Monday, November 9, 2015

Winemaker Dinner with Azienda Agricola Foradori (Trentino, Italy) at SchauMahl in Frankfurt, Germany

Picture: Winemaker Dinner with Azienda Agricola Foradori (Trentino, Italy) at SchauMahl in Frankfurt, Germany -  Myrtha Zierock Foradori and Chef Björn Andreas

Restaurant schauMahl in Offenbach, in the greater Frankfurt am Main area, is arguably one of the best restaurants in the region. Chef Björn Andreas is leading the restaurant to new heights. With a most efficient and charming service, Pit Punda and his Deputy Esra Egner make sure that you feel good.

Restaurant schauMahl runs an interesting series of winemaker dinners. If I am in town (Frankfurt) I always book immediately, because these dinners sell out very fast.

This time, it was Azienda Agricola Foradori from Trentino. The amazing wines of Elisabetta Foradori were presented by her daughter Myrtha Zierock Foradori, who recently joined the winery after finishing her studies in Freiburg, Germany.

Elisabetta Foradori, the owner of Azienda Agricola Foradori in Trentino, Northern Italy, is a distinguished innovator and trendsetter in the world of wine. Importantly, she was instrumental in raising the local grape Teroldego from an everyday, inexpensive wine to one that is found now on some of the best wine lists in the world.

Elisabetta Foradori is one of most influential winemakers of Italy. She has become one of the leading green/ natural/ biodynamic wine makers in Italy. Italy’s most influential wine guide, Gambero Rosso’s Italian Wines, has consistently given her flagship Teroldego wine – Granato – is highest rating of Tre Bicchieri, of three glasses.


Elisabetta Foradori’s grandfather, a Trentino lawyer, bought the estate in 1929, little more than a decade after the Italian-speaking Trentino and German-speaking Alto Adige were annexed by Italy from Austria following World War I. Her grandfather sold the wine in bulk, but her father, Roberto, started bottling in the 1960s. When he died of cancer, Elisabetta, his only child, was 11 years old. Eight years later, after studying oenology and agriculture, she took over the winery.

Before World War I, the region was part of Austria and most of the wine produced in the region was sold in Austria’s a capital. Business was good but that changed after World War II, when the region was annexed by Italy. When Elisabetta's grandfather bought the estate, it was in a state of bankruptcy. The estate has been in the hands of the Foradori family ever since.

Pictures: Opening the Wines - Myrtha Zierock Foradori and Pit Punda

Professor Rainer Zierock

Very early on in her career, Elisabetta Foradori met German Professor Rainer Zierock, who had a major impact both on her private and business life. In 1984, when Elisabetta Foradori began her winemaker career, Trentino was dominated by large wine co-operatives planting international varieties such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon was fashionable. Rainer Zierock pushed her not to go the international varieties route, but to keep and to focus on the local varieties, including Teroldego. The professional relationship led to marriage and three children, Emilio, Theo and Myrtha, who was our host, and, sadly, separation only five years later.

Professor Rainer Zierock died in 2009. He taught a various universities and worked as consultant in various countries. Following his relationship with Elisabetta Foradori, he established Weingut Ansitz Dolomytos Sacker in Unterinn am Ritten in the 1990s, together with Margret Hubmann. The small estate (2.7 hectares with 150 different grape varieties) was designed by Rainer Zierock, with a strong influence of Greek mythology.

Pictures: Winemaker Dinner with Azienda Agricola Foradori (Trentino, Italy) at SchauMahl in Frankfurt 


Granato is probably Elisabetta Foradori’s best known wine. We had it at the end of the dinner. When Elisabetta Foradori took over, Azienda Agricola Foradori’s vineyards were planted with Teroldego clones that were producing grapes for cheap, bulk wine. Elisabetta Foradori changed this. She decided to focus on quality rather than quantity. She replanted extensively with cuttings she selected from the older vines, changed to high density planting and slashed grape production. Every aspect of the new vineyards was geared to limit quantity and boost quality.

In 1986, she released the first vintage of her signature wine, Granato. Elisabetta Foradori used grapes from only the oldest vineyards and she aged the wine for nearly two years in French oak barrels.


In 2002, Elisabetta Foradori sprayed her first biodynamic preparations on her vineyards. She stopped fertilizing and tilling her vineyards, and instead started to encourage wild grass and weeds, which are mowed and raked into the soil. Based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, biodynamic agriculture and winemaking aim to strengthen ecosystems methods pegged to the phases of the moon.

Terra Cotta Amphoras

In 2008, Elisabetta Foradori started to ferment wine in terra cotta amphoras (large-scale vessels), a technique that dates to ancient Greek and Roman eras. It is one of the oldest winemaking methods in the world. Basically, you get the breathable qualities of wood without oak flavor. Today Elisabetta Foradori has about 150 upright amphoras in her underground cellar.

Single Vineyard Wines

In her most recent step, Elisabetta Foradori moved to single vineyard wines. She felt that with the biodynamic practice in the vineyard and the amphoras in the wine cellar, she had all the ingredients for making terroir-driven wines. Therefore she decided to make single vineyard wines from the Morei and Sgarzon vineyards – in amphoras. Morei and Sgarzon, both about 2 hectares, are located close to the Azienda Agricola Foradori’s vineyard. On the bottle, the vineyard names are printed in much larger letters than the grape variety Teroldego.

In addition, in 2007 Elisabetta Foradori took on an 8 hectares vineyard in poor condition just above Trento. The Fontanasanta vineyard was born, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc were uprooted and the local grape varieties Nosiola, Manzani Bianco and Teroldego planted.

In total, Elisabetta Foradori currently makes 4 single-vineyard wines in amphoras: A Manzoni Bianco und Nosiola from the Fontanasanta vineyard and 2 Teroldego wines from the Morei vineyard and the Sgarzon vineyard.

Myrtha Zierock Foradori and her Sibblings

Myrtha just finished her studies in Freiburg and joined Azienda Agricola Foradori on a full time basis.

Her oldest brother, Emilio, who has a university degree in philosophy also studied winemaking, is also back at the estate. He takes the lead the cellar.

Theo studied photojournalism and returns every year to help out at harvest time.

Myrtha’s youngest (half) brother (his father is Elisabetta Foradori long-time current partner, a Bolzano lawyer) is still in school.


Situated in a renovated Art Nouveau building, the interior of the restaurant schauMahl combines a cozy living room atmosphere with the world of One Thousand and One Nights, coupled with modern illumination. Intensive red light is coming out of a white corner. There are brick walls and furniture in a colonial style. In the window niche is a Buddha.

 Picture: Arriving at schauMahl

Host Pit Punda is well known in the Frankfurt gastro scene from his days at Emma Metzler, Cyrano and Zarges. I glanced at the wine list: About 100 bottles, mainly German and Spanish wines.

Chef Björn Andreas is at the helm of the team in kitchen. He was promoted from Souschef to Chef about a year ago when former Chef Christoph Kubenz left. Chef Björn Andreas has worked for top chefs, including Alfred Friedrich.

Picture: Chef Björn Andreas

Gault and Millau: Es mag sich auf den ersten Bissen nicht viel verändert haben, und doch gibt es deutliche Unterschiede in der gesamten Stilistik. Kubenz war sensibel und leise, Andreas ist forsch, seine Gerichte sind muskulös. 15 Gault Millau points.

Picture: Owner Stefan Lang, Pit Punda and Esra Egner

Open Table: Eher steigen die Offenbacher Kickers in die erste Liga auf, als dass es in der Stadt ein gutes Lokal gibt. Dieser Spruch gilt nicht mehr, das Schaumahl lässt staunen: Küche, Keller, Service und Atmosphäre – hier stimmt alles. Das etwas windschiefe Jugendstilbau aus dem 18. Jahrhundert wurde nicht schick geschminkt, sondern behielt seinen Charakter und strahlt Landhauscharme aus. Dazu passt die natürliche und lebensfrohe Art von Gastgeber Pit Punda und seiner Vize Esra Egner.

Winemaker Dinner

Aperitif: Casa Coste Piane Valdobbiadene Prosecco

Greetings from Chef Andreas

2014 Foradori Fontanansanta Manzoni Bianco
Mais, Chorizo Lauch Ziegenkäse, Focaccia

2013 Foradori Morei Teroldego
2010 Foradori Sgarzon Teroldego Magnum
Kalbsfilet, Miso Zucchini Estragon

2013 Foradori Fontanasanta Noisola
Zander, Gurke Dill, Speck, Kartoffel

2011 Foradori Teroldego
2007 Foradori Granato
Kalbsbäckchen, Spinat Rosinen Kapern

2011 Preciso Lambrusco Vigneti delle Dolomiti
Vacherin, Blini Apfel Kaviat

2008 Vigna del Volta Malvasia Passito
Ananas, Kokosnuss Bowne Walnuss

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