Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In an Apple Wine (Cider) Mecca: The Apple Wine Bistrorant Landsteiner Muehle of Apple Wine Sommelier Michael Stoeckl near Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Michael Stoeckl at the Landsteiner Muehle

Frankfurt am Main is definitely the apple wine capital of Germany and some say of the world. Apple wine is a German variant of cider, which is made all over the world, in same regions sparkling, in others sweet. In Frankfurt, you are typically served a tart, dry apple wine with around 6 percent alcohol, in one of the many apple wine taverns.
Michael Stoeckl runs and owns the country restaurant Landsteiner Muehle in the Taunus Mountains, about ¾ of an hour north of Frankfurt am Main by car. Michael Stoeckl’s passion is apple wine. He has become an icon in the apple wine world of Frankfurt am Main and Germany. He calls himself “Apple Wine Sommelier” and his restaurant “Apple Wine Bistrorant”, suggesting that it is a combination of an apple wine tavern, bistro and restaurant, focusing on apple wine in terms of drinks and food. The selection of apple wines available at the Landsteiner Muehle is indeed impressive: Ranging from Michael Stoeckl’s own apple wine to the premium apple wines of Andreas Schneider in Frankfurt am Main and other German producers to ciders made in other parts of the world. Of course, he offers a nice selection of (grape) wine, mainly from Germany, Austria and Italy, but you do not go there for his wines. You go there for his apple wines.

Pictures: The Landsteiner Muehle

Cider in the World and Apple Wine in Frankfurt am Main

Apple wine is a German variant of cider, which is made all over the world. The French cidre is produced in Normandy and Brittany. It comes as cidre doux, cidre demi-sec and cidre brut, but most French cidre is sweet. Typically, French ciders are sparkling. Higher quality French cider is sold in champagne-style bottles (cidre bouché). German cider has a tart, sour taste. In the UK, cider is available in sweet, medium and dry varieties. In the US during colonial times, apple cider was the main beverage, but after prohibition the word cider came to mean unfiltered apple juice. Alcoholic cider is called hard cider in the US. German apple wine typically has an alcohol content of 4%–9% and a tart, sour taste. Traditionally, it is not bubbly.

Cider was already known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the 11th century it was introduced into Spain and was used there as a medicine for scurvy. It was introduced into England in 1066 when William the Great brought some from France into England.

Apfelwein im Roemer

Michael Stoeckl and Andreas Schneider are the founders and driving force behind Apfelwein im Roemer, an annual event in Frankfurt am Main that brings together cider producers from all over the world. The Roemer is the historical mayor’s office in the center of Frankfurt. With the support of the city government, cider producers from Germany and from other countries gather in the Roemer for a day to present their products. This year, 40 cider producers from 8 different countries poured 250 ciders.

The 2012 Apfelwein im Roemer is scheduled for March 18th.

Michael Stoeckl’s Selection of Apple Wines

The selection of apple wines offered by Michael Stoeckl in his apple wine Bistrorant Landsteiner Muehle is stunning. Here is an overview.

Apple Wines from Hessen (Germany)

Michael Stoeckl’s House Apple Wine

In 2005 Michael founded with 6 fellow apple wine restaurant owners the network „Hessische Wirtshauskelterer“ and started to make his own apple wine. He now produces around 3.000 bottles per year.

Apfelwein von der Aue Herb Glass: Euro 3,90 Der Apfelwein vom Rhein (6,5%Vol).

Hessische Wirtshauskelterer • KultApfel

KultApfel weiß Der Duft der Obstwiesen Feinherb Glass: Euro 3,50 (6,0%Vol).
KultApfel rosé Herb Glass: Euro 3,50 Apfel-Johannisbeerwein ( 6,0%Vol).
KultApfel rot Feinherb Glass: Euro 3,50 Apfel-Holunderbeerwein (6,0%Vol).

Hessische Wirtshauskelterer • Edition

Arnold’s Homberger Streuobsthain Herb Bottle: Euro 11,00 Apfelwein (6,5%Vol).

Picture: Michael Stoeckl

Kelterei Herberth • Kronberg im Taunus

Herberth’s Urschoppen Herb Glass: Euro 2,20 Apfelwein (6,0%Vol).

Andreas Schneider • Frankfurt – Nieder-Erlenbach

The premium apple wines of Andreas Schneider, an innovative producer in Nieder-Erlenbacher near Frankfurt. Andreas Schneider has experimented, inter alia with malolactic fermentation and barrique aging. All the apple wines below are vintage apple wines.

Schneider Schoppen 2010 Herb Bottle: Euro 18,50 Renettenwürzig Speierlingsherb Apfelwein (6,5%Vol).
Gewürzluiken & Bittenfelder 2010 Herb Bottle: Euro 19,50 Fruchtig erfrischend Apfelwein (6,0%Vol).
Goldparmäne 2010 Feinherb Bottle: Euro 24,00 Nussige Frucht mit Speierling Apfelwein (5,5%Vol).
Ananasrenette 2010 Halbtrocken Bottle: Euro 27,00 Lieblich exotisch Cidre (1,8%Vol).
Wildlinge auf Löss 2010 Halbtrocken Bottle: Euro 31,00 Elegante Wildäpfel Cidre (2,5%Vol).
Weinbirne 2010 Lieblich Bottle: Euro 34,50 Samt und Seide Poiré (2,5%Vol).
Other Apple Wines from Germany

Marius Wittur • Quittenweinbau • Eisenheim

In Eisenheim, north of Wuerzbug in Franken, Marius Wittur produces wine made of quinces.

Quittensecco 2009 Trocken Bottle: Euro 26,50 (10,5%Vol).

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Michael Stoeckl

Manufaktur Jörg Geiger • Schlat bei Göppingen

Schaumwein von der Champagnerbratbirne Trocken Bottle: Euro 34,50 Traditionelle Flaschengärung (8,0%Vol). A Sekt from the “Champagnerbratbirne”, an old pear variety.
Bittenfelder Herb Bottle: Euro 18,50 Sortenreiner Apfelwein (7,0%Vol).
Gewürzluike mit Oberösterreicher Weinbirne Herb Bottle: Euro 18,50 Apfel-Birnenmost (7,0%Vol).
Holzapfel Herb Bottle: Euro 26,00 Sortenreiner Apfelwein aus dem Sämling (11,0%Vol).
Mein Roter Herb Bottle: Euro 19,50 Apfel-Johannisbeerwein (6,5%Vol).
Dollensepplkirsch mit Metzer Bratbirne Herb Bottle: Euro 22,00 Kirsch-Birnenwein (7,0%Vol)

Eric Bordelet • Château de Hautville • Charchigne (France)

Eric Bordelet, a former sommelier in a 3 star Michelin restaurant, grows 20 different varieties of aples and 14 different varieties of pears on 10,5 hectar of orchard land, following biodynamic principles and certified by ECOCERT.

Sydre Brut Tendre 2006 Halbtrocken Bottle: Euro 22,00 Pétillant naturel (3,0%Vol).
Sydre Argelette sur Schiste 2005 Halbtrocken Bottle: Euro 26,50 Pétillant naturel (4,0%Vol).
Poiré Authentique 2008 Halbtrocken Bottle: Euro 25,00 Pétillant naturel (4,0%Vol).
Poiré Granit 2006 Lieblich Bottle: Euro 32,00 Pétillant naturel (3,0%Vol).

Sidra Trabanco • Lavandera (Spain)

Sidra Natural Cosecha Propia 2009 Herb Bottle: Euro 19,50 Handverlesene Äpfel (6,0%Vol).
Poma Áurea 2007 Trocken Bottle: Euro 27,50 Apfelschaumwein (7,5%Vol).
Lagar de Camin Halbtrocken Bottle: Euro 27,50 Apfelschaumwein (5,5%Vol).

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Michael Stoeckl

Leduc-Piedimonte Cidre de Glace de Québec (Canada)

Apple Varieties such as McIntosh, Sparta, Lobo, Empire and Liberty are harvested in late September and cellared in large boxes. Only when the outside temperature falls below minus 12 ° C for an extended period, the apples are frozen in the boxes for about 10 days. Are they as hard as golf balls, they are ground and pressed, still in a frozen state. The juice is then again frozen outdoors in large plastic tanks. In the process, a layer of pure ice developes on the surface, which becomes thicker and thicker, while the extracts, sugar and acids drop down. When the optimal must concentration is reached, the outlet valve is opened and highly concentrated nectar runs into the fermentation tanks.

Cidre de glace 2007 (11,7%Vol) Bottle 0,375l: Euro 49,90 Glass 5cl: Euro 8,90
Cidre de glace 2004 Réserve Winterharvest: Vallée Montérégienne (10,0%Vol) Bottle 0,375l: Euro 69,90
La Brunante Cidre Mousseux (8,0%Vol) Bottle 0,375l: Euro 29,90 Perlender Cidre with 33% dosage.

Christian Barthomeuf Cidre de Glace (Canada)

Christian Barthomeuf generally is consider as the apple wine maker who invented the Cidre de Glace. He used to work in the French movie industry, but decided to became a cider producer in Québec.

Clos Saragnat • Cidre de Glace 2006 (8,0%Vol) Bottle 0,2l: Euro 69,90

What we Ate and Drank for Lunch

“Local is the new organic” is the motto of Michael Stoeckl. He lists in his menu his sources for providing the ingredients for his food. The dishes are inspired by the regional cuisine of Hessen and other apple wine areas. Here is what we selected. We were a group of four.

Michael Stoeckls provides on the menu for each dish an apple wine by the glass and a (grape) wine by the glass suggestion. Also, you can choose between a normal size portion and a small size portion.

Picture: Annette, Katharina,Friedhilde and Christian Schiller having lunch (with Oscar). In contrast to the US, dogs are very welcome in European restaurants.


We started with the Apfelwalzer, a sparkling apple wine made by Dieter Walz in Fürth, Germany. Euro 4,90 and with Michael Stoeckl's house apple wine. Euro 3,90.

Picture: Apfelwalzer and Michael Stoeckl's House Apple Wine


Lachstatar • Tatar von der Niederemser Lachsforelle im Kräuter-Blini nebst Rauke.

Seitensprung • Zart pochierter Lammrücken flirtet mit Lachsforellen-Krem.

Wild en bloc.

Kürbis trifft Apfel • Kürbissüppchen mit Apfel-Grießnockerln.

Pictures: Starters

Apple Wine: KultApfel weiß Der Duft der Obstwiesen Feinherb

Picture: KultApfel weiß Der Duft der Obstwiesen Feinherb

Main Course

Schafe Sachen • Medaillon und -kotelett vom Taunuslamm weiden in breiten Bohnen nebst Paunzen (Tiroler Gnocchi)

Hutzel-Wild • Geschnetzelter Taunushirsch mit Dörräpfeln in Apfelwein und Rahm nebst Kartoffelroulade

Taunus-Pasta • Blutwurst-Ravioli auf Selleriepüree

Apfelweinschnitzel • Mit Graupen und Äpfeln gefülltes Schweinsschnitzel in Apfelweinsoße nebst Topfen-Spinatnockerln

Apple Wine: Andreas Schneider, Goldparmäne 2010 Feinherb Bottle: Euro 24,00 (5,5%Vol).

Picture: Andreas Schneider, Goldparmäne 2010


Südtiroler Apfelknödel mit Karamell-Schokoladensoße. Demnächst steht hier: Die Gesundheitsminister der EU warnen: Dieses Dessert macht süchtig!

Tarte Tatin. Karamellisierte Apfeltarte mit Speierlingeis. Jeden Tag eine gute Tarte.

Eis & Eis. Speierlingeis mit einem Cidre de Glace. Michael Stöckl’s Geschmackserlebnis besonderer Art.

Apfel-Sorbet. Laktosefrei.


If this would have been a dinner, we would have finished the meal with a “Schnaps”. The selection is very interesting. We did not order, but we looked hat the broad selection and agreed that we would have ordered these four: Dieter Walz • Fürth • Odenwald Zabergäu Renette 4,90 Goldparmäne 4,90 Glockenapfel 4,90 Boskoop 4,90.

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