Thursday, June 21, 2012

Berlin Gutsriesling Cup 2012, Germany

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Berlin Gutsriesling Cup 2012 Winner Philip Wittmann, Berlin Brandenburger Tor and Martin Zwick

The Berlin Gutsriesling Cup 2012 took place in May 1012 in Berlin, Germany, orchestrated by Martin Zwick.

“Gutsriesling” is a combination of Gutswein and Riesling: Rated were wines that fulfilled the two criteria – being a Gutswein and a Riesling.


What is a Gutswein – Estate Wine? Gutswein is a term introduced and used by the members of the VDP association, Germany’s elite winemakers. A Gutswein is an entry level wine of a VDP member.

In contrast to the German standard classification system of 1971, which is based on a pyramid of sweetness of the grapes at the time of harvest, the classification of the VDP puts the terroir principle at the center of its classification approach, while the ripeness criterium has been moved to the backburner and indeed for dry wines completely removed.

The VDP currently distinguishes 3 quality levels. (It should be noted that the VDP classification system is still evolving; the VDP recently decided to add a fourth layer in its classification system).

The top level: ERSTE LAGE - Wines from the top single vineyards. Maximum yield of 50hl/ha. Minimum must weight equivalent to Spätlese.

The middle level:  ORTSWEIN (Village Wine) – From selected, very good vineyards. Maximum yield of 65hl/ha. 

The lowest level: GUTSWEIN (Estate Wine) – The producer’s entry-level wines, can come from any of the estate’s vineyards. Maximum yield 75hl/ha.


Worldwide, there are about 34.000 hectares planted with Riesling. Germany – with 22.400 hectares – accounts for 2/3 of the total. The second largest Riesling producer is Australia, with 4500 hectares. But this is only about 1/10 of the total. Alsace follows with 3500 hectares. Austria, the US with Washington State and New York State as well as New Zealand make up the remainder. But overall Riesling is really a niche wine, accounting for only less than 1 percent of total wine production in the world - but a very special niche wine.

Martin Zwick and the Berlin Riesling Cup

Martin Zwick is also known for organizing the Berlin Riesling Cup every year. While the Berlin Gutsriesling Cup reviews and rates entry-level Rieslings of VDP Estates, the Berlin Riesling Cup is about their dry grand cru (Grosses Gewaechs) wines.

The first large tasting of the Grosses Gewaechs wines of a vintage takes place a bit less than a year after the harvest, in the city of Wiesbaden, Germany, in early September, with a group of perhaps 100 national and international wine journalists, at the invitation of the VDP (GG-Vorpremiere). Martin Zwick is one of them. On the basis of his impressions and those of others, he then selects what he believes are the top wines from the Grosses Gewaechs wines presentation in Wiesbaden, adds a few other super-premium Rieslings from non-VDP producers or Grosses Gewaechs wines not presented at the VDP tasting in Wiesbaden and invites a few days later a group of journalists, sommeliers, wine-dealers and Riesling lovers to Berlin for a blind tasting of his selection (3 dozens or so).

This event has become known as the Berlin Riesling Cup. It is the first rating of the Grosses Gewaechs wines of a given vintage.

See: Germany’s Top Wines – The Berlin Riesling Cup 2011 Ranking

Berlin Gutsriesling Cup 2012 - Ranking

28 entry-level wines of 28 elite producers in Germany were tasted by a group of wine experts and rated in a 100 points system. Here are the results.

1 Wittmann – Rheinhessen 88,33
2 Julian Haart "Moselriesling" – Mosel 88,11
3 Breuer "Sauvage" – Rheingau 87,78
4 Seehof 87,56
5 Emrich Schönleber – Nahe 86,44
6 Christmann – Pfalz 86,33
7 Wagner Stempel 86,33
8 AJ Adam 86,22
9 von Racknitz 85,89
10 KH-Schneider (Andi) 85,72
11 Sauer "Eschendorfer Lump Kabinett" – Franken  85,56
12 Dönnhoff – Nahe 85,56
13 Schäfer-Fröhlich  - Nahe 85,44
14 van Volxem Mosel Saar Ruwer Saar 85,11
15 Pauly 85,11
16 Keller – Rheinhessen 85,00
17 Fürst 84,89
18 Bickel Stumpf 84,78
19 Schloss Johannisberg – Rheingau 84,67
20 Ress  “von Unserm” – Rheingau 84,67
21 Geil 84,56
22 Othegraven "Max"-  84,44
23 Bürklin Wolf – Pfalz 84,11
24 Robert Weil – Rheingau 83,89
25 Bassermann Jordan – Pfalz 83,50
26 Karl Schaefer 82,78
27 Schloss Lieser 81,44
28Von Winning "WinWin" - Pfalz 78,71

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Germany’s Top Wines – The Berlin Riesling Cup 2011 Ranking

Visiting Weingut Josef Leitz in Ruedesheim – Johannes Leitz is Germany’s Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide 2011

1.International Riesling Symposium

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

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

Visiting Wilhelm Weil at his Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich, Germany

Wrap-Up: 4 Extraordinary Riesling Tastings at the 1. International Riesling Symposium at Schloss Rheinhartshausen in the Rheingau in Germany

Tasting with Wilhelm Weil the 2010 Weingut Weil Wines in Kiedrich, Germany

Visiting Armin and Caroline Diel and their Schlossgut Diel in Burg Layen in Germany

Annual White Wine Presentation of the VDP Wine Makers from the Nahe, Ahr and Rheinhessen Regions in Mainz, Germany

Phil Bernstein’s Third Annual German Riesling Tasting with the German Wine Society, Washington DC Chapter - Rieslings With a Touch of Sweetness

Visiting Georg Rumpf and his VDP Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in the Nahe Region, Germany

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