Friday, February 12, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival 2010, Renee Zellweger, Hanna Schygulla, Werner Herzog and German Wine

Picture: Renee Zellweger yesterday in Berlin at the Opening of the Berlinale 2010 and Berlin Brandenburger Tor

German Wines at the 6oth Berlin International Film Festival - the Berlinale

The 60th Berlin International Film Festival, also called the Berlinale, started yesterday, on Thursday, February 11, 2010. It is one of the world's leading film festivals.

The chairman of its jury is Werner Herzog this year. This is the maverick German filmmaker with visions beyond bounds of reason, from Peruvian jungle to the South Pole. In 1968, at 26, Herzog won a German national prize with his first feature "Signs of Life". His second, "Even Dwarfs Started Small" (1970) was banned. The reward for the three years' toil on his "cursed" masterpiece "Fitzcarraldo", which involved hauling a 300-ton steamship up a 40 degree hill, was a best director's prize at Cannes in 1982. "Fitzgerado" was one of five title roles Klaus Kinski played for Herzog, starting with the mad conquistador "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" in 1972. After "Cobra Verde" (1987) Herzog vowed never to work with Kinsky again.

Picture: Werner Herzog

Herzog's elegy for Kinsky, "My Best Fried", appeared in 1999. Gradually, Hollywood has come to Herzog. The Antarctic documentary "Encounters at the End of the World" brought him his first Oscar nomination in 2008.

Other members of the Jury include Cornelia Froboess and the internationally renowned Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger. She began her film career with such acclaimed projects as Jerry Maguire, A Price Above Rubies and Nurse Betty. She celebrated international success with audiences and critics alike playing the leading role in the romantic comedy Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Lead Actress and the follow-up Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). Zellweger shone with her brilliant performance in the 2003 Berlinale opening film Chicago for which she also received an Academy Award nomination for Lead Actress and in the 2004 Competition entry Cold Mountain, which won her an Academy Award. Renee was clearly the star of the opening night.

One of my favorite German actresses will receive a special lifetime award, the great Hanna Schygulla. She is generally considered the most prominent German actress of the New German Cinema. Schygulla was born in Königshütte, Upper Silesia. She became particularly known for her film work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Picture: Hanna Schygulla

After the making of Effi Briest (1974), an adaptation of a classic German novel, Schygulla and Fassbender did not work together for several years (because Schygulla led a revolte against Fassbender) until The Marriage of Maria Braun in 1978. Hanna Schygulla is now 66 and lives in Paris. I had the pleasure to meet her several times when I also was living there.

Which wines will the movie fans and the celebrities drink? Of course, German wines! At the initiative of the DWI, the German Wine Institute, the guest will be served selected German wines.

The following 16 German white and red wine have been selected for the Berlinale 2010, to showcase German wine. Please note that the Berlinale selection does not include any noble-sweet wines, nor any sweet Spaetlese or Auslese wines. With the exception of 1 off-dry wine, all wines are trocken, according to German law. This means that they can have some sligth hint of sweetness, up to 9 grams per liter.

Allmost all wines are in the QbA category, which accounts for almost 50 percent of German wine. QbA wines can be chaptalised and are excellent party wines.

About half a dozen wines come from wine co-operatives, of which there are many in Germany and which are known in Germany to produce excellent table and also premium wines at reasonably prices, but which are completely unknown outside of the borders of Germany, because they do not export.

Riesling and Spaetburgunder dominate the wine list, both well known in the world, but there are also lesser known grape varities. Germany has undergone a red wine revolution in recent years and German red wines have started to appear in the American Market. See here.

In general, Germany's top wine producers are absent from this list, but there are hundreds and hundreds of winemakers in Germany, who produce excellent wines, just a bit below the top wine makers, but also at a very high level of quality.

Here are the Berlinale 2010 Wines.

White wines

2008 Riesling Kabinett trocken Graacher Himmelreich – Goldschild Moselland Winzergenossenschaft, Mosel

2008 Riesling Kabinett trocken Graacher Domprobst Weingut Kees-Kieren, Mosel

2008 Riesling Qualitätswein trocken DC Pfalz Weingut Georg Naegele, Pfalz

2008 Riesling Qualitätswein trocken Edition >P< Fellbacher Weingärtner, Württemberg

2008 Riesling Qualitätswein halbtrocken Divinus Weingärtnergenossenschaft Dürrenzimmern-Stockheim, Württemberg

2008 Weißburgunder Qualitätswein trocken No. 5 Edition Winzergenossenschaft Laufen, Baden

2008 Weißburgunder Qualitätswein trocken "Achat" Weingut Steitz, Rheinhessen

2008 Grauburgunder Kabinett trocken Weingut Konstanzer, Baden

Red Wines

2007 Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken Weingut Siegbert Bimmerle, Baden

2007 Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken Edition TT Winzergenossenschaft Oberbergen, Baden

2007 Spätburgunder trocken Selection Rheinhessen Ingelheimer Pares Weingut Mett, Rheinhessen

2008 Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken Staatliche Weinbaudomäne Oppenheim, Rheinhessen

2008 Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken DC Pfalz Weingut Darting, Pfalz

2007 Lemberger Qualitätswein trocken Joshua Lauffener Weingärtner, Württemberg

2008 Trollinger Qualitätswein trocken Weinkellerei Hohenlohe, Württemberg

2007 Dornfelder Qualitätswein trocken Gimmeldinger Meerspinne Winzergenossenschaft Weinbiet, Pfalz

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

German Pinot Noirs are increasingly coming to the American Market

German Wine Basics: How does a Sweet German Riesling Become Sweet?

Wine Ratings: Riesling Cup 2009 - Germany's Top Dry Rieslings

German Wine Basics: Erstes Gewaechs, Grosses Gewaechs, Erste Lage

Germany's Best Red Wines: The 2009 Vinum Awards

German Wine Basics: Sugar in the Grape - Alcohol and Sweetness in the Wine

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