Thursday, December 1, 2016

The New Germany: Red, Sparkling and Dry - Tasting at the American Wine Society 2016 National Conference in Los Angeles, USA, led by Annette Schiller

Picture: The New Germany: Red, Sparkling and Dry - Tasting at the American Wine Society 2016 National Conference in Los Angeles, USA

Annette Schiller, President of ombiasy PR and WineTours and member of the American Wine Society, led two German wine tastings at the 2016 Annual Meetings of the American Wine Society in the Los Angeles area: The New Germany - Red, Dry and Sparkling and The New Classification of German Wines: The VDP Classification.

This posting covers the first tasting. It is part of a series of postings related to the American Wine Society National Conference 2016 in California:

The 2016 American Wine Society National Conference in California, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens

The New Germany: Red, Dry, Sparkling - Annette Schiller, President of Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours

The New Classification of German Wines: The VDP Classification - Annette Schiller, President of Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours

The Insider’s View of Charles Krug Winery - Peter Mondavi Jr., Co-Proprietor, Charles Krug Winery
Bordeaux: the Grands Crus Classes 2013 Vintage - Paul Wagner, President of Balzac Communications Marketing

Château Climens, Premier Cru Barsac and Savory Dishes…who knew? - Bérénice Lurton, Owner of Château Climens & Tony Lawrence, Global Food & Wine Pairing Specialist

The 2016 American Wine Society Annual Meetings took place on November 2 - 5, 2016, at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa, South of Los Angeles. More than 400 members from all over the USA came to this 3-day event, filled with tastings, seminars and presentations.

Picture: The 2016 American Wine Society Annual Meetings

Prominent participants included: Joel Peterson, Founder of Ravenswood Winery; Bérénice Lurton, Owner of Château Climens; Peter Mondavi Jr., Co-Proprietor, Charles Krug Winery, Paul Wagner, President of Balzac Communications Marketing and Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Vineyard.

Pictures: Selfies at the 2016 American Wine Society National Conference with Peter Mondavi Jr., Co-Proprietor, Charles Krug Winery, Bérénice Lurton, Owner/ Winemaker, Château Climens in Bordeaux, Paul Wagner, President of Balzac Communications Marketing and Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Vineyard.

Pictures: Peter Mondavi Jr. at the ombiasy WineTours Booth

The New Germany: Red, Dry, Sparkling - Annette Schiller, President of Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours

Annette presented 2 red wines, 1 Sekt (sparkling wine) and 3 dry white wines from 6 wine regions in Germany.

2011 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Spätburgunder trocken, Gutswein, Pfalz
2015 Weingut Schnaitmann, Lemberger Steinwiege trocken, Gutswein, Württemberg
2013 Riesling Sekt, Extra Brut, Sekt- und Weingut F.B.Schönleber, Rheingau
2015 Winzerhof Stahl, Edelstahl, Sonnenstuhl Sylvaner, trocken, Franken
2015 Weingut Schätzel, Nierstein Riesling ReinSchiefer, trocken, Ortswein, Rheinhessen
2014 Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe, Kloster Heiligkreutz, Weissburgunder trocken, Sachsen

Annette Schiller led a similar tasting - with more wines - at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) a week before. See: The New Germany – Red, Dry, Sparkling: German Wine Society Tasting, led by Annette Schiller, at Restaurant Old Europe in Washington DC

Pictures: Getting Ready

Germany is increasingly becoming known as a serious red wine producer; Germany is the #3 producer world-wide of Pinot-Noir (= Spätburguder).

Germans have always been obsessed with sparkling wines: 1 out of 4 sparklers produced in the world is consumed in Germany; and Germany is home to the second largest sparkling wine producer world-wide.

Germany is known for its Rieslings. Yes, it is the #1 Riesling producer world-wide, but it is also the #1 Pinot-Blanc (Weissburgunder) and #2 Pinot-Gris (Grauburgunder) producer. And, today, most of the white wines produced in Germany are dry.

Pictures: The New Germany: Red, Sparkling and Dry - Tasting at the American Wine Society 2016 National Conference in Los Angeles, USA

All presented winemakers, Annette knows personally. She has visited all of them on one of the wine tours to Germany (Germany-East, Germany-South and Germany-Nord). Annette shared memories from these visits.

Picture: The Wines

RED

30 or 40 years ago, German red wine accounted for only about 15 percent of German wine output. Today, we are well over 35 percent. And not only the vineyard area planted with red grapes has expanded dramatically, but also the quality has improved considerably. Today, German red wine can compete with any red wine in the world, I believe. As a result, German red wines are increasingly appearing in the international wine market. Of course, given its location, they tend to be not like the fruity red wines we know from warmer countries, but lean and more elegant, with a lot of finesse.

2011 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Spätburgunder trocken, Gutswein, Pfalz 

Stuart Pigott:  The estate of the Rebholz family is one of the modern legends of the Pfalz. Since the end of World War II, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, which is now following the biodynamic winemaking approach, is on an upward trend, with a strong innovative push. Its most recent innovative phase was the development of the ultra-premium Grosses Gewächs wines of the grape varieties Riesling, Pinot Blanc (white wines) and Pinot Noir (for red wines), beginning in the end of the 1990s. Today, the Rebholz Grosses Gewächs wines belong to the best the Pfalz and Germany has to offer in this category.

Picture: 2011 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Spätburgunder trocken, Gutswein, Pfalz

Picture: Annette Schiller, David Schildknecht and Hannsjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz. in New York. We will Taste a Weingut Ökonomierat Rebhalz at the Friday Session. See also: Tasting at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz – Germany-South by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

2015 Weingut Schnaitmann, Lemberger Steinwiege trocken, Gutswein, Württemberg

More wine is consumed in Württemberg (per capita) than anywhere else in Germany - actually twice as much as in the rest of Germany. The German poet Friedrich von Schiller wrote already several centuries ago: “A Württemberger without wine--is that a real Württemberger?” Yet, the wines of Württemberg are very difficult to find outside of Germany. This is changing slowly, as the world is discovering the outstanding German red wines.

Picture: 2015 Weingut Schnaitmann, Lemberger Steinwiege trocken, Gutswein, Württemberg

Picture: Tasting with Rainer Schnaitmann at Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann in Fellbach, Württemberg

Picture: Vineyard Tour with Rainer Schnaitmann, Weingut Schnaitmann, Württemberg

See also: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Rainer Schnaitmann at Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann in Fellbach, Württemberg – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

SEKT

Not well known, Germany is one of the largest sparkling wine markets in the world. One of four bottles of sparkling wine produced in the world is consumed in Germany. Sparkling wine produced in Germany is called Sekt. Sekt is made in all German wine regions, both in the méthode traditionnelle and charmat method.

Sekt is made in all German wine regions, both in the méthode traditionnelle and charmat method. There are three groups of Sekt makers: (i) large and (ii) smaller Sekt houses, who only make Sekt and (iii) winemakers, who make predominantly wine, but complement their wine selection by a few Sekts. The Sekts produced by large Sekt estates tend to be in the demy-sweet and sweet range, while the Sekts of smaller estates and the wine makers are mostly in the brut and extra brut range. In addition to Sekt, Germany produces semi-sparkling wine, which is called Perlwein. But the production of Perlwein is small.

2013 Riesling Sekt, Extra Brut, Sekt- und Weingut F.B.Schönleber, Rheingau

Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber is one the youngest member of the VDP, the association of about 200 elite winemakers, in the Rheingau. Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber is not only a producer of world class Sekt, but also has an impressive portfolio of still wines. In addition, Wein- and Sektgut F.B. Schönleber is part of a larger complex, which also includes a hotel and a restaurant.

 
Picture: 2013 Riesling Sekt, Extra Brut, Sekt- und Weingut F.B.Schönleber, Rheingau

Picture: Dinner with Ralf Schönleber, Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau

See: Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Ralph and Bernd Schönleber - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

WHITE and DRY

When you travel outside of Germany and check the wine lists of restaurants and retail stores in terms of German wines, you easily get the impression that Germans are hooked on sweet wine. It is the fruity-sweet Riesling style that is so popular in the world and that many equate with German wine and the German’s preference for wine. But this is faulty. Germany drinks dry. Like the rest of the world.

I estimate that 95% of the wine consumed in Germany is dry and sweet-style wines are niche wines in Germany. This is pretty much in line with the consumption patterns in the rest of the world. But the delicious low alcohol, fruity-sweet Rieslings that German winemakers are able to produce, are unique in the world and popular everywhere.

2015 Winzerhof Stahl, Edelstahl, Sonnenstuhl Sylvaner, trocken, Franken

With 3/5 grapes in the Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2016, Christian L. Stahl, Winzerhof Stahl, belongs to the elite of winemakers in Germany. Winzerhof Stahl is in Franken. Like so many other colleagues from this region, Christian L. Stahl’s Franken wines are virtually unknown outside of Germany.

Within Germany, however, Christian has shown a very strong performance. When Christian Stahl took over the winery of his parents about 10 years ago, the vineyard area totaled 2 hectares. Within a decade, he has gone to 20 hectares. When Christian Stahl took over, the winery was not even mentioned in Germany’s wine guides, like the Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland. Within a decade, he has gone from 0/5 to 3/5 grapes. Christian got the second grape in 2012 and the third grape in 2014. In 2012, Christian Stahl was Falstaff Winemaker Newcomer of the Year 2012. See here: Best German Wines and Winemakers - Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies 2012

A year ago, Christian decided to start exporting to the US and tours to Washington DC, Chicago and New York in 2016 to launch his wines into the American market.

Picture: 2015 Winzerhof Stahl, Edelstahl, Sonnenstuhl Sylvaner, trocken, Franken

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller’s Summer of Riesling 2016 in McLean, Virginia, with German Winemaker Christian L. Stahl. See also: Welcome to the USA: Christian L. Stahl from Winzerhof Stahl in Franken, Germany

2015 Weingut Schätzel, Nierstein Riesling ReinSchiefer, trocken, Ortswein, Rheinhessen

Since Kai Schätzel took over the winery from his parents in 2007, we have seen a remarkable upswing. I was very lucky to be able to follow this amazing development closely. Inter alia, I celebrated my 60th birthday at Weingut Schätzel and 2 of the recent Germany Tours by ombiasy WineTours included a visit of this up-and-coming estate. In the latest development, Weingut Schätzel joined the VDP and started to export to the USA in 2016.

Picture: 2015 Weingut Schätzel, Nierstein Riesling ReinSchiefer, trocken, Ortswein, Rheinhessen

Picture: Christian Schiller Tasting with Kai Schätzel at Weingut Schätzel.

See: A New Fixture in the Reemerging Red Slope of Nierstein - Visiting Kai Schaetzel and his Weingut Schaetzel in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany

2014 Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe, Kloster Heiligkreutz, Weissburgunder trocken, Sachsen

Annette Schiller: This region tickles all your senses with its unique voluptuous baroque architecture, a rich history, its wealth of art, and love of all the good things in life.

What it is not so well-known for is its wine. Bordering Poland and the Czech Republic, Sachsen is one of Germany’s small wine regions (360 hectares) and disappeared from the wine map during the communist period.

Picture: 2014 Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe, Kloster Heiligkreutz, Weissburgunder trocken, Sachsen

During the communist times from 1945 until reunification in 1989, wine production was nationalized, and winemaking took place in huge VEB (volkseigener Betrieb / company owned by the people) wineries. The output, the bottle count was imposed on the VEB by the State, and therefore quality could not play a major role. After the iron curtain came down, family wineries were founded, and the winemakers pursued quality with a vengeance.

The three main grape varieties are Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and Weissburgunder but many others are grown in smaller quantities, including Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder, Roter Traminer, Kerner, Dornfelder, Goldriesling, Scheurebe and a rarity, Dunkelfelder. The wines are mostly dry (trocken). Most of the wine produced in Sachsen is consumed in the region.

Picture: Wine Pairing Dinner at Lippe'sches Gutshaus, Schloss Proschwitz, with Prinz zur Lippe

See: Dining with Prinz zur Lippe, Owner of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, at the Lippe’sches Gutshaus - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Thanks

A big thank you to all the sponsors:

Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Pfalz (Rudi Wiest Selections)
Weingut Schnaitmann, Württemberg (Rudi Wiest Selections)
Sekt- und Weingut F.B.Schönleber, Rheingau
Winzerhof Stahl, Edelstahl, Franken
Weingut Schätzel, Rheinhessen
Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe, Sachsen

Picture: The Sponsors

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller with Rudi Wiest, Rudi Wiest Selections, in Mainz. Rudi Wiest Selections sponsored the Rainer Schnaitmann and the Ökonomierat Rebholz wines. See: 2016 VDP Trade Fair Weinbörse - Vintage 2015 - in Mainz: Schiller’s Report

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Heads up for the 2017 Tours - to Germany and France - by ombiasy WineTours

Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Steffen Christmann (Weingut A. Christmann) and Wilhelm Weil (Weingut Robert Weil) Presented the New Wine Classification of the VDP, Germany

Approaches to Classifying German Wine: The Standard Approach (the Law of 1971), the VDP Approach and the Zero Classification Approach

New Developments in German Wine - Annette Schiller at the German Wine Society in Philadelphia, USA

The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA

The New Germany – Red, Dry, Sparkling: German Wine Society Tasting, led by Annette Schiller, at Restaurant Old Europe in Washington DC

Morton’s Steakhouse Presented Peter Mondavi Jr. at a Charles Krug Winemaker Dinner

Visiting and Tasting at Château Climens, with Owner Bérénice Lurton, Bordeaux, France 

Dining with Prinz zur Lippe, Owner of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, at the Lippe’sches Gutshaus - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Rainer Schnaitmann at Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann in Fellbach, Württemberg – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Ralph and Bernd Schönleber - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

The 2016 American Wine Society National Conference in California, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens

Tasting at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz – Germany-South by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Welcome to the USA: Christian L. Stahl from Winzerhof Stahl in Franken, Germany

A New Fixture in the Reemerging Red Slope of Nierstein - Visiting Kai Schaetzel and his Weingut Schaetzel in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany

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