Friday, November 14, 2014

Riesling Gala 2014 at Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau, Germany

Pictures: Riesling Gala 2014 at Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau, Germany

If you are a fan of Riesling – fruity sweet, noble sweet and dry - and like good food, and have not yet been to one of the 25 Riesling Gala events at Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau, you should mark you calendar and make an early reservation for the next Riesling Gala in November 2015. Tickets are for a bit more than Euro 200 and available from the VDP Rheingau and its participating members. What you will get is an amazing event in a breathtaking historic setting that starts at 11 am with a reception, goes on with a 6 course seated luncheon until 6 pm and ends with an after-party with more wine, also at the historic Kloster Eberbach.

If you are lucky, you will also get an invitation from one of the hosting winemakers for an after-after-party, as we did. This year, Annette Schiller and I were seated at the table of Weingut Weil and Weingut Dr. Loosen, and were asked by Wilhelm Weil to join him and others at Winetavern Schloss Groenesteyn in Kiedrich for dinner (if you were able to have dinner) and more wine (in our case only top Bordeaux Magnums).

Pictures: Rheingau Winemakers Wilhelm Weil, Weingut Robert Weil, Johannis Eser, Johannishof, and Alexander Jung, Weingut Jung, Pouring their Wines

All of the pictures in this posting are mine, with the exclusions of a few pictures I took from the facebook pages of Weingut Robert Weil, Mario Scheuermann and Hotel Restaurant Friedrich von Schiller.

For last year's Riesling Gala, see here:
Rheingau Riesling Gala 2013 at Kloster Eberbach, Germany

Glorious Rheingau Days

The Rheingau Riesling Gala is the grand finale and the highlight of the Glorious Rheingau Days, an annual celebration of the Rheingau Riesling, this year for the 27th times. Over 10 days or so, VDP members of the Rheingau present their wines at winemaker dinners and similar events at the Rheingau’s top restaurants or other interesting places.

The grand finale is the Rheingau Riesling Gala on the last day of the Glorious Rheingau Days (a Sunday) in the Laiendormitorium of Kloster Eberbach. It is a culinary and social event in which wine enthusiasts meet in the historic settings of the Laiendormitorium of Kloster Eberbach (the largest room of the Romanesque period north of the Alps) in order to celebrate the noblest of all grapes, the Riesling.

Picture: Guiseppe Lauria, Gault Millau, and Katharina Prüm, Weingut JJ Prüm

Picture: Annette Schiller, ombiasy PR and WineTours, and Annegret Reh-Gartner, Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstadt

Picture: Mario Scheuermann and Christian G:E. Schiller

Picture: Tre Torri's and Fine Wine's Ralf Frenzel with Hans Stefan Steinheuer and Frank Buchholz

Picture: Josi Leitz, Weingut Leitz, Alex Lang, Weingut Lang and Guiseppe Lauria, Gault Millau

Picture: Former VDP Managing Director and now Winemaker Eva Raps, Weingut Lang, with current VDP Managing Director Hilke Nagel

Picture: The Leitz' and Schillers

Picture: MD Christian Witte of Weingut Schloss Johannisberg and Weingut G.H. von Mumm, Owner  Annegret Reh-Gartner, Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstadt, and Winemaker Cornelius Dönnhoff, Weingut Dönnhoff

Picture: Mario Scheuermann, Winemaker and Blogger Dirk Würtz, Weingut Balthasar Ress, and Armin Diel,  Schlossgut Diel

 Picture: Annette Schiller and Angela Kühn, Weingut Peter Jakob Kühn

 Picture: Annette Schiller and MD Christian Kloss, Landesweingut Kloster Pforta

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Owner Regine Schork, Hotel/Restaurant Friedrich von Schiller in Bietigheim-Bissingen

From 11 am to 6 pm, VDP producers of the Rheingau, their guest winemakers from other regions and their 560 guests enjoyed a 6 courses dinner, each course prepared by a different top chef, almost all of them Michelin-starred. 3 Chefs were from the Rheingau and each of them had invited a Guest-Chef from another wine region.

The wines served differed, depending on who was hosting you and who his or her guest winemaker was. This year, my wife Annette and I were the guests of Wilhelm Weil, whose guest winemaker was Ernst Loosen from the Mosel. So, we enjoyed the superb wines of Weingut Robert Weil and Weingut Dr. Loosen. Please note that Robert Weil wines are part of the “Friends of Erni” portfolio at Loosen Bros. USA.

Pictures: The main Protagonists - the Winemakers and the Chefs

The Rheingau

It is remarkable: For its entire length of nearly 560 miles, the Rhine flows north with one exception – a 28-mile stretch where the river changes its course. Here, it flows to the west, thereby enabling both the river and the vineyards facing it to bask in the warmth of the sun all day long. This is the Rheingau, one of the medium-size German wine regions. It is a quietly beautiful region, rich in tradition. Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for Hochheim's wines contributed to their popularity in England, where they, and ultimately, Rhine wines in general, were referred to as Hock.

Pictures: Our Table - with Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen and Wilhelm Weil, Weingut Robert Weil

The third President of the USA - and notable bon viveur - Thomas Jefferson visited the Rheingau in 1788 and wrote that the wine of the "Abbaye of Johnsberg is the best made on the Rhine without comparison … That of the year 1775 is the best." He also referred to the Rheingau’s Riesling as the "small and delicate Rhysslin which grows only from Hochheim to Rudesheim". Impressed by the quality of the Rheingau Riesling wines, he bought 100 grapevines to take back to his estate in Virginia.

The Rheingau enjoys a distinctly continental climate with cold winters and warm, but not hot, summers. The Rheingau is dominated by Riesling, accounting for 4/5 of the vineyard area. Wilhelm Weil, our host, produces only Riesling wines.


The event started with a reception, where Rheingau Charta Rieslings were served.

Pictures: Annette Schiller, ombiasy PR and WineTours, with Dieter Greiner, Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach and Monika Diel, Schlossgut Diel

Gala Luncheon

6 courses in 7 hours, i.e. basically every hour one course with 2 wines, from Weingut Weil and Weingut Dr. Loosen at our table.

Opening Speeches

Pictures: Mario Scheuermann, Wilhelm Weil and the German Wine Queen

Table Setting

Amuse gueule: Kürbispudding

Marinierte Gänseleber 
mit Apfel, Gänseleber-Sauerkrauteis und Feldsalat

Andreas Krolik
Tigerpalast Gourmetrestaurant Frankfurt
Currently 2 Stars Michelin

1998 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätese
Weingut Dr. Loosen
2001 Kiedricher Riesling Spätlese
Weingut Robert Weil

mit Estragonschaum, Aprikosenkomott und Kaninchen

Egbert Engelhardt
Consortium Gastronomie, Wiesbaden
Ex Michelin Starred
Michael Ritter

2013 Graacher Riesling Trocken
Weingut Dr. Loosen
2013 Kiedricher Turmberg Riesling Trocken
Weingut Robert Weil

Gegrillte Pilgermuschel 
mit Seidentofu und Mango-Ingwer-Balsam

Ralf Zacherl
Schmidt Z&Co, Berlin
Ex Michelin Starred

2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett feinherb
Weingut Dr. Loosen
2008 Kiedricher Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken
Weingut Robert Weil

After each course, you had a bit of time to walk around, talk with other guests and try the wines of other winemakers. Here: Visit at the table of Weingut Jakob Peter Kühn

Gebeitzer Saibling
mit Fermentiertem Fenchel und Bouillon von Gegrilltem Sellerie

Nils Henkel
Schlosshotel Restaurant Lerbach, Bergisch Gladbach
Currently 2 Stars Michelin

2012 Erden Treppchen Riesling Trocken Alte Reben GG VDP.Grosse Lage
Weingut Dr. Loosen
2012 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken
GG VDP.Grosse Lage
Weingut Robert Weil

Kräuterseitling, Chicoree, Senfsaat

Frank Buchholz
Restaurant Buchholz in Mainz
1 Star Michelin

2007 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Trocken
Weingut Dr. Loosen
2011 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken Erstes Gewächs
Weingut Robert Weil

Riesling goes global

Hans Stefan Steinheuer
Steinheuer’s Restaurant Zur Alten Post in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
2 Stars Michelin

2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
Weingut Dr. Loosen
2007 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Auslese
Weingut Robert Weil

Closing Ceremony

At the end of the luncheon, the chefs came to the stage again with their teams.

Pictures: Closing Ceremony


The event ended with an after party, where one could taste all the wines that were poured during the luncheon … but also could go for a draft beer.

Pictures: After-Party with more Wine, Curry Wurst, Frikadellen and Bratwurst ... and Beer. Above: Christian G.E. Schiller with the Charming Wife of Ulrich Allendorf, Weingut Allendorf


We finished the evening at winetavern Schloss Groenesteyn in Kiedrich with Wilhelm and Martina Weil and others, including Hans Stefan Steinheuer

Picture: Guiseppe Lauria and Annette Schiller

25th Riesling Gala

This was the 25th Riesling Gala. Wilhelm Weil recalled that the first Riesling Gala took place in 1987 (There were 2 years without Riesling Gala because of renovation work at Kloster Eberbach). The late Bernhard Breuer (Weingut Breuer) and the late Graf Matuschka (Weingut Schloss Vollrads), with wine journalist Mario Scheuermann, were the driving forces behind creating the event.

Picture: Mario Scheuermann

Former Chef of the Graues Haus in Winkel und first Michelin starred Chef of the Rheingau, has cooked for all Riesling Gala events so far, including this year’s one.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

The new (VDP) Wine Classification in Germany: Tasting Weingut Robert Weil Wines from Gutswein to Grosse Lage Wine

Christian G.E. Schiller's Review of the Book: Ralf Frenzel (ed.) - Riesling, Robert Weil. Tre Torri, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2013, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 9, 2014, No. 1, Cambridge University Press

Weingut Robert Weil, Kiedrich, Rheingau, Germany: Super Sommerfest/Summer Party 2014

Weingut Robert Weil Goes Facebook, Germany

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

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The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA

The 2nd International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany

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3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux  

Germany’s Top 10 Winemakers (with 5 Grapes) - The Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2013

German Spaetlese Wines Can Come in Different Versions. I Have Counted Five.

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JJ Pruem Goes Supermarket: Meeting Katharina Pruem and Tasting the Incredible JJ Pruem Wines at Wegmans

Riesling from Germany and Pinot Noir from Oregon: A Winemaker Dinner with Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen and J.Christopher Wines, at Black Salt in Washington DC.

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

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

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