Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Tasting at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser with Owner/ Winemaker Thomas Haag – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
Lieser is a small wine village on the bank of the Mosel river and its landmark is a mighty slate castle, once belonging to the Barons of Schorlemer.
In 1904, Clemens Baron of Schorlemer, Secretary of Agriculture in the Prussian government of Emperor William II, built Weingut Schloss Lieser next to the castle and produced some of the greatest wines of the Mosel region.
Today, Weingut Schloss Lieser is owned and managed by the gifted winemaker Thomas Haag. It ranks among Germany‘s top producers.
Weingut Schloss Lieser
Thomas Haag has been the winemaker at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser since 1992 and its owner since 1997. Schloss Lieser – a mighty castle – is the landmark of Lieser, a tiny, quaint Mosel village, built in 1875 by Baron von Schorlemer. Weingut Schloss Lieser was founded in 1904 and produced some of the greatest wines in the Mosel region. In the second half of the 1900s, however, the estate passed through several hands and went into decline.
Thomas Haag entered the picture in 1992, when he was appointed General Manager of Weingut Schloss Lieser. In 1997, Thomas Haag purchased the estate out of bankruptcy. From then on, Weingut Schloss Lieser went only one way: upwards. Today, Weingut Schloss Lieser is again one of the great estates in the Mosel region, and in all of Germany.
Thomas Haag is the son of winemaker Wilhelm Haag (who was Germany’s Winemaker of the Year 1994) and the brother of winemaker Oliver Haag. He grew up on the famous Weingut Fritz Haag in Brauneberg. The first record of Weingut Fritz Haag is from 1605, with the Haag family having continuous ownership since that time. Wilhelm Haag was in charge of Weingut Fritz Haag until 2005, when he retired and handed over to Thomas Haag’s younger brother, Oliver Haag.
Thomas Haag was the Winemaker of the Year - Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015. In addition, Thomas Haag got the Best Riesling Spätlese Award of the Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015. Last, but not least, Weingut Schloss Lieser was promoted to the 5 (out of 5) grapes group of (11) winemakers in the Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015.
Weingut Schloss Lieser produces 8,000 cases and is a member of the VDP. 60% of the production is exported to 45 countries. A bit less than 50% is produced in a dry-style.
Thomas Haag, Weingut Schloss Lieser, Germany’s Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015
Thomas Haag: With an average yield of 55 hectolitres per hectare we attend to a consistent reduction of the yield to ensure the high quality standards that characterize our wines. Using a strict selection process and exclusively manual harvesting that spans across several cycles, only fully ripened grapes will be harvested. Subsequently, a speedy but extremely gentle soft pressing of the grapes takes place. The carefully cleared must is stored according to their different characters in barrels of wood or stainless steel tank. Here, a slow fermentation will kick-start under cool temperatures using entirely natural yeast. When the favored degree of remaining natural residual sugar is attained the traditional decanting is performed. That means the young wine gets separated from the yeast. The remaining residual sugar is consequently an original component of the primordial must so that every aspect of individuality remains.
Thomas Haag: The estate Schloss Lieser cultivates a total area of 13 hectares, the majority of is located at the top sites of Lieser Niederberg Helden. Additional top sites are the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr and Brauneberger Juffer.
Thomas Haag: Starting from scratch by buying the winery without any client base and bottled wine in 1992, we faced the challenge to rehabilitate the winery, its buildings and vineyards: Now we have been rewarded! The Gault & Millau Wine Guide honored us ‘Wine Maker of the Year 2015’ and rewarded our hard work with the 5th grape, the highest category which includes only 11 top-wineries throughout Germany.
US Importer Rudi Wiest on Weingut Schloss Lieser
Lieser’s landmark is the mighty castle, Schloss Lieser, built in 1875 by Baron von Schorlemer. The Schloss Lieser estate was founded in 1904 and went on to produce some of the greatest wines in the Mosel region. The von Schorlemers started to lose interest and in the 1970s with several different owners the estate went into decline. In 1992, Thomas Haag was appointed General Manager and Cellar Master by yet another owner. There was no inventory and there were no customers. Thomas immediately served notice by producing superb wines in 1992 and 1993. In 1997 the Haags purchased the estate out of bankruptcy and Thomas took command as the new owner. With the experience of working with his father, the great Wilhelm Haag, and his studies at Geisenheim it didn’t take long for Thomas to bring the estate back to its former glory. It is today again one of the great estates in the Mosel region. Thomas is a believer in “wild” yeast fermentation; he produces superb fruity style and noble sweet wines but also some of the greatest dry Rieslings in the region.
The estate has ownership in the following great vineyards:
Lieser Niederberg Helden: decomposed, softer slate, deeper soiled (good water maintenance)
Brauneberger Juffer: decomposed devon slate.
Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr: decomposed devon slate; it is the “filet” piece of the Juffer and benefits from its closeness to the Mosel River.
The Schloss Lieser Estate produces 8,000 cases and is a member of the VDP.
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Riesling Kabinett trocken
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, HELDEN Spätlese trocken
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Riesling feinherb
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Juffer Kabinett VDP.Grosse Lage
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett VDP.Grosse Lage
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Niederberger Helden Spätlese VDP.Grosse Lage
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Juffer Sonnenuhr Spätlese VDP.Grosse Lage
2015 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Niederberger Helden Auslese VDP.Grosse Lage
1999 Weingut Schloss Lieser – Thomas Haag, Niederberger Helden Spätlese VDP.Grosse Lage
Thanks Thomas for a wonderful couple of hours with you and your wines.
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
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