Friday, January 20, 2012

Wine Maker Martin Tesch: Riesling People Vol. 2, Germany

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Martin Tesch at the Riesling + Co World Tour 2010 in New York, USA

Martin Tesch is a German avant-garde wine maker and he has now published a second avant-garde book about his world of Riesling wine and Rock and Roll music: Riesling People Vol. 2.

Riesling People Vol. 2

With the 2010 vintage, the Riesling Unplugged, the signature wine of Martin Tesch, Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim (Nahe) in Germany, celebrated its 10th anniversary. At this occasion, Martin produced the audio book Riesling People Vol. 2. It is a medley of diverse contributions of a group of friends of Martin Tesch - sommeliers, customers, journalists, writers, chefs and musicians. The sommeliers Natalie Lumpp, Jürgen Fendt, Billy Wagner and others comment on Riesling Unplugged of each of the 10 vintages; Stuart Pigott talks about hunting sharks on the Nahe river. The Rock and Roll Band Die Toten Hosen – Martin Tesch produced the wine Weisses Rauschen with them (see below) – contributed a song to the Riesling People Vol. 2, as did Koester + Hocker and the Group Les Sauvignons. All in all, a highly entertaining and informative audio book about Martin Tesch’s Riesling Unplugged.

Pictures: Riesling People Vol. 2

Unplugged in Music and Wine

Unplugged stands in the pop and rock scene for performances with small audiences without reinforcement and other technical manipulations of the music; what you get is a maximum of authenticity and individuality. Unplugged stands in the German wine scene for a Riesling made by Martin Tesch according to the same principles; again, what you get is a maximum of authenticity and individuality.

See: In the Glass: Unplugged - Eric Clapton and Martin Tesch

Martin Tesch’s Riesling Unplugged

Martin Tesch is a young and ambitious winemaker from the Nahe region. He is one of the rising stars among Germany's new generation of winemakers. When he took over the family's winery a few years ago, he made the decision to focus exclusively on the production of dry wine. His goal was to return to the basics of authenticity, balance, and complexity.

Picture: Tesch Riesling Unplugged 2010 and FAVOriten, see: Tesch Riesling Unplugged 2010 and Duo Favo FAVOriten

Towards that end, he created a wine that has become an international favorite: Riesling Unplugged. The wine is as natural as you can get, with tremendous value placed on environmental-friendly viticulture. The wine is untreated, meaning no must concentration or chaptalisation.

Tesch's Riesling Unplugged is a bone-dry, light wine with intense minerals and concentrated fruit on the nose, and a long palate with refreshing acidity.

Weingut Tesch

Martin Tesch owns and runs Weingut Tesch in the Nahe valley. The Weingut has been family-owned and run since 1723 and is a member of the prestigious VDP, the century-old association of Germany’s top winemakers.

Picture: Martin Tesch in Mainz, Germany

In his mid-thirties, Dr. Martin Tesch is a Ph.D. microbiologist by training. He took over Weingut Tesch in 1996 and has presided over fundamental changes both in the vineyard and the wine cellar as well as in the marketing of the Tesch wines. Martin stopped producing sweet-style wines; all Tesch wines are now dry, except, it seems, for the occasional Eiswein when conditions allow. Further, he has moved to natural and non-interventionist winemaking and strict yield control of between 20-30 hl/ha. The harvest is manual and he picks the grapes at full ripeness, but avoids botrytis. Also, he changed and simplified the label design. There are no long words anymore on the label. Finally, Martin Tesch now generally uses the Stelvin glass closure. It is a ultra-modern and expensive technical fitting.

Riesling People Vol. 1

Obviously, Martin Tesch is very much into Rock and Roll. He has documented his passion for wine and Rock and Roll in a book entitled Riesling People, Vol. 1.

This is an unusual book. It explains in a straightforward way, without words, what makes Martin Tesch tick and the wines he produces so special. As a picture-book and travelogue, Riesling People Vol. 1 differs dramatically from the usual wine books. Almost without words, the book tells the story of Martin Tesch and his love for Riesling and Rock and Roll music. It is narrated by black and white photography, printed on glossy paper, and showcases the ecclectic mix of wine and music in Martin's world.

Picture: Riesling People Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

The central theme of the book is the Rolling Riesling Show, which was jointly organized by Martin Tesch and the guitar manufacturer Gibson. Martin Tesch took an audience that was not necessary knowledgeable about wine through six different dry Rieslings and their soil-specific differences. In addition to the Rolling Riesling Show events, the book includes pictures from London wine bars, from Hong Kong, New York, Jancis Robinson and Stuart Pigott, proud Australian importers with the first container of Tesch wines, Martin Tesch at the concert of the Tote Hosen in Trier and backstage with the Düsseldorfer Punk Rockers at Rock am Ring.

See: The Avantgarde Wine World of Dr. Martin Tesch

Die Toten Hosen and Weisses Rauschen

Martin Tesch made a wine with Die Toten Hosen (The Dead Pants, but more elliptically: Nothing Going On), Germany’s leading punk rock group. Both teamed up to produce Weisses Rauschen (White Noise). The members of Die Toten Hosen are Campino (Andreas Frege), Kuddel (Andreas von Holst), Vom (Stephen 'Vom' Ritchie), Andi (Andreas Meurer) and Breiti (Michael Breitkopf).

Picture: Die Toten Hosen

After the band's first wine Machmalriesling was quickly sold out, Die Toten Hosen and Martin Tesch agreed to produce another wine together, Weisses Rauschen. Of course, Martin is in the lead, but Martin told me that the band played an active role in the selection of wine, the name of the wine and the design of the bottle. The wine was named after a song of Die Toten Hosen from the album Zurueck zum Glueck (Back to Happiness).

The wine is a typical Tesch Riesling: No frills, crisp with fine grape flavor reminiscent of apple and apricot. It was environmentally-friendly grown in the vineyard, and naturally fermented and aged in the cellar.

See: In the Glass: 2009 Weisses Rauschen – A Joint Venture of Winemaker Martin Tesch and Punk-Rock Band Die Toten Hosen

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

In the Glass: Unplugged - Eric Clapton and Martin Tesch

Impressions from the Riesling + Co World Tour 2010 in New York

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

In the Glass: 2007 Rheinhessen with Oysters at the Ten Bells in the Lower East Side in Manhattan

In the Glass: 2009 Weisses Rauschen – A Joint Venture of Winemaker Martin Tesch and Punk-Rock Band Die Toten Hosen

The Avantgarde Wine World of Dr. Martin Tesch

Tesch Riesling Unplugged 2010 and Duo Favo FAVOriten

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