Thursday, May 24, 2018

Travel: Vineyard Hopping in Germany's East - Article by Annette (Text) and Christian Schiller (Photos) in GW German World (Summer 2017 New York & East Edition), USA/ Germany

Pictures: Travel: Vineyard Hopping in Germany's East - GW German World (Summer 2017 New York & East Edition)

The GW German World is a bilangual magazine, published in Los Angelos. In tne travel section, the summer 2017 edition carries an article on "Vineyard Hopping in Germany's East". The article was written by Jenny Peters, Senior Editor/ English Language Editor of GW German World. Petra Schürmann, Publisher of GW German World was responsible for the German text. Annette Schiller of ombiasyPR&WineTours, with Christian Schiller, contributed substantially to the article. The article is based on the Germany-East tour by ombiasy WineTours.

Annette Schiller: Discover Germany's internationally rather unknown wine regions east of Frankfurt, Saale-Unstrut, Sachsen, Württemberg, Franken, expect gorgeous Pinot-Blancs, Silvaner, Lemberger, attend performances at world-renowned theater houses, delve deep into the unique culture and history of the once divided Germany.

See:
Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture, History
Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History
Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

The Article - Travel: Vineyard Hopping in Germany's East

The article is 4 pages long, with a focus on recommendations for hotels, restaurants/ wine bars (culinary tips)and winemakers.

Pictures: Travel: Vineyard Hopping in Germany's East

Hotel Recommendations

The hotel recommendations are:

Hotel Zur Alten Schmiede in Naumburg
Hotel INNSIDE in Leipzig
Hotel INNSIDE in Dresden
Welcome Parkhotel in Meissen

Picture: Where to Stay

Culinary Tips

The article lists 5 culinary tips:

Don't miss the fantastic small dishes with matching wines at the Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt. See: Wine and Opera in Dresden: Mozart at Semper Opera and the Best Wines of Sachsen at Wine Bar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt, with Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Enjoy a meal at the Wintergarten Café in Schlosshotel Pillnitz in Dresden

Enjoy a meal at Restaurant Zufriedenheit in Naumburg

Treat yourself to lunch at the Restauant of Winery Vincenz Richter in Meissen. See: Wine and Music: "Martin Luther Lunch" at the Historic Vincenz Richter Restaurant, Weingut Vincenz Richter, in Meissen with Senior Boss Gottfried Herrlich and the Music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Don't miss a wine-pairing dinner at Lippe'sches Gutshaus, Schloss Proschwitz. 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)

Picture: Culinary Tips

Winemaker Recommendations

There are 8 winemaker recommendations, 4 for the Saale-Unstrut Region and 4 for the Sachsen Region.

Winery Pawis in Freyburg-Zscheiplitz, Saale-Unstrut. See: Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region: Tour and Wine Tasting with Marcus Pawis – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Winery Lützkendorf in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut. See: Tasting at Weingut Uwe Lützkendorf, with Uwe Lützkendorf, in Bad Kösen, Saale-Unstrut – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Winery Landesweingut Kloster Pforta in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut. See: Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Winery Hey in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut. See:  Vineyard Visit and Wine Tasting Lunch at Weingut Hey in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut, with Matthias Hey – Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Winery Drei Herren in Radebeul, Sachsen. See: Lunch with Wine Pairing at Weingut Drei Herren in Radebeul, Sachsen, with Restaurant Manager/ Sommelier Dirk Brauer - Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Winery Klaus Zimmermann in Oberpoyritz, Sachsen. See: Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Winery Sächsisches Staatseingut Schloss Wackerbarth, Sachsen

Winery Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe, in Zadel, Sachsen. See: Tour and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

See also:
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany

Pictures: Winery Recommendations

schiller-wine: Related Postings

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

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

UPCOMING Ombiasy Wine Tours in 2018 to Germany and Alsace (May/ June) and to Bordeaux and Burgundy-Champagne (September)

Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture, History

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

Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine and Opera in Dresden: Mozart at Semper Opera and the Best Wines of Sachsen at Wine Bar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt, with Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

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)

Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region: Tour and Wine Tasting with Marcus Pawis – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Weingut Uwe Lützkendorf, with Uwe Lützkendorf, in Bad Kösen, Saale-Unstrut – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Vineyard Visit and Wine Tasting Lunch at Weingut Hey in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut, with Matthias Hey – Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch with Wine Pairing at Weingut Drei Herren in Radebeul, Sachsen, with Restaurant Manager/ Sommelier Dirk Brauer - Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Tour and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany










Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2017), France

Picture: Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé

Overall, Bordeaux is a rather sleepy area, not well prepared to receive wine lovers from all over the world to experience the wines they love so much in the area, where the wines are made. But things are changing. Wine tourism has caught up with Bordeaux. One producer that clearly is a leader in this wine-tourism movement is Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte.

We visited Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte in the morning. Following the visit and tasting we enjoyed lunch at the 2 Michelin starred Restaurant La Grand' Vigne, prepared by Chef Nicolas Masse. The restaurant is part of the Les Sources de Caudalie, a complex comprising a hotel, several restaurants and a health spa, which the owners of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte constructed next to the Château.

This posting focuses on the visit of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte. A separate posting covers the outstanding wine lunch at Restaurant La Grande Vigne.

Pictures: Touring Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé

Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Florence and Daniel Cathiard

The noble Bosq family started growing grapes here as early as 1365. The property was purchased in the 18th century by Scotsman George Smith, who gave the estate its present name. He also built the manor house and exported his – by now famous – wine to England on his own ships. Current owners are Florence and Daniel Cathiard.

Both Florence and Daniel were professional skiers belonging to the French Olympic ski team in the mid-1960s (with triple gold medal legend at the 1968 Winter Olympics Jean-Claude Killy). After their career in sports, Daniel built a supermarket and sporting goods store imperium and Florence an advertising agency. In 1990 they bought Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte with the wealth generated by the sale of all their assets. They brought the quality of Smith-Haut-Lafitte wines to the level for which they were once renowned.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is a Bordeaux producer from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, ranked among the Grands Crus Classé for red wine in the Classification of Graves wine of 1953 and 1959. The winery and vineyards are located south of the city of Bordeaux, in the commune of Martillac.

The estate originates in the 14th century with the house of Verrier Du Boscq who planted vines on a gravelly plateau named Lafitte already in 1365. In 1720 it was bought by the Scotsman Georges Smith who added his name to the lieu-dit and who built the manor house of the property.

Pictures: At Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé

The Louis Eschenauer Company bought the estate in 1958, after having already distributed the wine from the early 20th century. In 1990, Florence and Daniel Cathiard bought Smith Haut Lafitte and embarked on a major renovation and investment program.

The vineyard area consists of 67 hectares, 56 hectares of which are planted with red grape varieties (55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc). The remaining 11 hectares are cultivated with white varieties (90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris). The vineyards are located on a gravel ridge to the east of Château Haut-Bailly.

The grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in oak barrels (50% new) for 15-18 months. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Pictures: In the Red Wine Cellar of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé

The Grand vin, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, is annually produced in 10,000 cases of the red wine and 2,500 cases of the dry white. The second wine, Les Hauts de Smith, has a production of 5,500 cases, and exists in red, white and rosé versions. The rosé is produced as a Bordeaux AOC.

Château Smith-Haut-Lafite has been transformed during the last decade from being a perennial underachiever to being one of the leading estates in the Graves region. Before the arrival of the Cathiard Family, Château Smith Haut Lafitte - though a Classified Growth of the Graves region - bore the nickname of Sleeping Beauty.

Pictures: In the White Wine Cellar of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé

Daniel and Florence Cathiard invested heavily, restored buildings, replaced vats, constructed a new barrel cellar, converted vineyard practices to sustainable farming and paid detailed attention to hand picking, sorting, and practices in the cellar. The proportion of new oak barrels used in the maturation process was increased and a trio of eminent oenologists (including Michel Rolland) was hired as consultants.

Pictures: Harvest at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé - From Collection Baskets to Fermentation Tank

Having raised the wine of Smith to the highest level of quality, Daniel and Florence Cathiard were not happy to leave it at that: they also restored the 16th-century tower, renovated the 18th-century chartreuse, refurbished two underground cellars and started up a cooperage on the premises.

Private Cellar

Before finishing the visit with a tasting, we spent some time in the private cellar of Daniel and Florence Cathiard.

Pictures: In the Private Cellar of Daniel and Florence Cathiard

Tasting

We ended the tour with a tasting.

Pictures: Tasting at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé

Lunch at Restaurant La Grand' Vigne, Prepared by Chef Nicolas Masse (2 stars Michelin)

Not this time, but last time we were at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, following the tour, we went over to the Restaurant La Grand' Vigne for an outstanding wine lunch, prepared by Chef Nicolas Masse, who got his second Michelin star in 2014. 

Pictures: Lunch at Restaurant La Grand' Vigne

Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France (Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics

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Dinner with a View: At Restaurant L’Estacade in Bordeaux City - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City - An Update

Schiller’s Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France - An Update

Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction

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Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France

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Tour and Tasting at Château Cheval Blanc, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé A - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Tour and Tasting at Château La Conseillante, Appellation Pomerol, with GM/ Winemaker Marielle Cazaux - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tour with Dany Rolland: Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland and Benoit Prévot - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

Tasting with Joël and Sandrine Duffau at Château La Mothe du Barry and Château Les Arromans in the Heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers Region - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

Visiting and Tasting at Château Climens, Barsac-Sauternes, Première Grand Cru Classé en 1855 - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Lunch at Restaurant Claude Darroze, 1 Star Michelin, in Langon, with Jean-Charles Darroze - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit: Château de Chantegrive, Appellation Grave, with Owner Marie-Hélène Lévêque - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Schiller's Favorite Seafood Restaurants in Arcachon and Cap Ferret (Bassin d'Arcachon/ Bordeaux)

Oysters in Bordeaux: Visiting the Oyster Farmer Raphael Doerfler and his Earl Ostrea Chanca Oyster Farm in Grand Piquey/ Bassin d'Arcachon - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

Lunch at Pinasse Café, Cap Ferret, Bassin d'Arcachon - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

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What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France

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How a Barrel is Made: Visit of the Cooperage Berger & Fils in Vertheuil – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

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Tour and Tasting at Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Tour, Barrel Tasting and Family Dinner with Stefan and Heike Paeffgen, Château Le Reysse and Château Lassus, Vignobles Paeffgen, Appellation Médoc - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

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Tour and Tasting at Château Beychevelle, Appellation Saint-Julien, 4ième Grand Cru Classé, with General Manager Philippe Blanc - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

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Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France