Monday, August 29, 2011

Visit: Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany - for Upcoming German Wine Society Tasting in Washington DC, USA

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Albrecht Schneider and Susanne Müller-Minde at Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider in Nierstein

In the context of a forthcoming wine tasting of the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), lead by Lindsay Morris, I visited Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider in Nierstein, Rheinhessen in Germany recently.

The wine tasting in Washington DC will have 2 pillars. If you follow German wines in the American wine blogger scene, you inevitably come across the wine blog Lindsay du Vin. The author is Lindsay Morriss, an energetic and very charming young women from Rhode Island, who just graduated with a MBA from INSEEC in Bordeaux. Her MBA thesis was on how to improve the profile of German wine in the United States. She will provide a summary of her findings.

Secondly, as part of her studies, Lindsay interned at Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider in Nierstein, Germany. Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider is well known in the German wine scene in the US, as it exports about half of its production. We were lucky and able to arrange a tasting of exclusively Georg Albrecht Schneider wines. As part of the tasting, I was charged with the task to visit Weingut Schneider while I was in Germany during the summer and take pictures to be presented in Washington DC.

This was not my first visit of Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider. I had visited Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider before, and had met owner Ulrike Schneider in Washington DC earlier. Since the US is such an important market for them, the Schneiders come regularly to the US.


Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider is located in Nierstein in Rheinhessen. Nierstein sits on the banks of the river Rhine between Mainz and Worms, to the north-west of Oppenheim. Although it does not have an imposing church like Oppenheim, Nierstein has a certain simple charm that its neighbor lacks.

Pictures: Nierstein

Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider

Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider is owned by Albrecht and Ulrike Schneider. The vineyard area totals 15 hectares. More than two thirds of the area is planted with Riesling; other grape varieties include Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner. “We own many very good vineyards and have planted them with Riesling” Albrecht Schneider said. In addition, grape juice, perlé wine, bottle-fermented sparkling wines and grappa-style spirits are also produced.

Pictures: Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider in Nierstein

Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider has been exporting for over 30 years, currently about half of its output. Of the export, 70% goes to the US and the remainder to Japan. “Our big markets in the US are are Massachusetts, California and New York” said Albrecht Schneider.

Afternoon Coffee and Cake

When I arrived at the winery, Ulrike Schneider was just having the traditional German/Austrian afternoon coffee and cake with her daughters Susanne (Susanne Müller-Minde) and Uschi (Uschi Müller) and her grandchild. I joined them for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, before going to the vineyards with Susanne and Uschi, where Albrecht was working.

Picture: Afternoon Coffee and Cake

In the Vineyard

Susanne and Uschi took me to the vineyards. They are located in the Rheinterrasse, the stretch of vineyards which runs from Bodenheim, south of Mainz, in the north to Mettenheim in the south, often referred to as the Rheinterrasse. The vineyards of the Rheinterrasse have a favored mesoclimate in comparison with others in the region. The Rheinterrasse accounts for one-third of the Rheinhessen’s Riesling wines. The wines from the Rheinterrasse were at some point even more expensive than Bordeaux wines.

Pictures: Susanne (Susanne Müller-Minde) and Uschi (Uschi Müller) in the Vineyard

The Roter Hang (Red Slope) is at the center of the Rheinterrasse. This steep slope extends for some five kilometers (three miles) with a total of 180 ha (445 acres) around Nierstein on the left bank of the Rhine. The Roter Hang has a very special terroir, resulting from the drop of the Rheinhessen plateau before human life started. As a consequence of these movements the Roter Hang has a mineral-rich soil, a mixture of iron and clayish slate, which is at least 250 million years old (Permian Period). Further, the slope faces south to southeast, which helps in terms of the solar radiation. The red slate retains warmth, and additional warmth comes from the sunlight reflected from the surface of the Rhine.

Pictures: Roter Hang in Nierstein - Christian G.E. Schiller and Roland Verch (President of Mainzer Weingilde) in the Nierstein Hipping Vineyard - Mineral-rich Soil - A View down the Red Slope - Nierstein seen from the Red Slope

At the Winery

The visit ended at the Winery.

Pictures: At the Winery - Tasting Corner - Ulrike Schneider says "Auf Wiedersehen"

The Wines for the Forthcoming Tasting

Here are the wines from Weingut Georg Albrecht Schneider that we will taste.

2009 Riesling vom Kalk Kabinett
2008 Niersteiner Riesling QbA Dry-Style

2007 Paterberg Kabinett
2009 Paterberg Kabinett
2010 Paterberg Kabinett

2009 Dornfelder

2007 Hipping Spätlese
2008 Hipping Spätlese
2009 Hipping Spätlese

2006 Hipping Riesling Auslese

German Wine Society Tasting

The tasting will be at the Harbour Square Club Room. The address for the tasting is 500 N St SW, Washington, DC. 20024-4605. The price for this tasting is $35 for members and $42 for non-members. The deadline is Tuesday, September 13.

If you are interested, please fill out the form below and send your check to:

German Wine Society
c/o Alan Knapp
1600 Clarendon Blvd., W105
Arlington, VA 22209

Please cut the reservation form - do not mail the entire page.
RESERVATION FORM FOR GERMAN WINE SOCIETY FOR September 16, 2011, Lindsay Morriss and Georg Albrecht Schneider Wines Tasting
Member(s) Name(s)______________________________________
Guest(s) Name(s)_______________________________________
Total Enclosed_______Day Time Phone Number_____________

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