Monday, March 30, 2015
Lunch, Wine Tasting and Winery Tour at Weingut Jülg in Schweigen, Pfalz with the Jülg Family – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)
We started the day with a tasting at Weingut Friedrich Becker, a world class producer, in Schweigen in the Pfalz. Just around the corner is Weingut Jülg, which is not in the same category as Weingut Becker but clearly on a steep upward movement, with the young generation taking over.
We had a lovely lunch cum wine tasting in the garden restaurant of Weingut Jülg. Johannes Jülg, who has taken over the winemaking responsibility, joined us for lunch and conducted the tasting. After lunch, we toured the winery.
Weingut Jülg is in Schweigen, the southernmost village in the Pfalz region, right at the border to France. The winery was founded in 1961. Today, Werner Jülg is in charge of the overall management of the winery. Since 2010, his oldest son Johannes has been responsible for the winemaking.
The vineyard area totals 18 hectares in the Einzellage (single vineyard) Sonnenberg (of which 40% is in France) and the Gewanne (lieu-dit) Springberg, Pfarrwingert, St. Paul und Wormberg.
White grape varieties account for 70% of the production, with Riesling, Weißburgunder and Grauburgunder dominating. Red grape varities account for 30% of the production, with Pinot Noir and St. Laurent in the lead.
Total production is 12.000 cases. Most of the wine is sold at the estate – in the wine tavern, the garden restaurant and directly to consumers. 20% of the wine is exported, including to the USA (5%).
The Jülg Family
Weingut Jülg is a traditional family winery cum wine tavern and garden restaurant, with 3 generations involved.
Werner and Karin Jülg – in their 50s I would guess - are the generation in the middle. Werner took over the winery several years ago from his father Oskar, while his brother Peter fell in love with a French girl from a village just 10 kilometers away in Alsace and established Maison Jülg in France. For the last 20 or 30 years ago, until handing over to his son Johannes, Werner was in charge of winemaking. Karin runs the wine tavern and the lovely garden restaurant.
Werner’s mother Erika is still in the kitchen, while her husband Oskar passed away.
Werner and Karin Jülg have three sons: Johannes, Friedrich and Moritz. Johannes Jülg is now responsible for winemaking at Weingut Jülg. Before coming back home to Schweigen in 2010, he looked around in the world of fine wine, including at Theo Minges, Weegmüller, Keller, Stodden and Clemens Busch in Germany and at Domaine des Lambrays in the Bourgogne.
His brother Friedrich graduated with a Masters in Winemaking from Geisenheim University earlier this year and currently is on a six months stint in New York City with the US importer of Weingut Jülg, Bonhomie Wine Imports.
Moritz got a degree in Marketing and International Business in January 2015. After stints at the Daimler AG and the Robert Bosch GmbH, he will do an internship at Audi AG in Ingolstadt next month.
Lunch and Wine Tasting with Johannes Jülg
When you enter the courtyard of Weingut Jülg through the main gate, as we did, you have in front of you a large space, which - when the weather is fine - invites you to sit down and relax, with the food and the wines of the Jülg family. To the right is the cosy wine tavern for cooler days and in front of you is the winery, where the wine is made and aged in small barrique barrels, traditional wood barrels and stainless steel tanks.
Of course, people come here because of the fine wines. But they also come because of the traditional food. Leberknödel, Saumagen, Wurst, Schnitzel and Rippchen are all home-made as is the cheese.
The Wines we Tasted
Weingut Jülg has 2 grapes (out of 5 grapes) in the Gault Millau: We are very happy with the performance of Johannes Jülg. He likes to add a French touch to his wines and does this very successfully. This means that the fruit components are moved to the backburner. Instead, character and a long aging potential dominate. This approach shows best in the Riesling wines from St. Paul and Springberg – luscious notes of yellow fruit, with good concentration and minerality. Equally, his Pinot Noir is a wine for the true connoisseur – Pinot pure.
Weingut Jülg classifies its wines into 4 groups: Gutsweine, Terroirweine, Lagenweine, Sekt. We had wines from each of these 4 groups.
2011 Chardonnay Sekt extra brut
Excellent sparkler. Weingut Jülg has quite a selection of sparklers in its portfolio, all made in the traditional method. We liked the Jülg Sekt so much that we order a couple of cases for the anniversary party of my mother.
2013 Jülg Riesling trocken Terroirwein Kalkmergel
2013 Jülg Riesling trocken Terroirwein Buntsandstein
2013 Jülg Sonnenberg Weissburgunder trocken Lagenwein
2012 Jülg Spätburgunder trocken Gutswein
2012 Jülg Pinot Noir trocken Lagenwein
The flagship wine of Weingut Jülg. Concentrated, fine, elegant. Johannes achieves this by limiting the yield to 30 hl/ha, hand-selecting the small, aromatic berries at harvest, spontaneous fermentation, on the lees for 14 days, and 18 months aging in new barrique barrels. On the nose, aromas of blackberry and cherry, coupled with some leather, good concentration on the palate, flavors of warm spice and cranberry last through the long finish. Outstanding wine.
Following lunch and the winetasting, Werner Jülg and his 3 sons showed us around in the winery.
Jülg Wines in the USA: Bonhomie Wine Imports
Jülg wines are available in the USA through Bonhomie Wine Imports: From the southernmost village in the Pfalz, Schweigen, we bring you the wines of Weingut Jülg. In fact it’s so close to the border that the top vineyard site, the Sonnenburg is actually 2/3s in France! Johannes Jülg has recently taken the reins here from his father Werner, and continues a tradition of growing with respect for nature, using green manure only for fertilization and hand harvesting. Soils are complex here and there is great diversity from site to site. In 2012 the Buntsandstein Riesling provides the right balance, with lifted aromatics and tangy passionfruit. From the Sonnenburg comes a lushly fruited Scheurebe that has the crisp cut of grapefruit-like citrusy tartness and also, a racy and vibrant dry Muskateller laced with spice and mineral notes that linger in the finish. Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc are also important grapes here, look for them later on this year.
RIESLING TROCKEN ‘Kalkmergel’
Video: Winemaker's Day
Weingut Jülg released a video entitled "Winemaker's Day". It is very well done and really fun to watch. The video was produced during the 2014 harvest, i.e. during the days when we visited Weingut Jülg.
Thank you very much Erika, Werner, Johannes, Friedrich and Moritz Jülg for a wonderful event.
schiller-wine: Related Postings
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Coming-up: Wine & Art Tour to Saale-Unstrut - Saxony - Franken - Württemberg: Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (June 11 - June 20, 2015)
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013
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