Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Visit and Tasting at Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss, Ahr – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
From Thursday, May 05, 2016 to Wednesday, May 11, 2016, we spent 7 days on the Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours, touring 5 German wine regions (Rheingau, Mittelrhein, Ahr, Mosel and Nahe), tasting fabulous wines, meeting world-renowned wine makers, visiting a top notch Sekt house, and delving deep into German history and culture. The group was small - there were 5 of us, including Annette and Christian Schiller.
I have provided aon overview here: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir
We stayed 1 night in the Ahr region - at the beautiful Steigenberger Hotel in Bad Neuenahr – and visited 2 producers: Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss and Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau. In addition, we had lunch at the Gutsschänke of the Meyer-Näkel, one of the best if not the best producer in the Ahr. With red wines accounting for 90% of the output in the Ahr, these visits were dominated by delicious Spätburgunder wines, in contrast to the white wine domination before (in the Mittelrhein and the Rheingau) and after (in the Mosel).
Hubertus Kunz was out host.
Red Wine Revolution in Germany
There is a red wine revolution going on in Germany and the world increasingly takes note of it. Of course, given its location, the red wines of Germany tend to be not like the fruity red wines we know from warmer countries, but lean and more elegant, with a lot of finesse. 30 years ago, the share of red wine in total German wine output was not more than 10 percent; in the international wine scene, people would not talk about German red wine. But this is changing. 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 to about 35 percent now in Germany and increasingly the international market takes note of what is happening in Germany.
Today, Germany is the third biggest producer of Pinot Noir (called Spätburgunder in Germany), after France and the US, with more planted than Australia and New Zealand combined.
The Ahr Region
With only 558 hectares the Ahr region is one of smaller of Germany's 13 regions. Despite its northern location (it is for example situated north of Mosel region) it primarily (almost 90%) produces red wines. It is believed that vines were cultivated in the Ahr valley already in Roman times, as is the case with nearby Mosel. The narrow Ahr river valley is responsible for the region's favored mesoclimate.
Situated between 50° and 51° north, Ahr is the world's most northern region dominated by red wine grapes. So far north, very good sites with a warm microclimate are needed to properly ripen red wine grapes, and the Ahr vineyards are said to have a "Mediterranean" microclimate. Most vineyards are located on terraced slopes facing southwest to southeast along the middle and lower portions of river Ahr, over a stretch of 25 kilometers.
Spätburgunder is the dominant grape variety of the Ahr wine region.
The Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss is the oldest wine cooperative world-wide. It was established in 1868 by 18 founding members. The coop grew fast; by 1881 it already had 141 members. Today, after two mergers with neighboring coops the membership is at 450 winegrowers who farm 150 hectares of the Ahr Region's total of 558 hectares of vineyards – among them vineyards is the most prominent sites of the Ahr valley. 60% is planted with Pinot Noir, 20% with Riesling, 5% with Frühburgunder (also known under the names Pinot Madeleine or Pinot Noir Précoce) and 15% with a variety of other grapes. The coop produces 1,3 million bottles of wine, annually.
US Importer: Traubenhaus
The wines of Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss are available in the US through Traubenhaus, an importer of German wines based in Texas.
Traubenhaus: Since its establishment in 1868, the Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr is not only the oldest winery cooperative in the world, but also one of the most innovative producers in German red wine vinification. It started as a means for the small boutique producers of the Ahr Valley to cope with hard times and today it works with over 400 member growers and a total 145 vineyard hectares. The Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr proudly produces around 1.3 million bottles of premier wine a year and can cellar 1.8 million liters of wine in its historic cellar.
The Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr grows mainly the spätburgunder (/shpāt-bur-gūn-dur/) (pinot noir) grape varietal with about 60% of its plantings. Its next largest planting is riesling with about 20%. Other important varietals for the Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr include frühburgunder (pinot madeleine), grauburgunder (pinot gris), portugieser, domina and müller-thurgau (rivaner).
The Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr operates in the German wine region called the Ahr Valley around the two villages that give it its name, Mayschoss and Altenahr, with its cellar and main facilities being in Mayschoss. The Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr is a leading winery in Germany with numerous prestigious awards as recent as being ranked 8th in the top 100 German wineries in 2013 by the German national agency DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft).
German Wine and Food in Texas: A German Wine and Food Dinner in Austin with Justin Bryan, Traubenhaus, USA/ Germany
What we Tasted
Evening: At Steigenberger Hotel in Bad Neuenahr
The Steigenberger Hotel in Bad Neuenahr is a 4 ½ star hotel that combines the graciousness of the past with modern comforts of today. Excellent spa facilities using the hot springs of the spa town Bad Neuenahr and the location at the Kurpark near the banks of the Ahr River make this hotel very special. The evening was free to explore the charming spa town which is famous for its hot springs or use the spa facilities of the hotel.
Postings: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)
Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir
Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger – Germany-North 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch and Tour: Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Bourgogne in Riesling Land: Tasting at Chat Sauvage in Johannisberg, Rheingau, with Winemaker Michael Städter – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Ralp and Bernd Schönleber - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut August Kesseler in Assmanshausen, with Winemaker Simon Batarseh – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Weingut Matthias Müller in Spay, Mittelrhein, with Johannes and Matthias Müller - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Visit and Tasting at Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss, Ahr
Tasting Pinot Noir at Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr with Owners/ Winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten
Tasting at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel
Tasting at Weingut Jos. Jos. Prüm in Bernkastel-Wehlen, Mosel, with Frau Prüm
The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany
Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany
Tasting at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser, Mosel, with Thomas Haag
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken in Saarburg, Saar with Hanno Zilliken
Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe: Remembering Klaus Peter Wodartz' Ente in Wiesbaden
Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe
Dinner with Wine Pairing at the new Wine Tavern of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Bingen, Rheinhessen, with Stefan Rumpf
Tasting at Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim, Nahe, with Martin Tesch
Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang in Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps