Friday, March 1, 2013

American Wines with German Roots

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Walter Schug in Carneros

This is a compilation of American wines or wineries that have in one way or another German roots. The German component can take different forms. 

First, the most extreme, I believe, is blending of grapes grown in America with grapes grown in Germany. It seems unusual, but it happens.

The second form is a joint venture of an American and a German wine maker, using American grapes.

Third, there are a number of winemakers in the US who make their wine in the US with American grapes, but who have learned how to make wine in Germany. They came to the US some years ago, are settled in the US and produce American wines, but you can see the German roots in the wines.

Fourth, there are wine producers in the US that were founded by Germans some time ago.

Blending American and German Grapes

NV Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, Pacific Rim – A German American Blend

Pacific Rim is a winery in Washington State that produces 190,000 cases of wine, almost all of which is Riesling made from Washington grapes. Pacific Rim was founded by Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm in 1992. He sold it a couple of years ago to the Banfi family as part of his general downsizing strategy.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Randall Grahm in San Francisco

One of the Rieslings that Pacific Rim used to produce was an intercontinental blend, made from grapes from Washington State and grapes from the Mosel area in Germany. 80 percent of the grapes come from the Columbia Valley in Washington State and 20 percent from the Mosel Valley, selected by the German wine maker Johannes Selbach. Because it was an intercontinental blend, the wine had to be labeled as a NV. Randall Grahm stopped using German grapes in 2008.

Fore more, see:
Pacific Rim Riesling #1 of Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buy List 2011 - Meeting Founder Randall Grahm and Winemakers Nicolas Quille and Steven Sealock
Visiting Winemaker Steven Sealock at Pacific Rim Winemakers in Washington State, USA
German American Wines: (1) Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, (2) Eroica, (3) Woelffer and his Schiller Wine

Joint Ventures

Eroica in Washington State – A Joint Venture between Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Ernst Loosen 

Eroica is a collaboration between Chateau Ste. Michelle, the huge Washington winemaker, and Dr. Ernst Loosen, the eminent Riesling producer from the Mosel region of Germany. The wine is made at Chateau Ste. Michelle from grapes grown in the Columbia Valley.

Eroica was launched in 1999. Named for Beethoven’s Third Symphony, Eroica is supposed to reflect not only its variety and site, but also its heritage: bold and forward from its Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Ernst Loosen in Washington DC

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered European vinifera grape growing in Washington State and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The Dr. Ernst Loosen Estate in the Mosel valley has produced fine Riesling for over two centuries. It is one of the top German wine estates.

They make three kinds of the Eroica. The regular, dry Eroica, an ice wine and a Single Berry Selection. The latter is made in the traditional German Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) style, for which the Mosel valley is so famous, and is one of the few TBAs in North America. This wine is made in very limited quantities and has scored a 98 in the Wine Spectator.

For more, see:
German American Wines: (1) Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, (2) Eroica, (3) Woelffer and his Schiller Wine
Wine ratings: Two American/German wines - Eroica and Poet's Leap - on Top 100 Wines from Washington State list for 2009
The Doctor Made a House Call - A Tasting with Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, at MacArthur Beverages in Washington DC, USA

J. Christopher Wines in Oregon – Ernst Loosen’s Second Project in the USA

A more recent joint venture of Ernst Loosen is the Loosen Christopher Wines LLC with Jay Somers in Oregon. Jay Somers and Ernst Loosen met years ago. Their friendship led to a partnership, and in 2010, they began building a winery and vineyard in Newberg, Oregon. The new venture, Loosen Christopher Wines LLC, produces wines under the already-established “J. Christopher” brand. As winemaker for the joint venture, Jay is in charge of all winery operations. Ernst sees his role as that of an investor who both supports the growth of the brand and broadens the winery’s exposure to Old World ideas and techniques.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Jay Somers in Portland, Oregon

For more, see:
A Riesling Guru and a Killer Guitarist cum Cult Winemaker: Ernst Loosen and Jay Somers and their J. Christopher Winery in Newberg, Oregon

Poet’s Leap Riesling in Washington State – A Joint Venture between Long Shadows and Schlossgut Diel

Long Shadows has become, in a short time, one of the premier wineries in Washington State. Based in Walla Walla, it is an unusual set up. Former Stimson-Lane CEO Allen Shoup works with renowned winemakers from around the world for this venture. Each winemaker creates a single wine using Washington State fruit. Add resident winemaker Gilles Nicault to shepherd all of the wines along.

One of the wines is the Poet’s Leap Riesling, made in joint ventue with Armin Diel, one of Germany’s most highly regarded Riesling producers. His family has owned the celebrated estate of Schlossgut Diel in Burg Layen in the Nahe river valley since 1802. Schlossgut Diel is international renowned for its white wines, predominately Rieslings, across a wide range of styles. Armin Diel is also one of Germany’s leading wine writers. Armin and his wife Monika live in Burg Layen. Their daughter Caroline just completed her studies in enology in Geisenheim, Germany’s UC Davis equivalent, and is now co-managing the winery in the Nahe Valley.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Armin Diel and Caroline Diel at Schlussgut Diel in Germany

Fore more, see:
Visiting Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington State - Where Armin Diel’s Poet’s Leap Riesling is Made
Visiting Armin and Caroline Diel and their Schlossgut Diel in Burg Layen in Germany

German Winemaker and American Grapes

Woelffer Estate on Long Island in New York State – All German, Except for the Grapes

The Woelffer Estate is located in the Hamptons on Long Island in New York State. The Woelffer Wine Estate, one of the top wine estates on Long Island, New York State, would not be what it is today without the two Germans Christian Woelffer, its founder, and Roman Roth, its wine maker.

Christian Wölffer was born in Hamburg, Germany. He made a successful career in investment banking, real estate, venture capital and agriculture in different countries, before moving into wine and establishing the critically acclaimed Woelffer Estate.

Christian Wölffer purchased land on Long Island in 1978. He joined the wine movement in 1987, when he started to grow wine, and became a driving force of wine making in the Long Island in the following years until his untimely death in 2008. In 1997, Christian Wölffer completed work on his state-of-the-art winery, unquestionably the most stylish on Long Island.

The other driving force behind the Wölffer Estate is the German winemaker Roman Roth. Born in Rottweil, Germany, Roth was a choirboy in his youth. In 1982, at age 16, he began a three-year apprenticeship at the Kaiserstuhl Wine Cooperative in Oberrotweil. Turning 20, Roman Roth traveled to California, where he worked at the Saintsbury Estate and Australia, where he worked at the Rosemount Estate. Back in Germany, for further study, Roth worked at the Winzerkeller Wiesloch in Baden.

The year 1992 became a turning point for Roman Roth for two reasons: first, he earned his Master Winemaker and Cellar Master degree from the College for Oenology and Viticulture in Weinsberg. And second, he accepted Christian Wölffer’s invitation to join him in New York to be the winemaker at what was then the mere start-up of a winery, at that time known as Sagpond Vineyards in Sagaponack.

Over the next several years, Roth managed the cultivation and expansion of the vineyards, which today number 50 acres, and the vinification, ultimately producing wines that embody the essence of the Hamptons appellation—ripe fruit and natural acidity born of a unique terroir, a lush combination of soil, sun, moisture and the ever-present maritime breezes from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

For more, see:
German American Wines: (1) Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, (2) Eroica, (3) Woelffer and his Schiller Wine
German Winemakers in the World: Christian Woelffer and Roman Roth

Otium Cellars in Virginia – German Ownership and German Grape Varieties

Otium Cellars is owned by the German Gerhard Bauer and located in Loudoun County, Virginia. Gerhard Bauer is the CEO of Frenzelit North America Inc., the Frenzelit headquarters in Germany.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Gerhard Bauer in Virginia

Gerhard Bauer started the winery a few years ago: “Rooted in old Franconian tradition, our boutique winery is taking wines in Northern Virginia to new heights. Our quest is focused on making high-quality wines.”

Planted in 2007, the vineyard is home to several German varietals: Lemberger, Dornfelder and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris).  “We believe wine is not only made in the cellar but is a philosophy and year-round effort in the vineyard. The vines are constantly being attended to during all four seasons. Each wine demonstrates the best aroma, character, and flavor you can achieve with the different grape varietals we cultivate . . . Each of our wines receive a specific treatment, and we call this Otium Terroir Management . . . Perfecting the ideal ripeness according to the year.”

Ben Renshaw has been working with Gerhard Bauer to produce and sell the wines of Otium Cellars while Gerhard Bauer’s winery was being built. Gerhard Bauer did his first planting on six and a half acres at Goose Creek Farms in 2007.

For more, see:
Tasting the “German” Otium Wines with Gerhard Bauer and Ben Renshaw at Otium Cellars, Virginia, USA 

Anthony Road Wine Company in the Finger Lakes, New York State – A German Winemaker, Johannes Reinhardt

The Anthony Road Wine Company, a top winemaker in the Finger Lakes region, caught international attention recently with their 2006 Finger Lakes Riesling Trockenbeeren, when it was awarded one of the 7 Trophies of Excellence of the Riesling Du Monde Competition 2010 in France.

Ann and John Martini opened the winery in 1990. It is on the west shore of Seneca Lake in the town of Torrey, about 10 miles south of Geneva. The German connection? The winemaker, Johannes Reinhardt, is a German native, born in at little village of Franconia, 80 miles east of Frankfort. Johannes grew up in a family that has been in the wine business since 1438. He has been in the vineyards and wine cellars all his life. He joined Anthony Road in 2000.

The award winning wine was released in the Martini-Rheinhardt Selection Series. These are special wines named after the Anthony Road’s vineyard manager, Peter Martini, and winemaker Johannes Reinhardt to honor the collaboration between the vineyard and the winery.

This is a lusciously sweet wine. How was it made? Mother Nature, under normal circumstances, produces dry wines in the vineyard - everywhere in the world. All the sugar in the grapes at harvest disappears during fermentation and no sweetness remains in the wine. There are, however, plenty of sweet wines made around the world. Different techniques exist to make a wine sweet. One of them is to let the noble rot – botrytis cinerea – suck the water out of the grape, so that the degree of sugar in the grapes is extra-ordinary high. Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that under the right conditions attacks already-ripe grapes, shrivelling them, concentrating the sweetness and acidity. The grapes end up looking disgusting but they make profound sweet white wines.

The 2008 Finger Lakes Riesling Trockenbeeren was produce with this method. 2008 was a good year for noble rot in the Finger Lakes region, with some rain, enough heat and fog or dew in the morning at harvest time.

For more, see:
Celebrating the Rieslings of the Finger Lakes Region, New York State, US East Coast 
The Wines and the Food at President Obama’s Inauguration Luncheon, January 21, 2013, USA

Walter Schug’s Sensational Pinot Noirs – A German in California

Walter Schug is one of California’s Pinot Noir pioneers. His home is Walter Schug Carneros Estate winery in Sonoma, California, but he was born and grew up in Assmannshausen in the Rheingau in Germany. He also received his formal training as winemaker in Germany. Walter Schug first made Pinot Noir in 1954, with his father in Assmannshausen in the Rheingau.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Walter Schug in Sonoma

Walter Schug was the first winemaker at Joseph Phelps in 1973, where he initially built a reputation for Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, but also made Pinot Noir. In 1989, Walter purchased 50 acres in the Sonoma portion of the Carneros Appellation for their new Carneros Estate.

For more, see:
California Pinot Noir Pioneer Walter Schug: From the Rheingau in Germany to Carneros in California
Lunch with Pinot Noir Giant Walter Schug in Sonoma, California
Visiting Walter Schug and his Schug Carneros Estate Winery in Carneros, California 

Anne Moller-Racke’s Donum Estate in California: Old World, Terroir-driven Winemaking in the New World 

Anne Moller-Racke is President and Winegrower at the Donum Estate in Sonoma, California. Now ten years old, the Donum Estate is a small producer of ultra-premium Pinot Noir wines.

Anne Moller-Racke’s live began in a small village in Germany, Oberwesel. It took a major turn, when she married Markus Racke from the Racke family. It took another turn, when the Racke family purchased the Buena Vista Carneros Estate in 1981 and she settled with Markus in California.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Anne Moller-Racke at Donum Estate in Sonoma

Anne quickly moved up the ranks at Buena Vista Carneros Estate. She became vineyard manager for Buena Vista Carneros Winery in 1983. She was named director of vineyard operations in 1988 and was promoted to vice president of vineyard operations in 1997.

Anne was instrumental in developing Buena Vista’s Carneros Estate, now the appellation’s largest vineyard, expanding the planted acreage from 540 in 1981, when the Racke family took over, to 935 a decade later, and supplying fruit to premier producers like Acacia, Etude and Sterling. In the 1990s, she also replanted over 500 acres, carefully innovating viticultural practices and selecting rootstocks, clones, trellising and irrigation techniques for each vineyard block.

Anne Moller-Racke’s life took another turn in 2001, when the Racke family sold the Buena Vista Carneros Estate. At the same time Markus and Anne divorced, after Markus had moved back to Germany to take over the management of the Racke Group 10 years earlier. Anne was able to split off 200 acres of the Buena Vista Estate to start her personal project, the Donum Estate. The name, Donum, translates from the Latin to “donation” and refers to grapes as a gift of the land.

Now ten years old, Anne farms 70 acres of vines at the home ranch, 20 acres of the venerable Ferguson Block in Carneros, and the Nugent Vineyard, an 11-acre Russian River Valley estate she planted in the mid-1990s. As caretaker of vineyards she has farmed for decades, Anne brings a vast knowledge of the appellations and sites to her role as wine grower.

The Donum Estate is leading the cadre of Pinot Noir producers in Carneros that are producing stunning wines to rival any made in California today.

Fore more, see:
Visiting Anne Moller-Racke and her Donum Estate in California: Old World, Terroir-driven Winemaking in the New World

Founded by Germans

Schramsberg – A Leading Sparkling Wine Producer Founded by a German

In 1826, in the small town of Pfeddersheim Germany, along the Rhine River, Jacob Schram was born. He came from a winemaking family. When he was sixteen, the young Schram immigrated to New York. He was educated in the trade of barbering, and in 1852 sailed across the Caribbean, crossed-over the Panama Isthmus, and continued up to San Francisco. He spent the next several years barbering, eventually moving his way north, to the Napa Valley.

In 1859 he married Annie Christine Weaver, also from Germany, and they started a family. For several years he continued to barber full time. Never far from his thoughts were his homeland and his roots in the vinelands of Germany. In 1862, Jacob purchased a large piece of land on the mountainsides of the Napa Valley. He was going to be a part of the emerging efforts by many fellow German countrymen in the Napa Valley to make wine; thus Schramsberg was born.

Korbel Champagne Cellars – A Leading Sparkling Wine Producer with Roots in Bohemia

Sparkling wine production in California dates to the late 1800s, when two groups -- Almaden Vineyards and the Korbel brothers -- offered their first bottles of sparklers (“Champagne”) for sale. Korbel Champagne Cellars was founded by 3 brothers -- Francis, Anton, and Joseph-- from Bohemia, which has historically been home to both Czechs and Germans and now is part of the Czech Republic. The first German University was founded in Bohemia. When the Korbel brothers were born, they were born in the Kingdom of Bohemia, which was, along with 39 other sovereign states, part of the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund).

It was the timber that first attracted the Korbel brothers to the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County in 1872. When the building boom subsided, they began to grow alfalfa, beets, corn, prunes, and wheat, and also began to plant vineyards on their Russian River property. In 1984, they brought a Prague winemaker named Frank Hasek to California. Hasek used the methode champenoise approach to making sparkling wine. By 1894, the Korbel brothers began to sell their sparklers and by the end of the 1800s, Korbel was an award-winning, internationally recognized label.

In the early 1950s, the Koerbel family sold the business to Adolf L. Heck, a third generation winemaker whose family had roots in the Alsace Loraine straddling France and Germany. In 1956, Adolf L. Heck reintroduced Korbel Brut, making it much lighter and drier than other American sparklers. He developed his own yeasts and introduced Korbel Natural, Korbel Blanc de Blancs, and Korbel Blanc de Noirs. Adolph Heck ran Korbel until his death in 1984. His son, Gary, took over as chairman of the board and Robert Stashak became Korbel's sparkling wine master.

For more, see:
German Wine Makers in the World: The Korbel Brothers from Bohemia Introduced "Champagne" to the US
The Wines and the Food at President Obama’s Inauguration Luncheon, January 21, 2013, USA

Charles Krug Winery and the Mondavis

The Charles Krug Winery has been owned for many decades by Mondavis, but it was founded by Charles Krug, a German. He was born as Karl Krug in Tendelburg, near Kassel, which at that time was part of Prussia. When he arrived in San Francisco in 1852, he came with no grape-growing or winemaking experience. He was a university-trained journalist (with controversial political beliefs – a supporter of the March revolution - for which he was briefly jailed in Prussia). Until 1854, he worked for the German San Francisco Staats-Zeitung.

In the following years, he would become the major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renown wine producing region. Charles Krug made the first commercial wine in the Napa Valley, and the winery he built in 1861 is where Napa wine began. His leadership was said to be inspirational. Innovations such as using a cider press to efficiently crush the grapes, planting insect-resistant rootstock, and establishing the first public tasting room, truly made him a founding father of the pioneer Napa Valley wine industry.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Peter Mondavi Jr. in Washington DC

When Charles Krug died in 1892, the winery was purchased by his close friend, James Moffitt, a San Francisco banker, who owned the winery through prohibition and sold the winery to Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, Italian immigrants, in 1943. Cesare was 60 when he purchased the winery for $75,000. His two sons, Peter and Robert, both went to Stanford, then came back to run the winery. Cesare died in 1959. The Mondavi brothers Peter and Robert could not agree on the general direction of the Charles Krug Winery and in 1966 there was the famous breakup between the two brothers. Robert left, was paid off and founded the Robert Mondavi Winery. Peter stayed and has been at the helm of the Charles Krug Winery since then.

There were tremendous enological, viticultural and marketing innovations that Peter Mondavi undertook during the last four decades. Among them were vintage dated varietals, pioneering cold fermentation and sterilization for white wines, use of small French oak barrels and glass lined steel tanks.

Meanwhile, Peter's two sons -- Marc and Peter Jr. - were educated at UC Davis and Stanford, respectively, and have been playing a major role in winemaking and winery management since the early 1980's. Marc oversees the vineyards and winemaking, while Peter Jr. manages marketing, sales and general winery functions.

Located one-and-a-half miles north of St. Helena, “the Charles Krug Winery focuses production on lush red Bordeaux style blends, New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc and classically crafted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel” said Peter. Over the years, the Charles Krug Winery has grown to 850 acres of estate land. The wine portfolio comprises three groups of wines.

Fore more, see
Morton’s Steakhouse Presented Peter Mondavi Jr. at a Charles Krug Winemaker Dinner

Dr. Konstantin Frank and the Vitis Vinifera Revolution on the US East Coast

Dr. Konstantin Frank (1897-1985) was a viticulturist and wine maker in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, USA. He was born in Europe, in Odessa, now Ukraine into a Russian-German family. Dr. Konstantin Frank ignited the so-called vitis vinifera revolution, which changed the course of wine growing in the Finger Lakes and the North-East of the US.

Well, was Dr. Konstantin Frank a German? He was born in the former Soviet Union into a family with German roots. The Germans came in waves from the West to Russia and settled there from the 16th century onwards. A big wave of German immigration occurred in the 18th century under Catherine the Great, who herself was a German from Anhalt. The Frank family belongs to the Black Sea Germans. At the time Konstantin Frank was born, Odessa belonged to the Russian Empire. When he left for the US, it was part of the Soviet Union. Now, after his death, it has become Ukraine. I met Dr. Konstantin Frank's grandson, Fred, who now owns and runs the estate this year; we communicated in German. Fred got his wine growing and wine making training at the wine college in Geisenheim in the Rheingau, Germany.

Dr. Konstantin Frank’s achievement is that he was the first to find a way to plant vitis vinifera varietals in the cool northern fringes of the north-eastern US. The struggle to do this goes back many centuries.

In the original charter of the 13 colonies was a royal commission to pursue three luxury items that England was unable to provide for itself: wine, silk, and olive oil. Every colony made attempts to satisfy the requirements of its charter, but made only limited progress. The problem was that on the one hand there were the native American grapes. All these native American grapes were cold tolerant and disease and pest resistant, but not that well suited for wine making, due to their coarseness, high tannins, and foxy flavors. On the other hand, the vitis vinifera which settlers brought from Europe, were well suited for wine making, but uniformly unable to survive long enough to produce a crop.

Despite many years of failure, the early Americans persisted in their efforts. And they had some success. A big step forward was made in 1740 when a natural cross pollination occurred between a native American grape and a European vitis vinifera. Other successful crossings followed.

So, only native American grapes and European American hybrids were grown in the Finger Lakes area, when Dr. Konstantin Frank arrived in the United States in 1951, finding work at a Cornell University experimental station in the Finger Lakes region. Having grown vitis vinifera back home in regions so cold that "spit would freeze before touching the ground" Dr. Frank believed that the lack of proper rootstock, not the cold climate, was the reason for the failure of vitis vinifera in the Finger Lakes region. He thought that European grapes could do well on the rolling, well-drained hills around the Finger Lakes provided they were grafted onto early maturing American rootstock.

With the help of the French champagne maker Charles Fournier, Dr. Frank put his ideas into practice. He developed the right root stock and grafted European vitis vinifera on them. He planted these vitis vinifera in the slate soil around Lake Keuka and he opened a winery, Vinifera Wine Cellars, in 1962. Despite his success, other winemakers still doubted him for many years and he had trouble getting New York distributors to handle his wine.

Today, Dr. Frank is recognized as having led the revolution in wine quality in New York State and the East Coast. With the help of his cousin Eric Volz as vineyard manager, Fred Frank, Konstantin's grandson took over the winery in 1993. Fred’s business degree from Cornell University and his study of viticulture and enology in Germany helped prepare him to take over the family business.

For more, see:
German Wine Makers in the World: Dr. Konstantin Frank (USA)

Hermann J. Wiemer from the Mosel Valley and the Riesling Revolution in the Finger Lakes

Hermann J. Wiemer is another pioneer of viticulture and winemaking in the Finger Lakes region with German links. He was born and raised in Germany, and arrived in the US in 1968. His first wine was released in 1980. In the 30 years since then, the winery has been lauded as one of the nation’s premier white wine producers, in particular of Riesling. Hermann J. Wiemer was born in Bernkastel into an influential family in the wine business. Hermann's father was the head of the Agricultural Experiment Station in Bernkastel and was responsible for restoring vines in the Mosel region after WWII. He came to the US in the early 1970s. When he arrived, wine making in the Finger Lakes area was dominated by native American grapes and American European hybrid grapes. Riesling, for which Hermann J. Wiemer has become famous, was not grown. Initially, he made hybrid and American wines for Walter Taylor at the Bully Hill winery on Keuka Lake.

In 1973 Hermann J. Wiemer bought 140 acres of land, the barn and a mid-19th-century house on the west side of Route 14, which runs along Seneca Lake and turned it into one of the premier vineyards and nurseries in the region. Starting with four acres, he developed the right root stock for grafting European vinifera on them. The first vintage, a 1979, was released in 1980. Hermann Wiemer quickly became known for his German-style vinifera wines. He claims that he made the first dry Riesling in the US and said that many scoffed at him for making Riesling even though today it's the flagship wine grape variety of the region. Wiemer has three estate vineyards within 10 miles of the winery on the west side of Seneca Lake: Magdalena, Josef, and HJW. The vineyards are farmed under strict sustainable agricultural practices.

Hermann J. Wiemer retired a few years ago. Today the winemaking process is managed by Hermann J Wiemer’s long-term winemaker Fred Merwarth who has worked closely with Hermann as one of his winemakers for the last 8 years. Hermann is still passionately and practically involved in the life of the winery, and Fred continues faithfully executing the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard legacy and heritage.

Fore more, see:
German Winemakers in the World: Hermann J. Wiemer, 1900/2000, Finger Lakes, US

Robert Stemmler’s Sensational Pinot Noirs – A German in California

Robert Stemmler, a native from Germany, is another early and passionate producer of outstanding California Pinot Noir. He arrived in Napa Valley in 1961 after making wine for nearly a decade in Germany. In 1976, he founded his own winery in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley and in 1982, having found a cool-climate Russian River Valley fruit source, released his first Pinot Noir to great critical acclaim. Robert traveled tirelessly promoting his Pinot Noir at tastings dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay producers, and he steadily developed his own following.

Fore more, see:
German winemakers in the World: Robert Stemmler (USA) 

The Beringer Brothers and the Rhine House from Mainz in Germany

Beringer Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley. In 2001, the estate was placed on the National Register for Historic Places as a Historic District.

Jacob Beringer left his home in Mainz, Germany, in 1868 to start a new life in the U.S., enticed by his brother, Frederick, who had sailed to New York five years earlier and wrote home constantly of the grand opportunities to be found in the vast new world. New York did not appeal to Jacob, however. He had enjoyed working in wine cellars in Germany when he was younger and had heard that the warm, sunny climate of California was ideal for growing wine grapes. So in 1870 he traveled by train from the East Coast, first to San Francisco and then on to Napa Valley. To his delight, he discovered rocky, well-drained soils similar to those in his native Rhine Valley.

Jacob and Frederick together bought land in 1875 and set about making wines that compared to the best in Europe . In 1876, they founded the Beringer Winery. In 1883, Frederick permanently moved to the Napa Valley and began construction of a 17-room mansion – the Rhine House- that was to be his home—a re-creation of the Beringer family home located on the Rhine River in Germany.

Today, Beringer Winery is owned by the Beringer (Wolfgang) Blass Group from Australia. The Beringer Winery has 4200 hectares of land under vine, more than the whole Rheingau region. Incidentially, Wolfgang Blass is also a native of Germany and considered to be the “father” of the Australian wine industry.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

German American Wines: (1) Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, (2) Eroica, (3) Woelffer and his Schiller Wine

Wine ratings: Two American/German wines - Eroica and Poet's Leap - on Top 100 Wines from Washington State list for 2009

German American Wines: (1) NV Two Worlds Pinot Noir, (2) Poet's Leap Riesling and (3) Herrmann Wiemer's Finger Lakes Rieslings

Visiting Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington State - Where Armin Diel’s Poet’s Leap Riesling is Made

Visiting Winemaker Steven Sealock at Pacific Rim Winemakers in Washington State, USA

The Doctor Made a House Call - A Tasting with Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, at MacArthur Beverages in Washington DC, USA

A Riesling Guru and a Killer Guitarist cum Cult Winemaker: Ernst Loosen and Jay Somers and their J. Christopher Winery in Newberg, Oregon

California Pinot Noir Pioneer Walter Schug: From the Rheingau in Germany to Carneros in California

German winemakers in the World: Robert Stemmler (USA)

Visiting Walter Schug and his Schug Carneros Estate Winery in Carneros, California

German Wine Makers in the World: The Korbel Brothers from Bohemia Introduced "Champagne" to the US

President Obama Serves a “German” Riesling at State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao

German Winemakers in the World: Hermann J. Wiemer, 1900/2000, Finger Lakes, US

German Wine Makers in the World: Dr. Konstantin Frank (USA)

German Winemakers in the World: Christian Woelffer and Roman Roth

Celebrating the Rieslings of the Finger Lakes Region, New York State, US East Coast

State Dinner at the White House: Chancellor Merkel Dined and Wined with President Obama - The Wines they Drank and the Wines they did not Drink

The Wines and the Food at President Obama’s Inauguration Luncheon, January 21, 2013, USA

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