Friday, January 2, 2015

Winzerhof Gussek in the Saale Unstrut Region: Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker André Gussek – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Picture: The Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014) at Weingut André Gussek  

The Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014) took us to 3 exceptional winemakers in the Saale Unstrut region. One of them was André Gussek at Winzerhof Gussek.

See also:
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013 

André Gussek showed us the estate, including the cellar and the surrounding vineyards, and introduced us to his stunning wines.

See also:
Visiting Andre Gussek and his Weingut Winzerhof Gussek in Saale Unstrut, Germany, 2012

Pictures: Welcome!

The Saale Unstrut Region

The Saale Unstrut wine region is Germany’s most northern wine region, in the valleys of the Saale and Unstrut rivers, around Freyburg and Naumburg. With 730 hectares of vineyard area, it is one of the smaller wine regions in Germany. The oldest record of viticulture dates back to the year 998 during the reign of Emperor Otto III.

Located in the area of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), Saale-Unstrut has become a thriving emerging wine region after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 (as Sachsen, the other wine region in the area of the former GDR; Sachsen is half of the size of Saale Unstrut).

Pictures: In the Vineyard

Most of the region's vineyards are situated in the State of Saxony-Anhalt, with the remainder in the State of Thuringia and in the State of Brandenburg (the "Werderaner Wachtelberg" near Potsdam). The vineyards are located on the hillsides lining the Saale and Unstrut rivers. It all looks very attractive, with steep terraces, dry stone walls and century-old vineyard cottages, interspersed with meadows, floodplains. High above, are defiant castles and palaces. Culture, history, nature and wine are combined here perfectly.

Saale-Unstrut is the northernmost of Germany's wine regions, and is therefore one of Europe's northernmost traditional wine regions. It lies to the north of the 51st degree of latitude, which was considered to be the limit for viticulture before global warming. Also, the weather is more variable than in the regions to the west.

Pictures: In the Wine Cellar

White grape varieties make up 75% of Saale-Unstrut's plantations. The most common grape varieties are the white varieties Müller-Thurgau and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc). The wines tend to be vinified dry and have a refreshing acidity.

Winzerhof Gussek

Winzerhof Gussek is in Naumburg, the gateway to the Saale-Unstrut. It was founded by André Gussek in 1993.

André Gussek came to Naumburg in the 1980s. For more than 20 years he was the cellar master at Kloster Pforta in Bad Koesen, near Naumburg, first during GDR times at the socialist co-operative VEG Weinbau Naumburg, and later after reunification at Landesweingut Kloster Pforta, with 120 hectares of land.

Pictures: Tasting with André Gussek

After the breakdown of the socialist system in East Germany in 1989, Pforta was in the hands of the privatization organization Treuhand for a couple of years, but not privatized and became the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta of the Federal State of Sachsen-Anhalt.

In 1993, André Gussek bought property in Naumburg surrounded by 5 acres of vineyard land (Kaatschener Dachsberg and Naumburger Steinmeister) to pursue his dream of making his own wine. In the beginning, this was a part-time endeavor, but in 2002, the time was ripe to fully concentrate on his own wine making estate, the Winzerhof Gussek. Over the following years, he expanded the vineyards to 9.2 ha (about 24 acres) and he now has 3 full-time employees. 66% of his vineyards are planted with white grape varietals and 34% with Pinot Noir and Zweigelt, a flagship red varietal of Austria. His red wines are stunning and among the finest in Germany.

The Gussek Wine Portfolio

The Gussek wine list comprises more than 50 (!) wines grouped according to the new VDP classification, although Winzerhof Gussek is not (yet) a member of the VDP. The wine list provides information on the alcohol content, the acidity level, the remaining sugar level and the Oechsle level at which the grapes were harvested for each of the wines.

André Gussek is member of the 51. Breitengrad winemakers group. The currently 7 members (all non-VDP) sell their top dry wines under the Breitengrad 51 label, which are in practically terms their GG (Grosses Gewächs – Grand Cru) wines.

What André Gussek Poured


2013 Silvaner trocken (Gutswein)
2013 Naumburger Steinmeister Silvaner trocken (Lagenwein)
2013 Kaatschener Dachsberg Silvaner trocken Bin 87 (Lagenwein)

2013 Grauburgunder Muchelkalk trocken (Ortswein)
2013 Naumburger Göttersitz Grauburgunder trocken (Lagenwein)
2013 Kaatschener Dachsberg Grauburgunder trocken (Breitengrad 51)

2011 Winzerhof Gussek

2013 Spätburgunder Muschelkalk Holzfass trocken (Ortswein)
2011 Kaatschener Dachsberg Spätburgunder Barrique trocken (Lagenwein)
2011 Naumburger Göttersitz Spätburgunder Kleines Holzfass trocken

2011 Naumburger Steinmeister Müller Thurgau TBA Holzfass


Thank you André for an highly entertaining and educational tasting.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Weingut Pawis (Saale Unstrut): Estate Tour and Wine Tasting with Kerstin Pawis – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

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