Friday, November 16, 2018

Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague on German Wine - A View from New York City, USA

Picture: The Table of Hannsjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Pfalz, at the Gala Dinner of the Rieslingfeier 2016 in New York City, with Annette Schiller, David Schildknecht and Hannsjörg Rebholz. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

Lettie Teague is an American author and currently a wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year, she published an excellent three-part series on German wine in the Wall Street Journal.

I am re-issuing the 3 articles, with my pictures of some of the winemakers mentioned in Lettie's articles:

The Wine Destination Only the Pros Know

Beautiful scenery, outstanding wines, a warm welcome from the winemakers themselves: There’s so much to love in Germany’s Mosel Valley, a region largely undiscovered by American travelers

OENO TRIP Germany’s Mosel Valley offers abundant charms and world-class Riesling to those in the know.

By Lettie Teague
June 27, 2018 11:36 a.m. ET

WHEN I MENTIONED to friends I was traveling to the Mosel region of Germany, invariably they asked one of two questions: “Where else are you going?” and “Why?”

American wine drinkers don’t visit German wine regions the same way they do those in Italy or France. And yet the Mosel is one of the oldest, most beautiful wine regions in the world, home to small, charming villages with half-timbered houses and spectacular Riesling vineyards.

Some of the vineyards are so steep they’re practically vertical. “You learn to dig in your heels,” said Johannes Selbach, owner of Selbach Oster winery, as we stood at the edge of the vertiginous Zeltinger Sonnenuhr vineyard, above the town of Zeltingen. Mr. Selbach lives there, in a generations-old waterfront house that’s regularly inundated when the Mosel river floods.

Mr. Selbach produces some of the region’s greatest Rieslings, and his family is one of several who have been growing grapes in the Mosel for hundreds of years. Unlike Tuscany or Bordeaux or, increasingly, Burgundy, the Mosel is almost entirely populated by small, family-owned wineries, operated by the producers themselves.

Foreign investors are virtually nonexistent here, but should one decide to buy a vineyard I’d recommend the place where I spent some time recently, the Middle Mosel or “Mittelmosel.” Most visitors there, I was told, are English, Belgian, German or Dutch. Ernst Loosen of Dr. Loosen estate believes part of what keeps Americans away are German wine labels, crowded with too much information. “People say, I like your wines but don’t explain them to me, it’s too complicated,” said the high-energy, fast-talking Mr. Loosen, waving his hands.

The region’s wines are also too often (mis)perceived as sweet. Though Mosel wines are actually made in styles ranging from exceedingly sweet to bone dry, perhaps the greatest expression of the Mosel can be found in its Kabinett Rieslings, according to Mr. Selbach. These are the lightest, freshest and most delicate—fruity with a beautiful balancing acidity. They’re also refreshingly low in alcohol (often around 8%). “You can drink a bottle by yourself,” he said.

Picture: Wine Tasting at Weingut Selbach-Oster in Zeltingen, Mosel, with Johannes Selbach - Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014). See: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Selbach-Oster in Zeltingen, Mosel, with Johannes Selbach – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

When I visited, Mr. Selbach received me on the ground floor of his house. (He recently opened a tasting room about a mile downstream from their house that is open during business hours, no appointment necessary; Gänsfelder Str. 20, 54492 Zeltingen-Rachtig). Visitors who make their way to the Dr. Loosen estate find an imposing, four-story, slate house just outside Bernkastel-Kues, the Mosel’s most famous (and touristy) town. Because Mr. Loosen makes wine in other parts of Germany as well as in Washington state, in conjunction with Chateau Ste. Michelle, his winery is better known and more visited than most.

I met Mr. Loosen on the second floor of his house for a tasting of sweet wines as well as the dry ones he introduced into the portfolio in 2008. The latter account for 30% of production today. As we began to taste, he pointed out the window to an impressive structure across the river in Wehlen, the home of an equally famous producer, Joh. Jos. Prüm—my next stop.

Pictures: Ernst Loosen and Annette and Christian Schiller in Washington DC. See: The Dry and Ultra-premium Dry GG and GG Reserve Rieslings of Weingut Dr. Loosen – Ernie Loosen in Washington DC

Mr. Loosen is related to the Prüm family on his mother’s side. “Say hello to Katharina,” he said. Katharina Prüm recently took over management of the 12th-century estate from her father, Dr. Manfred Prüm. He made the Prüm estate one of the most highly regarded Mosel names, known for the purity and ageability of its wines. Its Kabinett Rieslings are famously long-lived.

The Loosens and the Prüms make wine from some of the most famous Mosel Riesling vineyards, including Wehlener Sonnenuhr, which faces the town of Wehlen and features a large 19th-century sundial. It’s one of several “sundial” vineyards—”Sonnenuhr” means “sundial”—on the sunny side of the Mosel. Exposure matters in this cool, rainy region where hail isn’t uncommon and ripening is a perpetual challenge.

Multiple producers own small plots in these vaunted vineyards, with their individual holdings identified by their names or simply their winery colors painted on the tops of stakes among the vines. (Mr. Selbach noted that some wine lovers have made off with the name-marked poles as souvenirs.) Unlike Burgundy’s grand-cru plots, these great Mosel vineyards are remarkably accessible. It’s possible to move from one town to the next simply by walking through vineyards, as both tourists and residents often do.

Some Mosel vineyards, such as the famed Bernkasteler Doctor, are nearly 100 years old, while others are quite new. There has been a good deal of planting in the region of late, particularly of non-Riesling grapes. The day after my visit, Mr. Selbach was planting Pinot Noir, which has become more common in the Mosel recently thanks to a warming trend. “Nothing has changed in the Mosel,” he said. But then he allowed, “The climate has gotten better.”

The weather was certainly warm the week of my late-April visit, which happened to coincide with spargelzeit (asparagus season). This season is short—April-June—so every restaurant around had at least one and often two or three asparagus dishes on the menu. When I arrived at the Zeltinger Hof Gasthaus des Rieslings, the modest but charming hotel where I stayed, I found the proprietor, Markus Reis, laboring over a large pile of asparagus, shaving the thick stalks down to a more manageable size. (I found him repeating the task at breakfast time the following morning and again later that day.)

Mr. Reis is not only the owner of the hotel and operator of a Volkswagen microbus advertising his wine tours; he is also de facto wine director of his hotel’s restaurant. A fan of Mosel Riesling, he’s accumulated quite a few bottles in the cellars of the buildings he’s purchased and renovated over the years.

His wine list includes a remarkably deep selection of old Mosel Rieslings, some dating back more than 100 years, and up to 150 wines by the glass at any given time. Up to now, the only Americans who have stayed at his hotel have been in the wine business, but Mr. Reis is optimistic that will change. “The market for Mosel wine isn’t big,” he said, “but I think it’s coming.”

Picture: Annette Schiller and Manfred Prüm

Picture: Christian Schiller with Katharina Pruem at Wegmans in Virginia. See also: JJ Pruem Goes Supermarket: Meeting Katharina Pruem and Tasting the Incredible JJ Pruem Wines at Wegmans

RIESLING RECONNAISSANCE // Where to Sip, Stay and Dine in The Mosel

Joh. Jos. Prüm

In the village of Wehlen, this estate, run by the elegant Katharina Prüm, is among the region’s most famous. At this and the other wineries listed here, an appointment for visits is necessary. Uferallee 19, 54470 Bernkastel-Kues, 49-6531-3091

Weingut Dr. Loosen

The Loosen estate webpage notes that Ernst Loosen travels frequently and may not be able to meet you, but the welcome will still be warm at this stately slate home. St. Johannishof, 54470 Bernkastel-Kues, drloosen.com

Weingut Selbach Oster

Few winemakers are more charming or welcoming than Johannes Selbach. In addition to great Rieslings, he might share a taste of the wild boar he hunts in his vineyards. Uferallee 23, 54492 Zeltingen-Rachtig, selbach-oster.de

Zeltinger Hof Gasthaus des Rieslings

This three-star hotel has a range of rooms (ask for the Spätburgunder), one of the best wine lists in Germany and a proprietor passionate about wine. Kurfürstenstraße 76, 54492 Zeltingen-Rachtig, zeltinger-hof.de

Bistro-Bar Remise

In a lovely hotel on the site of a 17th-century winery, this charming bistro offers regional fare and a well-priced wine list big on Mosel Riesling. Weinromantikhotel Richtershof, Hauptstraße 81-83, 54486 Mülheim, weinromantikhotel.com

Email Lettie at wine@wsj.com

The Pro Move? Order the German Riesling

Versatile, food-friendly, often a great value: just a few of the reasons sommeliers recommend Riesling. So why aren’t more American wine drinkers taking heed?

By Lettie Teague
July 5, 2018 4:47 p.m. ET

The second in a three-part series on German wine.

Germany and Riesling. Riesling and Germany. Though this grape is cultivated all over the world, no country is more closely connected to its success or failure, shame or fame. It’s the signature white grape of Germany and the source of its greatest white wines. And yet German Riesling is still one of the most misunderstood wines in the world.

The biggest myth: All German Rieslings are sweet. Decades ago, lots of lousy sweet wine from Germany did flood the American market. Not so today. “Germans really drink about 99.9% dry wines,” said German wine importer Stephen Bitterolf of New York-based vom Boden wines. German producers are making dry Rieslings in response to this demand, and more and more are exported to the United States.

There may be no group more dedicated to fostering a better appreciation of German Riesling than sommeliers—though their love may occasionally eclipse their fiscal good sense. “I think sommeliers tend to buy an unrealistic amount of Riesling,” said Michaël Engelmann, wine director of the Modern in New York. About 190 of the 2,800 wines on his list are currently Rieslings, mostly German—with another 60 on hand that are not listed. In Mr. Engelmann’s defense, Riesling is an incredibly versatile grape that can be made in just about any style, from exceedingly sweet to bone-dry and even sparkling.

To combat misperceptions regarding sweetness, Collin Moody, wine director and general manager of Income Tax restaurant in Chicago, focuses on Rieslings from Saar, a part of the Mosel near the city of Trier. “The wines there have a dry tradition and they’re higher in acidity,” he said. One of the uncontested stars of the Saar, Florian Lauer of Peter Lauer winery, makes dry Rieslings ranging from self-described “village” to “grand cru” wines that have achieved quite a cult following.

Key Riesling regions in Germany include the Mosel (as described in last week’s column), Pfalz, Nahe, Rheingau and, to a lesser extent, Rheinhessen. Climate, exposure and soil type differ markedly from one region to the next. In the Mosel, the climate is cool, the vineyards are steep, the soils, blue or red slate; the wines range from sweet to bone dry. The different styles of Mosel Riesling tend to be more delicate than Rieslings from the Pfalz, which are powerful, higher in alcohol and more often dry. The warmer Rheinhessen region southeast of Mosel is a gentle landscape of rolling hills, as opposed to the steep hillsides of the Mosel or some vineyards in neighboring Nahe. Part of Rheinhessen until 1971, Nahe is a small region that enjoys an outsize fame largely thanks to Helmut Dönnhoff.

Pictures: An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

This winemaker’s (mostly dry) Rieslings are some of the best in the world. His Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling, a wine much coveted by collectors, is a good example of how astonishingly affordable great German Riesling can be compared to counterparts from Burgundy and Bordeaux. The retail price of the 2016 vintage is around $61, while other superb Dönnhoff wines like the dazzling 2016 Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Kahlenberg Riesling Trocken Nahe go for half as much.

Sommeliers also love German Riesling for its effortless fit with food. Every sommelier I spoke with cited general Riesling-friendly categories (chicken/fish/vegetables/spicy food) and also mentioned specific dishes: scallops with kaffir lime, hamachi tartare, seared prawns with a grapefruit garnish.

Of course, before any pairing can be made, they must first persuade customers to try Riesling. Chaylee Priete, wine director of the Slanted Door Group of restaurants in the Bay Area, has a wine list long on German Riesling. When customers say they don’t want Riesling because it’s “too sweet,” she gives them tastes of four different wines, one of which is always a Riesling. Half the time that’s the wine they pick, she said. Ms. Priete also does “a sneaky thing with the Spätlese”—getting diners to try a sweeter Riesling style with a spicy dish without telling them about the wine. More often than not they love the pairing.

Mr. Moody wins over customers with words. “Crisp” and “limey” provoke a good response from fearful drinkers, while “off dry,” he noted, tends to play badly. Perhaps it sounds too close to sweet, or people simply don’t know what it means.

After cajoling friends to drink German Riesling in recent weeks, I can sympathize with sommeliers. For instance, when I brought a couple of bottles of German Riesling to the BYOB Divina Ristorante in Caldwell, N.J., owner Mario Carlino dismissed them out of hand. “Too sweet,” he (predictably) said.

I insisted he try the two wines, a 2016 Peter Lauer Riesling “Senior” Faß 6 ($28) that was delicious and juicy with just a touch of sweetness, and the 2016 Peter Lauer Riesling “Saarfeilser” Faß 13 ($54), whose mouthwatering acidity and mineral edge called to mind Chenin, a grape Mario loves. But he failed to note the commonality. In fact, he complained that the wines’ stone-fruit aromas were too much. They “overlaid all the other flavors,” he said. I persuaded him to try again, but Mario remained resolutely Riesling recalcitrant.

There are many Marios out there. When I asked Andy Myers, beverage director for José Andrés Think Food Group, which of the markets he works in across the U.S. is the most enthusiastic Riesling town, he laughed. “Nowhere is a Riesling town,” he said. That doesn’t stop Mr. Myers from buying lots of German Riesling—wines he is happy enough to drink himself even if customers continue to cling to old, misguided notions about the grape. “You don’t sell Riesling,” he said. “You just have Riesling.”

OENOFILE // Rieslings Worth Having, From Slightly Sweet to Very Dry

1. 2016 Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Kahlenberg Riesling Trocken Nahe, $30 Helmut Dönnhoff is the putative dean of dry German Riesling. This one, possessed of a dazzling acidity and a firm mineral finish, is a brilliant entry-level example of the Dönnhoff style.

2. 2015 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Graacher Dompropst Riesling Alte Reben Mosel, $25 With a lovely floral nose and a fairly full body, this Riesling from the ripe 2015 vintage finishes tangy and off dry. Compulsively drinkable, made from old vines in a great vineyard.

3. 2016 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Mosel, $28 A delightful wine from a legendary estate and a classic Mosel Kabinett: light-bodied and fruity with a crisp acidity. Ideal for a summer day—or in 20 years, as Prüm wines are famously long-lived.

4. 2015 Selbach Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Feinherb “Ur” Alte Reben Mosel, $25 The great Johannes Selbach produces wines from sweet to bone dry. This off-dry wine from very old vines is ripe and luscious with floral and citrus notes and a racy acidity.

5. 2016 Peter Lauer Riesling “Saarfeilser” Faß 13, $54 Winemaker Florian Lauer has staked a claim in the Saar with some of the most thrilling dry Rieslings in the region. This wine is no exception. Marked by taut acidity and a long mineral finish, it’s Saar meets Chablis.

Pictures: Touring the Rüdesheimer Berg with Johannes Leitz. See: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

How German Winemakers Are Quietly Conquering the World

While they wait for their native varieties to catch on globally, they’re priming the export market with stellar expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and other international favorites

By Lettie Teague
Updated July 19, 2018 4:34 p.m. ET

The third in a three-part series on German wine.

“THE SAUVIGNON BLANC opened the door for the Riesling.” It was the last thing I expected to hear from a winemaker in Germany, a country whose vinous reputation rests almost entirely upon Riesling. And yet that’s what I heard from Andreas Hütwohl, deputy general manager and a winemaker at Weingut von Winning, as we tasted the first of three Sauvignon Blancs at his winery in Deidesheim a few months ago.

Mr. Hütwohl explained that von Winning chose Sauvignon Blanc as its lead grape for the export market because, unlike Riesling, it’s won world-wide recognition and acceptance. With Germany’s signature grape still a tough sell abroad, German producers are counting on other varieties to grow the fan base for all the country’s wines.

It’s not that German producers don’t believe in their indigenous variety, Mr. Hütwohl added. Indeed, 80% of his winery’s production consists of Riesling, from some of the best vineyards in the Pfalz region—but most of it stays in Germany.

Only 5% of von Winning’s vineyards are planted to Sauvignon Blanc grapes, but the wine produced from them has proven a worthy emissary abroad. I’ve found it on wine lists and in stores stateside more readily than the Rieslings. The Sauvignon Blanc II was my first encounter with the von Winning estate four years ago, when I selected it from the wine list at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown, N.J. It’s the most basic of the winery’s three Sauvignon Blancs—a crisp, lively wine fermented in stainless steel—while the von Winning Sauvignon Blanc I is a bigger, richer wine fermented in oak barrels. And the von Winning Sauvignon Blanc 500, made from the best of the winery’s 500-liter barrels, is the biggest and richest, reminiscent of a Pouilly-Fumé from the Loire Valley of France.

Picture: At Weingut von Winning in Deidesheim, Pfalz. See: Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Winning in Deidesheim, Pfalz – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

Sauvignon Blanc is only one of the many grapes that grow well in the Pfalz (aka Palatinate), just west of Heidelberg and bordering Alsace, France. Most of the wines are dry, and while Riesling is a very important grape in the region, others planted there include Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc (Weißburgunder), Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder), Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), Gewürztraminer, St. Laurent and Dornfelder.

Pinot Noir grows all over Germany and does particularly well in the Baden and Rheingau regions as well as the Pfalz. This delicate grape even thrives in the Mosel, historically a cool-climate region, a success some attribute to global warming. Germany is now the third-largest Pinot Noir-producing country in the world. According to the latest figures from the Deutsches Weininstitut, over 11% of Germany’s vineyards are planted to the grape.

Germany is also the world’s leading producer of Pinot Blanc, accounting for some 30% of global production. Confusingly, some producers use its German name, Weißburgunder, while others use the French moniker and still others use both. A white grape native to Burgundy, Pinot Blanc is often considered a cheap cousin to Chardonnay—a bit lighter, more fruity and less complex—but it can be a refreshing if undemanding wine. German producers frequently offer several different styles of Weißburgunder, from light and fruity to half-dry (halbtrocken), dry (trocken) and sparkling.

The Darting winery makes Weißburgunder, but the rest of its portfolio is practically a study in the varietal diversity of the Pfalz. Winemaker and owner Helmut Darting also produces Riesling, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Pinot Meunier, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Gewürztraminer, Dornfelder and St. Laurent, among many others. “In our region, the harvest takes 10 weeks because we have so many different varieties,” said Heike Darting-Gerstenhöfer, the winemaker’s sister, when I stopped by the cozy Darting tasting room in the town of Bad Dürkheim. “The amount of Pinot Gris we sell is unbelievable,” said Ms. Darting-Gerstenhöfer. “It’s an easy-drinking wine. People say it’s very hard to drink Riesling.”

Many Darting wines, including the Pinot Gris, are not sold in the U.S., though its Pinot Meunier was a sommelier favorite for a while. When Juliette Pope, former wine director of Gramercy Tavern in New York, bought 16 cases, it provoked a bit of a stir, according to Darting’s importer, Boston-based Terry Theise. “Somms are terribly cognizant of any other somm who might be setting a trend,” he noted in an email.

‘The harvest takes 10 weeks because we have so many different varieties.’

No stateside sommelier I know has championed Silvaner. This grape has been cultivated in Germany for centuries, notably in Franken (Franconia), in the state of Bavaria, a region known for its very dry wines. Silvaner can produce wonderfully dry, minerally wines reminiscent of Chablis, but it has yet to crack the U.S. market. Kirk Wille, vice president of Loosen Bros. USA, a wine importing company based in Oregon, wrote in an email, “Our little company already [has] enough work to do with our Riesling crusade, still a struggle. So we couldn’t also sustain a Silvaner crusade.”

When I went shopping in the greater New York area for Silvaners I found only three, two of them quite good: the minerally and textured 2016 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Kalb Silvaner ($22) and the 2016 Rainer Sauer Silvaner Escherndorfer Lump ($27), which was bright and lively (if possessed of an unfortunate name). Both came in the classic Franconia Bocksbeutel, the squat bulbous green bottle used for the region’s top wines.

Picture: Andrea Wirsching of Weingut Hans Wirsching, Iphofen with Annette Schiller and Chriistian Schiller. See: 2016 VDP Trade Fair Weinbörse - Vintage 2015 - in Mainz: Schiller’s Report

Pictures: At Weingut Wirsching with General Manager Dr. Uwe Matheus. See: Tour and Tasting at Weingut Wirsching in Iphofen in Franken with General Manager Uwe Matheus – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

A source of pride for Franconia’s winemakers, the bottle tends to put off American wine drinkers, as it recalls a famous (or infamous) sweet wine once popular in the U.S. “Did you bring Mateus?” my friends asked when I produced the two Silvaners. Once they tried the wines, they were pleased—and relieved to find they were quite dry.

I don’t know when the larger world will embrace German wines beyond Riesling—or even give Riesling the attention it deserves. At the very least, I look forward to the day when Germany is thought of much like Italy and France: a great wine country with more than one grape.

Picture: Annette Schiller and Florian Lauer, Weingut Peter Lauer in New York City. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

How German Winemakers Are Quietly Conquering the World

1. 2016 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc Dry Pfalz ($22) The winery, long considered one of the Pfalz’s best, may have a name that’s hard to pronounce, but the wine is happily quite easy to drink: crisp and clean with bright citrus notes.

2. 2017 Leitz Pinot Noir Rosé Dry Rheingau ($17) Light in body as well as color, with pretty floral and red-berry notes, this toothsome Pinot Noir rosé from a well-known producer of Riesling is an ideal wine for summer drinking.

3. 2016 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir “Basis” Baden ($23) Partners Sven Enderle and Florian Moll have a devoted following for their full-of-character Pinot Noirs. This well-crafted Pinot is an earthy, savory red that could easily be mistaken for a good Bourgogne rouge.

4. 2016 von Winning Sauvignon Blanc II Pfalz ($22) Little wonder von Winning made Sauvignon Blanc its lead grape internationally. This stainless steel-fermented white is juicy, with notes of citrus and herb—like a Loire Valley Sauvignon crossed with a New Zealand one.

5. 2016 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Kalb Silvaner ($27) The Hans Wirsching winery—“Silvaner Wine Estate of the Year” per a leading German food magazine—draws many accolades. This old-vine Silvaner is full bodied and complex, a first-rate example of the grape.

Email Lettie at wine@wsj.com.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

UPCOMING Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: November 1, 2018)

Ombiasy Wine Tours 2018: 3 x France and 3 x Germany - Ombiasy Newsletter December 2017

A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Selbach-Oster in Zeltingen, Mosel, with Johannes Selbach – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

The Dry and Ultra-premium Dry GG and GG Reserve Rieslings of Weingut Dr. Loosen – Ernie Loosen in Washington DC 

JJ Pruem Goes Supermarket: Meeting Katharina Pruem and Tasting the Incredible JJ Pruem Wines at Wegmans

An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Winning in Deidesheim, Pfalz – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

2016 VDP Trade Fair Weinbörse - Vintage 2015 - in Mainz: Schiller’s Report

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Wirsching in Iphofen in Franken with General Manager Uwe Matheus – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State

Annette Schiller, President of ombiasy PR and WineTours and member of the American Wine Society, led 3 wine tastings - Abbey Wines, Pinot Noir from Germany and Burgundy, Rhône Valley - at the 2018 Annual Meetings of the American Wine Society. In addition, Annette and Christian Schiller poured a selection of German wines at the Showcase of Wines event during the second evening.

The tastings were sponsored by ombiasy WineTours and the wine producers whose wines were presented or their US importers.

The 2018 American Wine Society Annual Meetings took take place in Buffalo, New York State, from November 1 to 3, 2018.

Pictures: The 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State

More than 500 members from all over the USA came to this 3-day event, filled with tastings, seminars and presentations.

Thursday was the day of wine judging. There were full-day courses for those who want to become a certified AWS Wine Judge. This is a 3-year program. Also, the Amateur and Commercial Wine Competitions took place on Thursday.

Picture: Delivering the Wines for Annette's Tastings to the Storage Room

Friday and Saturday was filled with about 50 wine seminars, led by winery owners, wine educators, and renowned winemakers. The breakfasts, lunches, dinners and after-dinner gatherings provided ample opportunities to network with other AWS members.

There were two pre-conference trips, in which Annette and I did not participate.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State, with Joel Peterson, the Godfather of Zinfandel and Founder of Ravenswood Winery, and His Excellency Ambassador Stanislav Vidovic of Slovenia

Postings on schiller-wine

This is the first in a series of postings related to the American Wine Society National Conference 2018 in Buffalo, New York State:

The 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens

VDP at AWS: Tasting Premium German Wines at the Showcase of Wines of the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State, with Annette and Christian Schiller

"Abbey Wines”: The Importance of the Monasteries for the Development of ViticultureGerman Wines in the 21st Century - Seminar at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State,USA, led by Annette Schiller

Burgundy Pinot Noir and German Pinot Noir: Differences and Similarities - Seminar at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State,USA, led by Annette Schiller

A Journey through the Rhône Valley - Seminar at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State,USA, led by Annette Schiller

The American Wine Society

The American Wine Society was founded in 1967 as a non-profit, educational, consumer-oriented organization for those interested in learning more about all aspects of wine. On October 7, 1967, around 200 grape growers, home winemakers, and wine lovers gathered at Dr. Konstantin Frank’s vineyard on Keuka Lake near Hammondsport, NY for the AWS’ initial meeting.

Pictures: National Conference of the American Wine Society (AWS) in Buffalo, New York State, November 1 to 3, 2018

In December of the same year, the thirteen charter members, led by Founder Dr. Konstantin Frank, met to determine the organization structure of AWS and elect officers. Now in its 49th year, the American Wine Society is the largest consumer based wine education organization in North America. Membership is open to anyone interested in wine and over 21 years of age.

In the early days, AWS members were located primarily in the eastern part of the country. As the society grew , we established chapters throughout the eastern U.S., then into the south and Midwest, and finally into western states. Today, the American Wine Society has over 5,000 members in 45 states and 120 chapters across the U.S.

Each November the Society hosts a three-day national conference with two full days of nearly 50 educational seminars to choose from. Winery owners, wine educators, and renowned wine makers are selected to present sessions during this national event. In addition, a program educating members to become AWS certified wine judges is conducted on the day preceding the seminars.

The 2018 American Wine Society National Conference

Thursday, November 1

7:00 am to 5:00 pm: Wine Judge Certification Programs Year 1 + 2 + 3

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm: Welcome "Tailgate" Reception

10:00 pm to 12:00 pm: Hospitality Suite

Friday, November 2

7:30 am to 8:45 pm: Sparkling Wine Breakfast

Picture: Sparkling Wine Breakfast

8:45 am to 6:00 pm: Exhibits

One of the about 15 booths was Annette Schiller's ombiasyPR & WineTours booth, where Annette presented her 2018 wine tours to Germany (East, South, North) and France (Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Rhone).

Pictures: The Booth of ombiasyPR & WineTours with Annette Schiller

9:00 am to 10:15 am 7 Morning Sessions (A)

“Abbey Wines”: The Importance of the Monasteries for the Development of Viticulture

Prsenter: Annette Schiller, Owner, Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours

Without the work of monks and sisters, viticulture would not have developed the way it did and would not have become a part of fine living. Monasteries were always a center of intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge. They had huge holdings on farmland and vineyards - mostly gifts of rich aristocrats. The abbeys always were and still are self-sufficient and had to work in agriculture to sustain their living. Therefore, the monks not only focused on religious studies but also on studying better methods in farming and viticulture.

Pictures: "Abbey Wines”: The Importance of the Monasteries for the Development of ViticultureGerman Wines in the 21st Century - Seminar at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State,USA, led by Annette Schiller

Annette presented the following wines:

01) 2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Louis Latour, Burgundy, France
02) 2015 Bermatinger Spätburgunder, Markgraf von Baden, Bodensee, Baden, Germany
03) 2015 Riesling, Abtei Sankt Hildegard, Rheingau, Germany
04) 2016 Grüner Veltliner, Stift Klosterneuburg, Wachau, Austria
05) 2016 Saalhäuser Weisser Riesling, Kloster Pforta, Saale-Unstrut, Germany
06) 2017 Steinberger, Riesling, Spätlese, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Gemany

See also: Annette Schiller Presented "Abbey Wines" at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), USA

Pictures: Tour of  Weingut Kloster Eberbach and Steinberg Vineyard. See: Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Lunch, Tour of the Abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

11:00 am to 12:15 pm 7 Morning Sessions (B)

12:30 pm to 2:15 pm: Luncheon & Business Meeting 

2:30 pm to 3:45 pm 7 Afternoon Sessions (C)

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm: Showcase of Wines

VDP - Wines of Germany Table (Annette and Christian Schiller)

Annette and Christian Schiller presented 6 German wines, 4 whites and 2 red wines. All wines were from VDP producers, the association of about 200 elite winemakers in Germany:

Pictures: VDP at AWS: Tasting Premium German Wines at the Showcase of Wines of the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State, with Annette and Christian Schiller and Conference Chairwoman Diane Meyer

10:00 pm to 12:00 pm: Hospitality Suite

Saturday, November 3

7:30 am to 8:45 pm: Breakfast and AWSEF Annual Meeting

8:45 am to 6:00 pm: Exhibits

9:00am to 10:15am 7 Morning Sessions (D)

Burgundy Pinot Noir and German Pinot Noir: Differences and Similarities

Presenter: Annette Schiller, Owner, Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours

Germany is in the midst of a red wine revolution. Thirty years ago, red wine production amount to 10 percent of the wine produced, now it is almost 40 percent. Germany is now the third-largest producer world-wide of Pinot Noir. Burgundy and the German Pinot wine regions can look back on a long common history and both share a very similar soil profile. The Pinot Noir grape produces terroir-driven wines, and we will explore the similarities and differences of Pinot Noir from Burgundy and Germany.

Pictures: Burgundy Pinot Noir and German Pinot Noir: Differences and Similarities - Seminar at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State,USA, led by Annette Schiller

Annette presented 6 wines:

01) 2014 Spätburgunder, Weingut Jülg, Schweigen, Pfalz
02) 2014 Pinot Noir, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Albert Bichot, Burgundy
03) 2012 Spätburgunder, Alte Reben, Weingut Bernhard Huber, Malterdingen, Baden, Germany
04) 2012 Pinot Noir, Beaune Grèves, Louis Jadot, Burgundy
05) 2015 Spätburgunder, Assmannshäuser Höllenberg, Crescentia, Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany
06) 2015 Pinot Noir, 1er Cru Les Porêts-Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Domaine Faiveley, Burgundy

Picture: Annette Schiller in Gevry-Chambertin. See also: Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden with Julian Huber. See also: Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden, with Yquem Viehauser and Julian Huber – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

11:00am to 12:15pm 7 Morning Sessions (E)

12:30 pm to 2:30 pm: Awards Luncheon

Pictures: Awards Luncheon

2:45 pm to 4:00 pm 7 Afternoon Sessions (F)

4:45 pm to 6:00 pm 7 Afternoon Sessions (G)

A Journey through the Rhône Valley

Presenter: Annette Schiller, Owner, Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours

The Rhône Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in France and the second largest after Bordeaux. The Greeks introduced viticulture in the 4th century B.C. Since then, the world has discovered Rhône wines, and some of the most famous wines of the world come from the Rhône Valley. The vineyards are located on both sides of the river. The Rhône Valley is divided into two distinctively different regions: the Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. We will taste wines from both regions and explore the differences.

Pictures: A Journey through the Rhône Valley - Seminar at the 2018 American Wine Society National Conference in Buffalo, New York State,USA, led by Annette Schiller

Annette presented 6 wines:

01) 2017 St.Cosme, IGP Vaucluse Les Deux Abions Blancs
02) 2017 Perrin, Côte du Rhône Reserve Blanc
03) 2014 Guigal, Côte du Rhône
04) 2015 Domaine Belle, Crozes-Hermitag, Les Pierelles
04) 2016 Domaine des Pasquiers, Côte du Rhône Village, Sablet
05) 2015 Bastide St. Vincent Vacqueyras
06) 2015 Château la Nerthe, Châteauneuf du Pape

See also:
Rhône Valley Tour December 2017: From Lyon to Avignon - Wine, Food, Culture, History
Understanding the Wines of the Rhône Valley: The Classification - AOC/ Vin de Pay/ Vin de France The Rhône Wine Region in Southern France and its Wines: History, Classification, Northern and Southern Rhône

Pictures: 2018 Rhône Valley Tour by ombiasy WineTours

7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Grand Banquet

For the Grand Banquet, people also brought their own wines.

Pictures: Grand Banquet

10:00 pm to 12:00 pm: Music, Dancing and Hospitality Suite

Annette Schiller's Presentations at the 2016 American Wine Society Annual Meetings in California

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

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

The New Classification of German Wines: The VDP Classification - Annette Schiller Conducting a Seminar at the 2016 National Convention of the American Wine Society in Los Angeles, USA

The Insider’s View of Charles Krug Winery - Peter Mondavi Jr., Co-Proprietor, Charles Krug Winery

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

Annette Schiller's Presentations at the 2017 American Wine Society Annual Meetings in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania

The 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, USA: Seen Through Christian Schiller's Camera Lens

Showcase of Wines at the 2017 National Conference of the American Wine Society: Annette and Christian Schiller Present German/ VDP/ Loosen Bros. USA Wines

A Journey through the Vineyards of Alsace - A Tasting Seminar at the National Conference 2017 of the American Wine Society, led by Annette Schiller (ombiasyPR & WineTours)

Burgundy: What makes it so Special? - A Tasting Seminar at the 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, led by Annette Schiller (ombiasyPR & WineTours)

German Wines in the 21st Century - A Tasting Seminar at the 2017 American Wine Society National Conference in in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, led by Annette Schiller (ombiasyPR & WineTours)

schiller-wine: Related Postings

UPCOMING Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: November 1, 2018)

Ombiasy Wine Tours 2018: 3 x France and 3 x Germany - Ombiasy Newsletter December 2017

Chardonnay: Germany versus Chablis - Salon Tasting at Schiller's Home, USA

Annette Schiller Presented "Abbey Wines" at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), USA

Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Lunch, Tour of the Abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

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

Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden, with Yquem Viehauser and Julian Huber – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Rhône Valley Tour December 2017: From Lyon to Avignon - Wine, Food, Culture, History

Understanding the Wines of the Rhône Valley: The Classification - AOC/ Vin de Pay/ Vin de France

The Rhône Wine Region in Southern France and its Wines: History, Classification, Northern and Southern Rhône