Friday, May 31, 2013

Winemaker Jordan Harris from Tarara Winery in Virginia: One of “40 American Tastemakers under 40” (Wine Enthusiast), USA

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Jordan Harris,Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

The Wine Enthusiast has just published a list of “40 American Tastemakers under 40”. One of the young stars is Virginia winemaker Jordan Harris from Tarara. Here is why the Wine Enthusiast selected him:

Jordan Harris, 32, Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

“While many of Virginia’s vintners are concentrating their efforts on the sure sellers—namely Bordeaux-style blends, Chardonnay and the state’s signature grape, Viognier— Harris champions varieties that are oft overlooked in the Commonwealth. Pushing the boundaries of his blends, Harris is blazing trails in the state with bottlings like his 2010 #SocialSecret, a heavy-hitting hodgepodge of Tannat, Petit Verdot and Pinotage; and his 2010 Honah Lee White, a sapid mix of Viognier, Roussanne and Petit Manseng.”

See also:
An Afternoon with Jordan Harris, Winemaker of Tarara, Virginia, USA
TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont
Vineyard Walk, Wine Tasting in the Vineyard and Lunch in the Tarara Tank Cellar with Wine Maker Jordan Harris, Tarara Winery, USA

Vendredi du Vin #52 : Rare and Forgotten Grapes

This posting is being published as part of the Vendredis du Vin, a monthly blog event in France. Participating wine bloggers - mainly in France - are all releasing postings today under the same heading.

Picture: Vendredi du Vin

This month's Vendredi du Vin is orchestrated by Jef Heering from Balthazar Magnum. The theme is l'Arche de Noé des Cépages Rares et Oubliés – rare and forgotten grapes. Well, “Harris champions varieties that are oft overlooked in the Commonwealth”.

Jordan Harris and Tarara Winery

Tarara Winery is in Loudoun County, about an hour by car from Washington DC. The beautifully manicured 475 acre farm stretches along the Potomac River. Founded in 1989 by RJ (Whitie) and Margaret Hubert, Tarara is home to some of Virginia’s finest wines. Annual production is 10.000 cases.

Jordan grew up in a little village in Canada, an hour north of Toronto. He went to a Culinary School and became the manager of a fine Italian restaurant. He left the restaurant and went back to school for Oenology and Viticulture at Niagara College. Before moving on to Virginia, he made wine in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada, where he worked for a few wineries.

Jordan shares the winemaker job with his Canadian compatriot Jonathan Boyle.

In the Vineyard with Jordan Harris

Tarara’s main vineyards are Nevaeh (the estate vineyard managed by Ben Renshaw), Tranquility (in Purcellville, also managed by Ben Renshaw), Honah Lee (in Orange managed by Wayne and Vera Preddy), Mountainview (in Roanoke County managed by Megan and Andy Seibel), and Indian Springs (in the Winchester area managed by Steven Brown).

Pictures: Jordan Harris,Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

Nevaeh is made up of three distinct blocks – The Hill, The Road and The Pond.

The Hill has the deepest soils made up of red clay with limestone deposits cutting through the block. The varieties planted on the Hill and used for Tarara bottlings include: Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier and Petit Manseng.

The Road is the flattest of the sights and furthest from the Potomac River. Varieties planted and used for Tarara bottlings: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

The Pond is the coolest site of Nevaeh. This block is the best for Tarara’s aromatic whites like Viognier, but is also home to some of Tarara’s most elegant Merlot due to the length of the growing season it can have and small amounts of Grenache and Mourvedre.

Tranquility Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard planted in 1999 by it's owners: Al and Mary Taylor, set in the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont. Starting with the 2011 season, the Tranquility Vineyard is being leased entirely by Tarara Winery. Tarara only bottles wine using the Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat.

Honah Lee Vineyard is a very steep South-West facing slope at about 1000 feet elevation. The wines from Honah Lee tend to be the most “exotic” of the wines produced at Tarara with soft structures and lovely rich ripe fruit. Honah Lee grows the following varieties for Tarara: Viognier, Petit Manseng, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Pinotage.

In the Cellar with Jordan Harris

Jordan Harris is very passionate about the natural wine concepts. The idea behind the winemaking at Tarara Winery is to take a minimalist approach to allow the vineyards to best express themselves. Jordan believes that fine wines are made in the vineyard. Every time they have to get in the way of the wine, it is less of an expression of that vineyard.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Jordan Harris,Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

The Tarara wines are made in a 6000 square foot cave – which we did not visit, but I could look at the cave from the tasting area - to allow nature to give the winemaker consistent cellar temperatures and perfect humidity. This allows the wine to age gracefully in predominately Virginia Oak barrels until the wine is ready for bottling and eventual release.

Jordan Harris: “All of our wines are meant to be a definition of the grapes. The wines are not treated with enzymes, fining agents or any unnecessary additives. The wines will occasionally need slight adjustments with sugar or acid to help the wines keep their balance and to fine tune the alcohol. All of the wines are fermented on indigenous yeasts with limited temperature control. Our belief is that the natural warmer fermentations allow wines to have more structure and depth, while the cooler temperatures are less necessary to preserve the aromatics which are abundant from the vineyard.”

40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers
Published on Apr 30, 2013
By Wine Enthusiast Editors

Ian Brand, 32
Winemaker, Coastview Vineyards, Le P'tit Paysan, Monterey, CA

Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA

Morgan Twain-Peterson, 32
Winemaker/Proprietor, Bedrock Wine Co., Sonoma, CA

Matt Stamp, MS, 35
Education Director, Guild of Sommeliers, Napa, CA

Erin Sullivan, 33
Wine Director, Acme Fine Wine shop, Napa, CA

Ian Cauble, MS, 32
U.S. Ambassador, Krug Champagne, San Mateo, CA

Jordan Harris, 32
Winemaker and General Manager, Tarara Winery, Leesburg, VA

Carla Rzeszewki, 34
Wine Director, The Breslin, John Dory Oyster Bar and The Spotted Pig, New York City

Ivy Mix, 27
Co-founder, Speed Rack, Brooklyn, NY

Ravi DeRossi, 38
Owner, DeRossi Global, New York City

Greg Engert, 33
Beer Director and Partner, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C.

Christina Turley, 28
Brand Ambassador and Head of Sales, Turley Wine Cellars, Napa, CA

Jesse Katz, 29
Winemaker, Lancaster Estate and Roth, Healdsburg, CA

Nicole Erny, 28
Master Cicerone, Oakland, CA

Alpana Singh, MS, 36
Proprietor, The Boarding House, Chicago

Andy Lewis, 31
Distiller, Rock Town Distillery, Little Rock, AR

Marko Karakasevic, 39
Master Distiller, Charbay Distillers, St. Helena, CA

Kristy Melton, 32
Winemaker, Clos du Val, Napa, CA

Pascaline Lepeltier, 32
Beverage Director, Rouge Tomate, New York City

“Within a year of taking over the dusty 4,500- bottle cellar of two-star L’Auberge Bretonne in the Pays Nantais, this Angers, France-native was named Best Loire Valley Young Sommelier and Best Sommelier in all of Brittany. In 2008, she took second place in the Best French Sommelier competition, the highest finish ever for a woman. In addition to upping the quality of the wine list at Rouge Tomate NYC, Lepeltier years ago quietly outflanked scores of so-called mixology meccas by transforming the Midtown restaurant’s cocktail menu into one of the first truly season-driven, farm- to-bar affairs.”

Leo Robitschek, 31
Bar Manager, The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, New York City

Jasmine Hirsch, 33
Director of Sales and Marketing, Hirsch Vineyards, Cazadero, CA

Laura Maniec, MS, 33
Owner, Corkbuzz Wine Studio, New York City

Philip Rubin, 28
Director of Sales & Marketing

Phillip Zucchino, 29
Director of Wine Programs, The Wine Feed, Raleigh, NC

Joe Campanale, 29
Beverage Director/Partner L’Artusi, dell’anima, L’Apicio and Anfora, New York City

Matt Taylor, 35
Winemaker/Farmer, Reuling Vineyard and Front Porch Farm, Forestville, CA

Paul Zitarelli, 35
Owner, Full Pull Wines, Seattle

Fred Merwarth, 35
Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Co-owner
Oskar Bynke, 37

Finger Lakes pioneer Hermann J. Wiemer revolutionized fine winemaking in the region. Since 2007, the infusion of Wiemer’s long-time winemaking assistant, Fred Merwarth, and friend, Oskar Bynke, as co-owners, has elevated not just the winery, but Finger Lakes wines as a category. Merwarth and Bynke met over a decade ago while students at Cornell University. Ironically, while Merwarth studied business and Bynke studied agronomy, it’s Merwarth who is known for his thoughtful winemaking and Bynke for his business savvy and strident ambassadorship.

Nicholas Miller, 33
VP of Sales and Marketing, Bien Nacido Vineyards, Santa Barbara, CA

Karl Wente, 36
Winemaker, Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA

Hardy Wallace, 39
Winemaker, blogger Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery, Calistoga, CA

Fernando Beteta, MS, 36
Director of Education and Social Technologies, Tenzing Wine & Spirits, Chicago

Lesley Townsend Duval, 34
Founder and Executive Director, Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York City

Tyler Baillet, 33
President and Founder, Second Glass, Boston

Jason Littrell, 32
Former president U.S. Bartenders’ Guild, New York Chapter, New York City

Damon Boelte, 31
Radio Host on the The Speakeasy & Bar Director, Prime Meats, Brooklyn

Erin Barbour Scala, 32
Wine Director, Public, New York City

Gavin Chanin, 26
Winemaker, Price Chanin Vineyards and Chanin Wine Co., Sonoma, CA

Scott Beattie, 38
Bar Manager and Partner, Goose & Gander, St. Helena, CA

schiller-wine: Related Posting

Northern Virginia Magazine October 2012: Wine Recs from Local Winos

Visiting Jennifer Breaux Blosser and Breaux Vineyards in Virginia, USA

Virginia Wines Shine in San Francisco - 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition, USA

Judging Virginia Wines in Suffolk, Virginia - Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic 2012

A New Winery in Virginia - The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, USA

As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar

Jim Law and Linden Vineyards in Virginia – A Profile, USA

Boxwood Winery in Virginia: Lunch with Wine Makers Rachel Martin and Adam McTaggert in the Chai between the Tanks – TasteCamp 2012 East Kick-Off, USA

Book Review: "Beyond Jefferson's Vines - The Evolution of Quality Wine in Virginia" by Richard Leahy, USA

An Afternoon with Jordan Harris, Winemaker of Tarara, Virginia, USA

TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont 

Vineyard Walk, Wine Tasting in the Vineyard and Lunch in the Tarara Tank Cellar with Wine Maker Jordan Harris, Tarara Winery, USA

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Global Wine Consumption and Production

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Ernst Loosen in Washington DC. Ernst Loosen not only makes wine in the Mosel Valley, but also in the Pfalz region in Germany and in Washington State as well as in Oregon in the US, for more see:

Ernst Loosen and Dr. L. Riesling - His Hugely Popular Entry-level Wine Sold Throughout the World 
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
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) Pacific Rim Riesling (2) Eroica and (3) Woelffer's Schillerwein
Riesling, Pinot Noir and Indian Cuisine: A tête-à-tête Dinner with Winemaker Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, at Rasika in Washington DC, USA

Global wine consumption has increased by about 1 percent per annum in the past 10 years and is forecast to grow by about the same rate in the coming years. The US, China and Russia are driving growth in global wine consumption. The Old World is a drag on growth, as per capita consumption is declining and the population stagnating. The US has just become the largest wine market in the world and China is projected to become the second largest wine market in 2016.

Weinrallye # 63: EU Ban on New Vineyard Plantings

This posting is being published as part of the Weinrallye, a monthly blog event in Germany. Participating wine bloggers - mainly in Germany - are all releasing postings today under the heading "EU Ban on New Vineyard Plantings" . Weinrallye is the brainchild of Thomas Lippert, a winemaker and wine blogger based in Heidelberg, Germany. This month's wine rally is organized by Sebastian Holey, who runs the wine blog “Weinbau und Oenologie".

Picture: Weinrallye

Currently, there are restrictions to planting vines across the European Union. The European Union wants to change this. If the planned reform goes through, by 2019 there will be no restrictions to planting vines across the European Union, even in countries that today have no vineyards. This posting offers some background information on the topic, by shedding some light on which countries produce and which countries consume the wine made in the world.

Old World, New World and Emerging Wine Countries

Old World and New World

Old World wine countries comprise continental Western Europe, with France, Italy, Portugal, Germany being the main countries. They are considered to be very much terroir driven.

New World wine countries are the US, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand and South Africa. Not all of them are new comers. Latin America has been producing wine, and large amounts, for centuries. But it was all done for the local market. Sure, when the Spanish came, they wanted to continue to drink wine, but wine was not exported in a meaningful way and was not present in the world market. While most of the wine production in Latin America is based on Old World varieties, the wine growing regions of Latin America often have "adopted" grapes that are particularly closely identified with them, such as Argentina's Malbec and Chile's Carmenere (both from France).

Other countries, like Australia and the US are real newcomers. Here, the terroir concept is on the back burner and the grapes are at the center of winemaking. Also, these are all countries with warm weather and New World wines tend to be juicy, high in alcohol and fruity.

Until the latter half of the 20th century, US wine was generally looked upon as inferior to European product; it was not until the surprising American showing at the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting that New World wine began to gain respect in the global market.

As for Australia and New Zealand, their wine product was not well known outside their small export markets. Australia exported largely to the United Kingdom, New Zealand kept most of its wine internally. South Africa was closed off to much of the world market because of apartheid, although in the 18th Century the largest exporter of wine to Europe was the Cape Province of what is today South Africa.

Emerging Wine Countries

There is another set of countries that has started to appear in the international wine market or may do so in due course. These are the emerging wine countries. They are emerging for two reasons. Some of them are benefiting from climate change as the northern border for wine growing is pushing up. Others are experiencing a major restructuring of their wine industry, notably the former Soviet Blog countries.

England is a prime example of an emerging wine country because of climate change. Many eastern European countries are emerging wine countries. Hungary has a long tradition of wine making and at some point in its history it was among the top wine producers of the world. But it lost contact to Western Europe as a result of the iron curtain and fell back, but is now clearly reemerging as major wine producer. Slovenia has reentered the international market quickly after the collapse of Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s and is producing now outstanding wines. Croatia is a bit behind, but has excellent potential. Serbia still has a long way to go. Poland has never been a major wine producer, but may benefit from climate change.

Another major emerging market is China, with a wine boom going on since 2000. China has emerged as the fifth biggest wine producer, mainly for domestic consumption, although Chinese wine has reportedly started to appear on the shelves of the West Coast of the US. On the demand side, the Chinese rich and famous have developed a taste for top French wines and are driving up the prices for them so that Lafite Rothschild for example has decided to set up a winery in China. China is projected to become the largest wine producing country by the middle of the century. On the other hand, China, where traces of wild wine dating from the second and first millennium BC have been found is clearly on the fast track and projected to become the world largest wine producer in some years.

Some of the New World and emerging wine countries are in fact very old. Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest wine production came from sites in Georgia and Iran, dating from 6000 to 5000 BC. Georgia is one of the emerging wine countries following the collapse communism. Greece is another example with a long history, but only now emerging on the global wine market. Indeed, much of modern wine culture derives from the practices of the ancient Greeks. We all know, Dionysus, the Greek god of revelry and wine. Greek wine was widely known in ancient times and exported throughout the Mediterranean basin. The Greeks introduced the vitis vinifera vine to their numerous colonies in Italy, France and Spain.

Top 12 Global Wine Producers (in Mio. hl)

I am using numbers from the year 2010 to shed some light on the question: Who produces the wine in the world and who consumes it?

Picture: Global Wine Producers

1. Italy 48
2. France 45
3. Spain 36
4. USA 20
5. Argentina 16
6. China 13
7. Australia 11
8. South Africa 9
9. Chile 9
10. Russia 8
11.Germany 7
12. Portugal 7

Global wine production stood at 264 million hectoliters in 2010.

Three Old World countries account for about half of global wine production: With 48 million hectoliters, Italy is the largest producer, followed by France with 45 million hectoliters. The third country in the leading trio is Spain with 36 million hectoliters.

The New World country United States is ranked next in the list of top wine-producing countries, producing around 20 million hectoliters of wine. Zinfandel is the most popular grape, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon.

Argentina produces around 16 million hectoliters of wine each year. Only about 10 per cent of the wine produced is exported.

Then comes emerging wine country China. Around 80 per cent of the 13 million hectoliters of wine produced in China is red. Only a small amount of wine from China is exported currently but the wine industry is starting to take note of Chinese wines. Most of the grapes used are indigenous to China but Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have a small presence in Chinese vineyards.

The New World countries of South Africa, Australia and Chile follow China. They produce between 8 and 11 million hectoliters of wine each year. Australia is the fourth largest exporter of wine, after Italy, France and Spain. Chile is a predominantly red wine producer with around three quarters of the country’s vineyards planted with red grapes.

The Emerging wine country Russia as well as the Old World wine countries Germany and Portugal, each with 7 to 8 million hectoliters, complete the list of the top 12 wine producers in the world.

The Top 12 Global Wine Consumers (in Mio. hl)

Now, who consumes the wine?

1. France 29
2. USA 27
3. Italy 25
4. Germany 21
5. China 14
6. UK 13
7. Spain 11
8. Argentina 10
9. Russia 10
10. Australia 5
11. Portugal 4
12. Canada 4

France, the US, Italy and Germany are the largest wine consumers in the world, each exceeding 20 million hectoliters. In fact, in 2011, the US became the largest wine market in the world. All these countries also export a lot of their wines.

Whereas France and Italy have a high (and declining) per capita consumption, as does Germany, although a bit lower, the US consumes very little per capita (only a bit more than 10 liters), but there are a large number of American consumers. In addition, American wine consumption per capita is growing.

Emerging wine country China, the next country on the list, is different. The majority of wine produced is consumed domestically, although their exports are growing. The Chinese per capita consumption is dismal, but the number of consumers is huge. Furthermore, per capita consumption is on an upward trend. If the per capita consumption increases just by as much as – for example – the Australian per capita consumption increased between 2007 and 2001, China would become the largest wine market in the world, overtaking the US, France, Italy and Germany.

Then follows the UK, another outlier on the list: The UK is a major consumer but produces almost nothing itself. All is imported. This may change in the future.

Spain, Argentina and Russia follow in the 10 to 11 million hectoliters range. Given its high production level and low consumption level, Spain is a major exporter. Argentina, though very present in the global wine market is the opposite picture: Almost 90% of its production is consumed domestically.

At the bottom of the list are 3 countries with an overall market of 4 to 5 million hectoliters: Portugal, with a very high per capita consumption, and Australia and Canada.

The Macro-economics

Within the past 40 years, the shares of the three main regions --- EU, USA and Asia/Oceania --- have converged to around 27 percent, with the US going steady, the EU falling by roughly 10 percentage points and the Asia/Oceania region increasing by this amount. If you do a trend projection, than you end up, say in 40 years, with something like on the left-hand axe, with the only difference that the top line at above 35% is Asia/Oceania and the line in the middle at 15% is Europe.

Picture: Trends in World GDP Shares, from Greg Mankiw's Blog 

There is a dramatic shift in purchasing power going on and will continue to go on, with implications for the wine market.

This is in broad terms the economic set up for the global village in which people consume and produce wine. Often, one distinguishes two groups of wine countries, Old World wine countries and New World Wine countries, but I think one should add a third category, Emerging Wine countries.

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When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

The Size and the Structure of the German Wine Industry

A Global View: Who Makes and who Drinks Wine?

Wine Consumption by Country: Total and Per Capita

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Ernst Loosen and Dr. L. Riesling - His Hugely Popular Entry-level Wine Sold Throughout the World 

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

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) Pacific Rim Riesling (2) Eroica and (3) Woelffer's Schillerwein

Riesling, Pinot Noir and Indian Cuisine: A tête-à-tête Dinner with Winemaker Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, at Rasika in Washington DC, USA

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best German Winemakers - Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies 2013

Picture: The Winners and Runners-up

For the third time, the Falstaff Trophies Deutschland were awarded. The wine/food/travel journal Falstaff has been around for a number of years, issued in Vienna, Austria, and reporting about wine, food and travel from an Austrian perspective, for Austria-based readers. About three years ago, Falstaff expanded into the German wine and food scene and started to issue a German version of Falstaff in addition to the well established Austrian version. As part of its expansion, Falstaff has created the annual Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies, to be awarded to 4 German wine personalities. (A number of the pictures in this posting are courtesy of Ralf Kaiser -

For previous years, see:
Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies 2011
Best German Wines and Winemakers - Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies 2012

Hansjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz (Pfalz), is Winemaker of the Year

Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz is a family-owned winery, which was founded by Hansjörg Rebholz’s grandfather. His approach is to do as little as necessary in the wine cellar and as much as possible in the vineyard, i.e. he belongs to the school of winemakers that believes that wine is made in the vineyard and not in the wine cellar. The result: wines that always require a certain maturity and development before they blossom into full beauty. In the tradition of his grandfather, who was aiming at producing "natural wines" and these "with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker" Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz is now fully biodynamic said Peter Moser, editor of Falstaff, in his speech.

The Runners-up

The runners-up were Werner Schönleber, Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber from the Nahe, and Gunter Künstler, Weingut Franz Kuenstler from the Rheingau.

Picture: Werner Schönleber, Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber from the Nahe, Hansjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz and Gunter Künstler, Weingut Franz Kuenstler from the Rheingau (from left to right).

Picture: Gunter Kuenstler with Christian G.E. Schiller

The Wines of Franz Kuenstler from Hochheim, Rheingau, Germany

Eva Fricke, Weingut Eva Fricke (Kiedrich/Rheingau) is Newcomer of the Year

From 2004 to 2011, Eva Fricke was the Operations Manager at Weingut Josef Leitz. Eva Fricke, how was born and grew up in Bremen in Northern Germany, produced her first own wine in 2006, from particularly steep slopes in Lorch. Since 2008 Eva Fricke lives and works at the Koetherhof in Kiedrich where the winery of her about 3 hectares vineyard area is located. Award presenter and fellow winemaker Roman Niewodniczanski pulled his imaginary hat to Eva Fricke's performance, establishing from scratch one of the most exciting wineries in the region. He is "utterly blown away" by her Rieslings.

Picture: Eva Fricke and Christian G.E. Schiller

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

The Runners-up

Also nominated were Lea Linster and Maximilian von Kunow (Crossmosel-Projekt) und Michel Städter of Weingut Chat Sauvage in the Rheingau.

Picture: Eva Fricke, Lea Linster and Maximilian von Kunow (Crossmosel-Projekt) und Michel Städter of Weingut Chat Sauvage in the Rheingau (from left to right)

Picture: Eva Fricke and Roman Niewodniczanski, Van Volxem

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Michael Staedter

Weingut Chat Sauvage – Bourgogne in the Middle of the Rheingau: Meeting Chat Sauvage’s Winemaker and General Manager Michael Staedter, Germany

Jens Pietzonka, Restaurant »bean and beluga« in Dresden, is Sommelier of the Year

The Runners-up

The Runners-up were Sven Oetzel (La Vie in Osnabrück) and Stefanie Hehn (Seehotel Überfahrt am Tegernsee)

Picture: Sven Oetzel (La Vie in Osnabrück), Jens Pietzonka, Restaurant »bean and beluga« in Dresden and Stefanie Hehn (Seehotel Überfahrt am Tegernsee)

Fritz Keller, Weingut Franz Keller - Schwarzer Adler (Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl) Received the Trophy for his Live Achievements

Fritz Keller, born in 1957, is winemakers, wine merchant, restaurateur and hotelier. Since 1990, he has been heading the family-owned winery in Oberbergen and has also been the patron of the legendary restaurant Schwarzer Adler (1 Michelin star) in Oberbergen. For his dry white and red Pinot wines, which go very well with food, he has received international recognition already many years ago. Also, Fritz Keller was for 20 years the Vice President of the German Sommelier Union. His second passion (besides wine and good food) is football: since 2010, he has been the President of the SC Freiburg. In his speech, Marcel Reif praised Keller's tireless efforts for the promotion of German wine.

Picture: Hans Mahr (Falstaff), Fritz Keller and Marcel Reif

schiller-wine: Related Postings

In the Glass: A 2007 Pinot Noir from the Gault Millau Shooting Star of the Year - Estate Baron Gleichenstein, Germany

Chat Sauvage Versus Peter Querbach – An Impromptu Pinot Noir Wine Tasting with Kai Buhrfeind at His Grand Cru Wine Bar in Frankfurt, Germany

Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies 2011

Best German Wines and Winemakers - Falstaff Deutschland Wine Trophies 2012

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

Weingut Chat Sauvage – Bourgogne in the Middle of the Rheingau: Meeting Chat Sauvage’s Winemaker and General Manager Michael Staedter, Germany 

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Finalists in the 2013 Wine Blog Awards

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Stuart Pigott (Blogg: Stuart Pigott’s Planet Wine) in Frankfurt, Germany: Stuart Pigott at the Weinhalle in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Stuart Pigott is a "Single Subject Wine Blogs Finalist", but Stuart has a problem with this. He feels that he does not belong into this category. I fully agree with him.

The finalists in the 2013 Wine Blog Awards were announced.

The awards are open to any English-language wine blog located anywhere in the world. The winners will be chosen based on 50% of the input coming from the judges and 50% coming from the public vote and will be presented live at the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference, during the Saturday June 7th awards dinner in Penticton, British Columbia.

Picture: Christian Schiller (schiller-wine) with David White (Terroirist) - a Best Overall Wine Blog Finalist - and other Bloggers, Isaac James Baker (Reading, Writing and Wine) Annette Schiller (Ombiasy Wine Tours) Aaron Nix-Gomez (Hogshead Wine)  Frank Morgan (Drink What You Like)

See more:
Virginia versus the World – A Blind Taste-Off, USA

2013 American Wine Bloggers Conference

The 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference will take place June 6-8 in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada.

Up to 400 citizen wine bloggers, industry bloggers, and other wine and social media professionals will gather from throughout the world to meet, learn, and share at this, the sixth annual conference.

Best Blog Post of the Year

Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog

Best Industry/Business Wine Blog

Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog

Best Single Subject Wine Blog

Best Winery Blog

Best Writing On a Wine Blog

Best New Wine Blog

Best Overall Wine Blog

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Martin Mittelbach from the "Tegernseehof" and Klaus Wittauer from "KWSelection" Presented Tegernseehof Wines and Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett from “Trummer’s on Main” in Clifton Austrian Appetizers at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

One of the main drivers of Austrian wine at the East Coast in the US, Klaus Wittauer from KWSelection, invited for a special luncheon at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC, where Martin Mittelbach from the Wachau presented his wines, paired with Austrian apetizers presented by Stefan Trummer from “Trummer’s on Main” in Clifton and prepared by his new Executive Chef Austin Fausett. I also had the chance to taste Martin Mittelbach’s wines the day before in Reston, at the Wine Cabinet.

Picture: Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

The Wachau

The Wachau is a UNESCO world heritage site in the Danube Valley between the towns of Melk and Krems. Mainly Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are grown 1,350 hectares, partly on very steep-inclined terraces.

Pictures: Martin Mittelbach, Klaus Wittauer and Christian G.E. Schiller at the Wine Cabinet in Reston, Virginia

The Wachau is one of Austria's most exciting and fascinating wine regions. Over millions of years, the Danube has gorged its winding waterway through the 'Gföhl' gneiss, a mineral rich composition of migmatitic granite gneiss, quartz, felspar and mica. The weathered primary granite rock soils on steep terraces produce outstanding Rieslings. Following the end of the Ice Age, prevailing winds carried drifting sand that settled in the lee of the east-facing hillsides, resulting in layers of loess forming. This is where great, opulent and expressive Grüner Veltliner is cultivated. These extremely diverse geological terrain, coupled with the construction of terraces in the best aspects, and the cultivation of vines on these steep inclines by the Bavarian monasteries during the Middle Ages, has resulted in a spectacular and unique Wachau landscape.

The climate also plays a vital role, and two major climatic influences, the western Atlantic and the eastern Pannonian, interlock with each other. 

Pictures: Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Annette Schiller, wine tours by ombiasy.

For upcoming ombiasy wine tours, see:
Germany Wine and Culture Tour August 2013
Bordeaux Wine Tour September 2013

Wachau Wine Classification

In the mid-1980's, a select group of innovative producers in the Wachau created their own codex, aptly called the Vinea Wachau, where dry white wines are divided into three categories, based on their natural alcohol content by volume. Martin Mittelbach belongs to the group.

Aromatic, light-bodied wines up to 11.5% are called 'Steinfeder' (named after the tall, feather-like grass stipa pennata). The most common category is the 'Federspiel', with 11.5% to 12.5% alcohol by volume, and the late-harvest, rich and powerful, dry wines carry the term 'Smaragd'.

Martin Mittelbach and his Tegernseehof in the Wachau

The Mittelbach family's Tegernseerhof, located in Unterloiben, just below Dürnstein, boasts a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. The original facilities were built in 1176 by the Benedictine community of the Tegernsee Abbey. At the time, the abbey was recognized as a center for literature, the production of illustrated books and erudition. The abbey and its vineyards were first mentioned in a small book about the Tegernsee vineyards in 1427. For centuries, the abbey was where the Bavarian monastery produced its wine. At the turn of the 19th century, it was acquired by the Austrian Empire and decades later, it went into private ownership.

Pictures: Klaus Wittauer, Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

Franz Mittelbach and his wife, Mathilde, are the fifth generation of  Tegernseerhof owners. Since the 1970s, they have been continuously running the Tegernseerhof as a family business. Today, Martin Mittelbach, the son of Franz and Mathilde, has carried on this tradition. Vineyards: 23 hectares (57 acres); 50 % Terraced Vineyards

Pictures: At the White House

The Wines

I tasted a range of wines during the 2 events. All of them are included here.

Tegernseehof Rosé Zweigelt 2012 US$12

Klaus Wittauer: “A beautiful hue of watermelon sets just the right tone for this bright, disarmingly fun rosé. Crisp, dry and ultra-refreshing, this light to medium bodied wine exudes an intoxicating perfume of ripe cherry and crushed strawberry. The wine holds its balance throughout the finish, never once striking a confectionery note. A joy to drink and absolutely appropriate anytime.”

Tegernseerhof T 26 Grüner Veltliner 2012 Federspiel US$16

Klaus Wittauer: “The vineyard is called Frauenweingarten. When we  tasted this wine the first time in 2006 it was in tank #26. Very aromatic, full of round fruit balanced with crisp acidity. The distinct soil lends a pleasant minerality, while the tropical fruit play is balanced with a white pepper note typical of this varietal. Pairs well with a wide range of foods including Asian cuisine and fish with fresh herbs.”

Tegernseerhof Grüner Veltliner Bergdistel 2011 Smaragd US$27

Klaus Wittauer: “The Bergdistel Smaragd is a blend of the lower terraces of the different Cru’s in Loibenberg and Weissenkirchen.  The combination of coolness, maturity and vitality of this Grüner Veltliner finishes in a shining elegance and full of finesse! Intense, concentrated wine, which packs spice, ripe pineapple and apricots and a final floral character that fills the mouth.  The result is one of the most elegant and balanced Smaragd Grüner there is…….”

Tegernseehof Riesling Terrassen 2012 Federspiel US$20

This wine just got 92 points in Austria and was voted best Federspiel Riesling by Falstaff

Klaus Wittauer: It´s peach, apple aroma flavors, mingle with a white pepper note in this scented yet powerful Riesling. Balanced and ending with a mineral aftertaste. This wine is simply delicious.

Tegernseerhof Weissenkirchner Zwerithaler 2010 Smaragd US$33

Klaus Wittauer: “This single vineyard from Weissenkirchen in the Wachau has very old vines and it is a field blend which is called “Gemischter Statz“ in Austria. Here is how Martin Mittelbach describes the wine: “Through the picturesque extravagance of “Zwerithaler” this cru developed into ascetic museum - old varieties, crumbling walls - the time seems to have stood still. To bring the flavor potential of these two positions accurately and significantly expressed, we put the varietal character in the background. This is a full-bodied dry white wine with a rich creamy texture similar to some to the great White Burgundies with a long beautiful finish……”

Tegernseerhof Riesling Loibenberg 2009 Smaragd US$37

Klaus Wittauer: “This single vineyard Riesling rivals the greatest white wines in the world. Powerful and punchy, layered with abundant fruit and complex minerals, it's stunningly great now and for the next twenty+ years. It tastes rich and lush in the mouth and finishes with a huge wallop of acidity that accentuates the complexity like a giant exclamation mark! Wow. Serve with sushi & sashimi, Mussels Meuniere, trout "Muddy Waters" from Uglesich's in New Orleans and roast pork loin with apples and cabbage.”

Tegernseerhof Grüner Veltliner Hoehereck 2010 Smaragd US$40

Austrian Apetizers from Trummer's on Main in Clifton, Virginia

Tom Sietsma of the Washington Post: “One of my favorite mom-and-pops in the area remains this three-story retreat in the charming hamlet of Clifton, where owners Stefan and Victoria Trummer continue to greet you as if you're good neighbors, and chef Clay Miller sends out food that makes the trip from anywhere worthwhile.” “At Trummer’s on Main, we combine my New York City experience with the charm of historic Clifton by stimulating guest’s senses with excellent food, always-intriguing unique cocktails and true European hospitality” says Austria-borne Stefan Trummer.

Christian G.E. Schiller with Martin Mittelbach, Stefan Trummer and Chef Austin Fausett at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

Stefan Trummer came with his new boss of the kitchen at Trummer’s: Chef Austin Fausett's formally Sous-chef at The Inn at Little Washington. Austin also cooked for one year in Vienna and speaks a bit of German.


Smoked Trout Caviar with Buckwheat Blinis, Rhubbarb and Onion Jam, and Crème Fraiche

Chicken Liver Mousse Tartine on Baguette with Fava Beans and Toasted Hazelnuts

Asparagus Tips Wrapped with Speck and Greek Jogurt


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