Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stuart Pigott at the Weinhalle in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Stuart Pigott

The Weinhalle in Bornheim is one of the best wine stores in Frankfurt am Main. Stuart Pigott, the renewed wine critic was there a few days ago to present his new book and brought along a dozen of boutique winemakers.

My friend Matthias, who is single and in his forties, thinks that Bornheim, along with Bockenheim, is the only area in Frankfurt am Main, where somebody like him could live. Indeed, the central road of Bornheim , the Berger Strasse, houses a large number of trendy bars, restaurants and shops, reflecting the crowd that lives there; not poor, but also not rich, intellectual, sometimes left-leaning, often wine connoisseurs.

The Winehalle caters to this crowd. I saw only a a few New World wines. The focus is on European wines, in particular Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The wines tend to be off the beaten track wines.

Last Monday, the Winehalle hosted Stuart Pigott, one of the leading German wine and international Riesling journalists. Those in the US could see him at the Riesling festival that Chateau St. Michelle organized with Ernie Loosen in Washington State. Pigott presented his new book “Wein weit weg” (Wine far away) and brought along about half a dozen mini boutique winemakers.

Pigotts new book is about new wine producers in the changing international wine market. Pigott focuses on two trends: First climate change is making formerly unsuitable regions of the world to promising wine areas. The Nordic countries fall into this category. Second, globalization and the collapse of communism is bringing new regions into domestic and international markets. Russia, China and Eastern Europe fall in to this category. Lastly, Pigott has a chapter on young German mini boutique winemakers that a experimenting with new approaches. He brought about half a dozen of these along. They presented their wines. Most of them were from the Mosel area. I was most intrigued by a German speaking artist from Georgia, who lives in Berlin and has started to grow grapes and produce delicious red wine in his home country and to market the wine in the Berlin area.

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