurant Schwarze Adler were awarded one Michelin star, which the restaurant defends until today. For Franz Keller, the central idea of winemaking was to produce top quality wines that perfectly accompanied the creations in the kitchen. The current generation, Fritz and Bettina Keller have brought the winery to a new level. They just finished construction of a brand new winery that is an architectural landmark, beautifully integrated in the landscape. Their efforts to produce top wines, among them stunning Pinot Noirs, were acknowledged by their selection as new member of the VDP in 2013.

Pictures: Visit of Weingut Franz Keller

04.00 pm Visit and tasting at winery Huber (VDP) in Malterdingen, Breisgau, Baden.
06:30 pm Back at hotel in Freiburg.

DAY 3: Tuesday, September 16

09:30 am Visit and tasting at winery Dr. Heger (VDP) in Ihringen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

This estate is also one of the young wineries by German standards. It was founded in 1935 by Dr. Max Heger, a country doctor. Today the winery is in the hands of the third generation. Joachim Heger and his wife Silvia are in charge of 50 acres planted primarily with Pinot Noir and the white Burgundy grapes. The winery lies in the Kaiserstuhl, a small volcanic group of hills in the Upper Rhine Valley in southwest Germany. The town of Ihringen enjoys the highest average temperature in Germany. While some fine Riesling and Silvaner gets made here, it is really Pinot country. The wines are rich, very well-structured, compact, but nevertheless elegant and subtle.

Pictures: With Winemaker Markus Mleinek, Weingut Dr. Heger and Weinhaus Heger in Ihringen

12:15 pm Lunch (beverages on your own) at restaurant Löwen in Heitersheim.
01:45 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery Zähringer in Heitersheim, Markgräflerland, Baden.

Since 1844 the Weingut Zähringer makes wine in the Markgräflerland, in southern Germany right across the Rhine River from the Alsace region. This area benefits from lots of sunshine, a good terroir, and a mild climate that favors varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinots. In 1986 Walter Zähringer rigorously pursued quality control and was convinced that this can only be achieved through organic winemaking. In those days this philosophy was unimaginable, but as time went by Walter Zähringer and the estate manager Paulin Köpfer won regocnition. Today their long experience has become an asset in marketing organic wines, and they count among the pioneers of organic wine in Germany.

05:00 pm Visit and tasting at winery Maison Trimbach, Alsace, France.
07:00 pm Arrival and check-in at Hotel de la Tour in Ribeauvillé, Alsace.

DAY 4: Wednesday, September 17

10:00 am Visit and tasting at winery Friedrich Becker (VDP) in Schweigen, Pfalz.
12:00 pm Lunch (beverages on your own) at restaurant Deutsches Weintor in Schweigen.
03:30 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery Ökonomierat Rebholz (VDP) in Siebeldingen, Pfalz.
06:15 pm Arrival and check-in at Hotel Ritter von Böhl in Deidesheim, Pfalz.

DAY 5: Thursday, September 18

09:40 am Visit and tasting at winery Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan (VDP) in Deidesheim, Pfalz.
11:45 am Walk to center of Deidesheim, lunch on your own.
02:20 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery A. Christmann (VDP) in Gimmeldingen, Pfalz.
04:30 pm Visit at winery Weegmüller in Neustadt-Haardt, Pfalz.
06:00 pm We will have dinner paired with Weegmüller wines at the restaurant Eselsburg in Neustadt-Mussbach.

DAY 6: Friday, September 19

09:30 am Visit and tasting at winery Markus Schneider in Ellerstadt, Pfalz.
12:15 pm Arrival in Westhofen, Rheinhessen.
02:15 pm Visit and tasting at winery Wittmann (VDP) in Westhofen, Rheinhessen.
04:30 pm Visit and tasting at winery Klaus Peter Keller (VDP) in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen.
07:15 pm Arrival and check-in at Hotel Merian in Oppenheim, Rheinhessen.

DAY 7: Saturday, September 20

09:30 am Guided sightseeing tour in Oppenheim.
12:00 pm Cellar tour, tasting and lunch at winery Gunderloch (VDP) in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen.
03:00 pm Arrival at Frankfurt airport.


This is a new tour, with a large number of southern producers of ultra-premium German wine included:

Schloss Neuweier

Karl H. Johner
Visiting Winemaker and Web 2.0 Guru Patrick Johner - Weingut Karl Heinz Johner and Johner Estate - in Baden, Germany
German Wine Makers in the World: Karl Heinz Johner in New Zealand

Freiherr von Gleichenstein
In the Glass: A 2007 Pinot Noir from the Gault Millau Shooting Star of the Year - Estate of Baron Gleichenstein

Fritz Keller

One of the Fathers of the German Red Wine Revolution: Weingut Huber in Baden

Dr. Heger
Joachim Heger, Weingut Dr. Heger: Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2013, Germany


Maison Trimbach
A Feast with Jean Trimbach, Maison Trimbach in Alsace, and Chef Bart M. Vandaele at B Too in Washington DC, USA/France
Back in the Washington DC Area: Jean Trimbach Presented Maison Trimbach Wines at a Winemaker Dinner at Open Kitchen, USA (2013)
Visiting Jean Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in Ribeauville in Alsace (2011)
With Jean Trimbach from Domaine Trimbach, Alsace, at Bart M. Vandaele’s Belga Café in Washington DC (2011)
Jean Trimbach and the Wines of Maison Trimbach in Washington DC (2010)

Friederich Becker
5 Top Wine Makers at Premier Cru Wein Bistro in Frankfurt am Main, Germany



The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA
Steffen Christmann (Weingut A. Christmann) and Wilhelm Weil (Weingut Robert Weil) Presented the New Wine Classification of the VDP, Germany

The World Meets at Weingut Weegmueller, Pfalz, Germany

Markus Schneider
The Wines Chancelor Merkel Served President Obama and Michelle Obama in Berlin (and the Wines she did not Serve), Germany
German Riesling and International Grape Varieties – Top Wine Makers Wilhelm Weil and Markus Schneider at Kai Buhrfeindt’s Grand Cru in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2012

Klaus Peter Keller
Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2012

Visiting Agnes and Fritz Hasselbach at their Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen, Germany 

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