Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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


The American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) just released a new issue of the  Journal of Wine Economics (JWE).
 (Vol 9, No 1). The lead paper of this issue is Giulia Meloni and Johan Swinnen’s analysis  “The Rise and Fall of the World’s Largest Wine Exporter  — And Its 
Institutional Legacy.

The JWE, published by Cambridge University Press, is available in more than 2,300 libraries worldwide.

The new issue also includes Christian G.E. Schiller's review of the book: RALF FRENZEL (ed.): Riesling, Robert Weil. Tre Torri, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2013.

Below is the table of contents of the Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 9, 2014, No. 1 and Christian G.E. Schiller's book review.

Journal of Wine Economics
  Volume 9 | 2014 | No. 1

Editorial: Introduction to the Issue  FULL TEXT PDF | Page 1-2 

ARTICLES

The Rise and Fall of the World's Largest Wine Exporter - and its Institutional Legacy
Giulia Meloni and Johan Swinnen
ABSTRACT | FULL TEXT PDF | Pages 3-33 

A Barrel of Oil or a Bottle of Wine: How Do Global Growth 
Dynamics Affect Commodity Prices? 
Serhan Cevik & Tahsin Saadi Sedik
ABSTRACT | Pages 34-50

The Changing Size Distribution of California’s North Coast Wineries 
Don Cyr, Joseph Kushner & Tomson Ogwang
ABSTRACT | Pages 51-61

Criteria for Accrediting Expert Wine Judges 
Robert Hodgson & Jing Cao 
ABSTRACT | Pages 62-74

The Determinants of Chemical Input Use in Agriculture: A Dynamic
Analysis of the Wine Grape–Growing Sector in France 
Magali Aubert & Geoffroy Enjolras 
ABSTRACT | Pages 75-99

BOOK AND FILM REVIEWS

Film Review

DAVID KENNARD (DIRECTOR)
A Year in Burgundy 
Reviewer:  Robert N. Stavins 
FULL TEXT PDF | Page 100-103

Book Review
 
RALF FRENZELRiesling, Robert Weil
Reviewer:  Christian G.E. Schiller 
FULL TEXT PDF | Page 103-107

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RALF FRENZEL (ed.): Riesling, Robert Weil. Tre Torri, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2013, 255 pp., ISBN 978-3-941641-94-5 (English), E49.90.

This is a heavy book: it weighs almost 2 kilograms and unites two heavyweights - Riesling, arguably the best white grape variety in the world, and Weingut Robert Weil, one of the best Riesling producers in the world. The first in a new series of books from Tre Torri, covering the most outstanding wine estates of the world, it covers the complex topic of Riesling through the example of the top German wine producer Weingut Robert Weil. Readers should not expect to be informed about the Riesling grape variety in general, as perhaps the main title, Riesling, suggests.

More than half of the 255 pages are mostly wonderful pictures, and some text pages also include pictures. It is not only a book with a most interesting text but also one with great pictures of wine.

Weingut Robert Weil is managed by Wilhelm Weil, who owns the winery jointly with Suntory, the Japanese beverage group. With 75 hectares - exclusively Riesling - under vine, it is one of the largest estates in Germany. The estate’s dedication to Riesling has led numerous observers of the international wine world to regard Weingut Robert Weil as a worldwide symbol of German Riesling culture. A Riesling wine of the 1893 vintage, grown on the Gräfenberg site, made the estate famous. The imperial Habsburg court in Vienna purchased 800 bottles of this wine in 1900 at 16 gold marks per bottle. Weingut Robert Weil’s top botrytized wines are sold today at very high prices—they are among the most expensive in the world. Although best known for its Noble-Sweet Rieslings, Weingut Weil produces mainly fully fermented, dry wines, including ultrapremium Grosses Gewächs (Grand Cru) wines.

Five authors contributed to the book, which is divided into six chapters.

Written by Editor Ralf Frenzel, Chapter 1 is the prologue, offering a portrait of Wilhelm Weil. It paints him as a winemaker who has done a lot not only for his own estate but also for the region, the famous Rheingau, and for Germany.

Chapter 2 is a very detailed and well-researched account of the history ofWeingut Weil by Daniel Deckers, against the background of the Rheingau region and German wine history. Deckers discovered the world’s oldest classification map, which was prepared in 1868 by Friedrich Wilhelm von Dünkelberg and classified for the first time the vineyards of the Rheingau. Deckers describes the founding of the winery in Kiedrich by Dr. Robert Weil, who had lived and taught at the Sorbonne in Paris but was forced to leave France and return to Germany because of the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). He joined his brother August in Kiedrich and bought the first vineyards in 1870. In 1879, he moved into the former estate of Sir John Sutton, baronet, which remains the home of Weingut Weil . The first auction of his wines at Burg Crass in 1881 was a failure, but when the German emperor began buying the 1893 Weingut Weil Auslese, the Weil wines gained renown.

In 1988, the estate was sold to Suntory, and Wilhelm Weil was appointed managing director, retaining a minority ownership share.

Chapter 3, by Dieter Bartetzko, deals with the architectural ensemble of the Weil property. Sir John Sutton bought a tiny, dilapidated winegrower’s cottage in 1869 and transformed it into a small country estate in the Tudor style, which does not have to fear comparison with the original Tudor manors in Sutton’s home country of England. Thereafter, over the years, a number of new structures have been added, including the Vinothek (wine store) built with generous glass paneling that faces the courtyard, in the 1990s, and the new extension finished only recently. But the Tudor-style house built by Sutton remains the heart of the estate. The historical manor house, the ultramodern cellars and the Vinothek stand side by side in a beautiful park, reflecting the same synthesis of old and new that is in the estate’s winemaking philosophy.

Chapter 4 ostensibly comprises an interview with Wilhelm Weil, centering on the question: “What makes a great Riesling?” It is not, in fact, an interview but a lecture by Weil, transcribed by Christian Goeldenboog. There are no questions, at least no explicit ones. And it is not about Riesling in general; it is about the Riesling wines produced by Weingut Weil in the Rheingau region in Germany. Wilhelm Weil is one of the vice-presidents of the Vereinigung deutscher Praedikatsweingueter (VDP), the association of about 200 elite wine producers in Germany, and the chapter also reflects the thinking of the VDP. Importantly, the VDP is in the process of radically changing the way in which German wine is classified by moving to a classification system that resembles the classification system of the Bourgogne in France, which is terroir driven.

Chapter 5, by Goeldenboog, deals with the work in the vineyard and in the cellar and is divided into four subchapters. The first subchapter, “Riesling Has Style,” reads a bit like a continuation of Chapter 3 and has Wilhelm Weil talking about his winemaking approach and wines.

The following subchapter, “Rock, Soil, the Rheingau and the Ecosystem,” reviews the terroir of the Rheingau in general and that of the three vineyards, where Weingut Weil owns land and grows its wines—in particular, Kiedricher Klosterberg, Kiedricher Gräfenberg, and Kiedricher Turmberg.

Weingut Weil’s vineyards all belong to the group of the high-lying sites of the Rheingau: Inclination (up to 60%), exposure (southwest), and the ability of the barren stony soils to absorb heat are the factors that make for three perfect Riesling sites. These conditions, as well as ideal circulation, enable the grapes to stay on the vine for a long time, ripening well into November.

Kiedricher Gräfenberg: The soil consists of deep and medium-deep stony, fragmented phyllite partially mixed with loess and loam. At the end of the twelfth century, the site was first documented as mons rhingravii (lit., the hill of the Rhine counts), and, in 1258, it was named “Grevenberg.” To this day, Gräfenberg is a focal point. The record prices it fetches at auction bear witness to the site’s renown.

Kiedricher Klosterberg: The name Klosterberg (lit., monastery hill) derives from “Closterweg,” the old path that ran through this vineyard in Kiedrich en route between the monastery Kloster Eberbach and its mill near Eltville. The shallow to deep stony-gritty soils of the southwesterly facing site are of Devonian (colored slate) and pre-Devonian (phyllite and sericite gneiss) origin and are mixed with gravelly loess.

Kiedricher Turmberg: After the founding of Weingut Robert Weil, the Turmberg site was always considered one of the estate’s top sites, second only to Gräfenberg. The name Turmberg (lit., tower hill) derives from the surviving central tower of the former castle Burg Scharfenstein, which stands on that site. The archbishops of Mainz had the castle built on the steep crag northeast of Kiedrich in 1160. Turmberg lies on the slopes of a steep, slaty crag. Its stony-gritty soils consist primarily of phyllite mixed with small portions of loess and loam. After passage of the wine law of 1971 and its amendment of the vineyard register, numerous traditional vineyards, like Turmberg, were incorporated into other vineyards. In 2005, the Turmberg parcel was reinstated as an individual vineyard site, measuring 3.8 ha (9.4 acres). It is owned solely by Weingut Robert Weil.

The third subchapter, “Fruit—Maturity,” talks about the 12-month vineyard cycle and dwells in particular on the issue of the optimal moment to harvest the Riesling grapes (in a northern wine region). Of course, at Weingut Weil special attention is paid to work in the vineyard. Another quality factor is the low yield, achieved by restrictive pruning, thinning out the grapes twice, carrying out a negative selection at an early stage, and a selective hand-picking process. At Weingut Weil, the harvest can be spread over a period of 8 to 10 weeks. Each row of vines can be picked over up to 17 times. When botrytised grapes are picked, they are selected in the vineyard and immediately sorted into three different containers, depending on the degree of botrytis. The grapes are again selected berry for berry in the cellar.

The last subchapter reviews in detail the process of alcoholic fermentation, focused more on historical aspects and less on how it is done at Weingut Weil. At Weingut Weil, vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks of varying sizes (depending on the size of an individual lot) and in traditional mature oak casks (“Rheingauer Stückfass”: 1,200 liters).

Chapter 6 contains tasting notes by Caro Maurer, Master of Wine, of about 40 wines of Weingut Robert Weil, all from the Kiedricher Gräfenberg, mostly from the 1990 to 2011 vintages, ranging from ultrapremium dry Erstes Gewächs wines to luscious Noble-Sweet Trockenbeerenauslese wines.

To sum up: this is a great book about Riesling. It is not a general introduction. The book tells the story of the Riesling grape through the perspective of one of the world’s top Riesling wine producers, Weingut Robert Weil from Kiedrich in Germany. It does this with many wonderful pictures from Weingut Robert Weil and the Rheingau region, and with a number of most interesting text contributions by various German Riesling experts.

Christian G.E. Schiller
International Monetary Fund (ret.) and emeritus professor, University of Mainz, Germany
Cschiller@schiller-wine.com
doi:10.1017/jwe.2014.6

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Weingut Schloss Neuweier – Robert Schaetzle, Baden, Germany

Picture: Annette and Christian G.E. Schiller with Robert Schaetzle

The first winery we will visit on the Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South) Tour by ombiasy PR and WineTours from September 14 – September 20, 2014, is Weingut Schloss Neuweier – Robert Schaetzle, in Baden. For more on the Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South) Tour by ombiasy PR and WineTour, see:

Upcoming in September 2014: Germany Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasyPR - The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South)
or
ombiasy PR and WineTours 

This tour is one of 3 tours by ombiasyPR coming up in 2014:
3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux

Weingut Schloss Neuweier - Robert Schaetzle

Weingut Schloss Neuweier, although not well known in the US, is a very special, premium wine producer in Baden, with a long history:

Picture: Arriving at Weingut Schloss Neuweier

(1) The winery is part of the wonderfully restored, historic castle Schloss Neuweier, where wine has been made for centuries.

(2) Schloss Neuweier also includes a top notch restaurant, where we will have lunch during our visit. The restaurant is in the first floor of the castle. It is owned and run by Chef Armin Roettle and his wife and since 2006 in the 1 star Michelin category.

(3) Weingut Schloss Neuweier focuses on Riesling wines, which are outstanding. You would expect that in the Mosel or the Rheingau region, but not in Baden. Reflecting the special soil of the vineyards surrounding the castle and the special micro-climate there as well as a long-standing Riesling tradition and passion, Weingut Schloss Neuweier produces world class Rieslings.

(4) The export share of Weingut Schloss Neuweier is negligible, which is typical for the Baden region. But this may change for Weingut Schloss Neuweier in the future and was not like this in the past. Its Mauerwein (Wall wine – from a terraced vineyard on the hill behind the castle) was one of Queen Victoria’s favorites. It had won an award at the International Exhibition of Philadelphia in 1876 and was on the airship Graf Zeppelin’s maiden flight.

(5) Until recently, the driving force behind Schloss Neuweier, including Weingut Schloss Neuweier, was Gisela Joos. She and her husband, a well-known architect from Frankfurt am Main, took over the castle, including the winery, in 1992 and invested around Euro 50 million in the castle, including the winery. What you see today is essentially due to their efforts and money. In 1999, Weingut Neuweier was admitted to the prestigious VDP association, when Gisela Joos was in charge.

(6) Today, the “Schlossherr” (owner) of Schloss Neuweier and the winemaker at Weingut Schloss Neuweier is Robert Schaetzle. His family acquired the estate in 2012. The senior management of the winery of course changed with Robert taking over. The already high quality level of the wines was definitely maintained if not increased by Robert Schaetzle. The Joos family is still living in the castle, but on a lease basis. Also, the lease of the 1 star restaurant was not affected by the change in ownership.

History

When we arrived, Robert suggested to walk over to the vineyards first. While walking there, he introduced us to the rich history of Schloss Neuweier.

The castle belongs to the few historic buildings from the 12th century that still exist. Die Ritter von Bach were the first who started planting vines and producing wine. All subsequent owners showed interested in winemaking.

Its current shape took the castle, when it was owned by Philipp Kämmerer von Worms, called von Dalberg. During 1548 to 1549, this gentleman created the castle as you can see it today. To remind everyone of his creation he put in the entry portal: Zeyt bryngt Rosen – Time brings Roses.

In 1615, the castle was passed onto the second daughter of Philipp von Dalberg, whose husband was Wolf von Eltz and Knebel von Katzenellenbogen. Katzenellenbogen was a high ranking knight who fought under the rule of the Archbishop of Mainz. He also was an important person in terms of winemaking at Weingut Schloss Neuweier. He brought his knowledge from the Franken area, the Bocksbeutel bottles and the Niersteiner and the Laubenheimer grape varities, which replaced the traditional Elblinger and Ortlieber.

During the 19th century the castle changed its owners quiet frequently. From 1869, the Rößler family from Baden-Baden became the owner of the castle. The Rößler family is responsible for the Mauerberg vineyard gaining international recognition.

The Joos family bought the estate including all the buildings and the vineyard in 1992. With great enthusiasm and financial investments they brought the castle and all the attached buildings back to the full bloom, which you can still admire today. The renovations were completed in 2009.

In 2012, the estate was sold to the family of Robert Schaetzle; they come from a traditional vintners background in the Kaiserstuhl area near Freiburg.

The Vineyards

The heart of the vineyard area (15 hectares) of Weingut Schloss Neuweier are two very steep monopoly sites: Schlossberg and Goldenes Loch.

Pictures: In the Vineyard

Robert Schaetzle: Schlossberg - This is a monopoly site of 3 hectares of south-facing slopes with up to 55°incline, entirely Riesling. The soil is very special, made up of ground granite, schist, shale and slate. Due to being close to an extinct volcano you also find quartz crystals on the surface. The climate is defined by being on the lower slopes of the Black Forrest Mountains and close to the Rhine plateau and in combination with the soil is ideal growing grounds for Riesling. The Riesling grown here gets a lot of sun during the day and at night the release of the heat that was accumulated during the day in the soil.

Goldenes Loch - Another monopoly site of 1 hectare south-west facing cauldron between the Schlossberg and the Mauerberg. The name was established because of the foliage glowing golden in the autumn sun due to the concave mirror effect caused by the cauldron, catching the last rays of the day. The extreme incline of 60° or more was the main reason it was left alone but in 1993 the land was reclaimed by using small diagonal terraces. The grapes grown here produce exquisite Riesling wines.

Mauerberg: This is a south facing site. Historically, 60% of the Mauerberg was terraced, with each terrace large enough for one or two vines. The man-high natural stone walls contribute to the micro climate for the vines by keeping the warmth during the day as well as being dried be the wind from the Black Forest.

Heiligenstein: The name seems to originate from the Celtic culture stating a magical powerful place, which it is still today. The foundation is full of granite being enjoyed by our young Pinot Noir vines. Here is where we get our very clean, clear classical red wines from.

Wine Cellar

Robert showed us the wine cellar.

Pictures: In the Winecellar

Robert Schaetzle

Robert Schaetzle is a very interesting and charming fellow, with curly, almost Afro-style hair and a strong regional southern Baden accent. He lives at the castle with his French wife and one son, if I remember correctly.

Pictures: Robert Schaetzle

Robert has not appeared out of nowhere. He has put in time at serious wineries over the years – at Franz Keller and Dr. Heger in Baden, across the Rhine in Alsace with Zind-Humbrecht and Marc Kreydenweiss, and in Bordeaux at La Tour de By. Before turning to wine, Robert was in academia. He studied at Université Bordeaux Segalen in France.

Classification

In terms of classification, Robert Schaetzle follows strictly the VDP approach. In sharp contrast with the standard classification system, the VDP classification system is based on the terroir principle. The VDP classification now consists of the following 4 layers. (In brackets, the equivalent quality classes in the classification system of the Bourgogne):

• VDP.Grosse Lage (Grand Cru in Burgundy)
• VDP.Erste Lage (Premier Cru in Burgundy)
• VDP.Ortswein (Village level in Burgundy)
• VDP.Gutswein (Bourgogne régional in Burgundy)

Portfolio

We then went to the tasting room. Robert had prepared a little tasting, which took us through his portfolio. Here is an overview of his portfolio, with the ex-winery prices in Euro:

Picture: Tasting

GUTSWEINE WEISS 750 ml

2012 Riesling trocken 7,90
2012 CUVÉE BLANC Riesling x Weißer Burg. x Chardonnay trocken 9,30
2012 Blanc de Noir trocken 9,30

GUTSWEINE ROSÉ 750 ml

2012 Rosé trocken 8,50

GUTSWEINE ROT 750 ml

2011 Spätburgunder trocken 8,50

ORTSWEINE WEISS 750 ml

2012 Neuweierer Riesling "ALTE REBEN" trocken 11,90
2012 Neuweierer Riesling "RS" trocken 11,90
2012 Neuweierer Riesling trocken 11,90
2012 Neuweierer Weißer Burgunder "RS" trocken 12,00
2012 Neuweierer Chardonnay "JUNGE REBEN" trocken 11,00

ORTSWEINE ROT 750 ml

2012 Neuweier Spätburgunder trocken 8,50

Pictures: Tasting

ERSTE LAGE WEISS 750 ml

2012 Schlossberg Riesling mild (BB) 15,00
2012 Schlossberg Riesling trocken 15,00
2012 Mauerberg Riesling trocken 15,00
2012 Neuweier Schlossberg Muskateller Spätlese 14,00

ERSTE LAGE ROT 750 ml

2012 Neuweier Heiligenstein Spätburgunder trocken 14,00

GROSSE GEWÄCHSE 750 ml

2012 Goldenes Loch GG 23,00
2012 Mauerwein GG 23,00

EDELSÜSSE WEINE 500 ml

2010 Riesling Beerenauslese 64,00
2010 Riesling Auslese 22,00
2010 Scheurebe Auslese 22,00
2012 GRAND CUVÉE Riesling x Gewürztraminer Auslese 22,00

Pictures: Tasting

SEKTSPEZIALITÄTEN 750 ml

2011 Riesling brut 15,00
2011 Spätburgunder Rosé extra trocken 15,00

WEINE IN LITERFLASCHEN

2012 Riesling trocken 7,00

Weingut Schloss Neuweier

Vineyard area (hectare): 18 ha
Varietal in %: 88 % Riesling 8 % Spätburgunder 3 % Weißburgunder 1 % Gewürztraminer
Output per year: 98.000 Flaschen

Röttele’s Restaurant and Residence at Schloss Neuweier 

During the time of Jacoba Stoltenberg Rössler, the last owner of the Baden-Baden family, who died in 1984, a “Besenwirtschaft” (basic wine tavern, where the winemaker sells his own wine) was opened that over time developed into a fine dining restaurant. Today, Röttele’s Restaurant and Residence at Schloss Neuweier is a restaurant well-known in Germany.

Picture: Röttele’s Restaurant and Residence at Schloss Neuweier

Robert Schaetzle: We were very lucky that in the year 2005 the family Röttele took on the restaurant on the ground floor of the castle. Mr. Röttele is a very inspiring and inventive Chef whose creations leaves your mouth watering. Mr. Röttele’s talent was internationally recognized so it was not surprise that he gained 1 Star from the Michelin in 2006.

See you in September

Thanks Robert and see you again in September 2014 on the The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South) Tour by ombiasy PR and WineTours.


schiller-wine: Related Postings

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

German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

Upcoming in September 2014: Germany Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasyPR - The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South)

Visiting Winemaker and Web 2.0 Guru Patrick Johner - Weingut Karl Heinz Johner and Johner Estate - in Baden, Germany

German Wine Makers in the World: Karl Heinz Johner in New Zealand

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

One of the Fathers of the German Red Wine Revolution: Weingut Huber in Baden

Joachim Heger, Weingut Dr. Heger: Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2013, Germany

A Feast with Jean Trimbach, Maison Trimbach in Alsace, and Chef Bart M. Vandaele at B Too in Washington DC, USA/France

Back in the Washington DC Area: Jean Trimbach Presented Maison Trimbach Wines at a Winemaker Dinner at Open Kitchen, USA (2013)

Visiting Jean Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in Ribeauville in Alsace (2011)

With Jean Trimbach from Domaine Trimbach, Alsace, at Bart M. Vandaele’s Belga Café in Washington DC (2011)

Jean Trimbach and the Wines of Maison Trimbach in Washington DC (2010)

5 Top Wine Makers at Premier Cru Wein Bistro in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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

Steffen Christmann (Weingut A. Christmann) and Wilhelm Weil (Weingut Robert Weil) Presented the New Wine Classification of the VDP, Germany

The World Meets at Weingut Weegmueller, Pfalz, Germany

The Wines Chancelor Merkel Served President Obama and Michelle Obama in Berlin (and the Wines she did not Serve), Germany

German Riesling and International Grape Varieties – Top Wine Makers Wilhelm Weil and Markus Schneider at Kai Buhrfeindt’s Grand Cru in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2012

Visiting Agnes and Fritz Hasselbach at their Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen, Germany 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Announcement: Amazing Wine Maker Dinner Featuring Château LAFON-ROCHET on May 4th, 2014 in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Annette Schiller, ombiasy PR and WineTours, with Michel Tesseron, Owner, at  Château Lafon-Rochet in Saint-Estèphe, and Chef Bart Vandaele at B Too in Washington DC.

B Too and ombiasy PR and WineTours are excited to announce that we are hosting a winemaker dinner on May 4th - Champagne reception starts at 6:00 pm - with the wines of Château LAFON-ROCHET, 4ième Grand Cru Classé en 1855, appellation Saint-Estèphe.

Please join us in welcoming winemaker Anaïs Maillet, who will present the wines of the Tesseron’s family estate in the Médoc to us. This is a rare tasting opportunity where the long-standing ties between the Tesseron family and the terroir is evident in wines with a force and elegance not easily be achieved elsewhere.

Featured wines for the evening are:

Château LAFON-ROCHET 1996
Château LAFON-ROCHET 2000
Château LAFON-ROCHET 2006
Les PELERINS DE LAFON-ROCHET 2009

Calvert Woodley Fine Wine and Spirits is graciously supporting and promoting this event.

Since its opening a year ago B Too, sister restaurant of Belga Café on Capitol Hill, consistently receives high acclaims for its creative cuisine. Fresh, local, seasonal produce and continual creativity in the kitchen make every meal exceptional. The following menu will be prepared by Chef Bart Vandaele to pair with the fruit and earth profiles of each wine:

Welcome!

Chicken egg / Caviar lolly pop / Beet salad sponge cake
Champagne Eric Rodez Grand Cru Ambonnay

The Menu

Quail, endive, truffle, pear, peas
Château Les Pèlerins de Lafon-Rochet 2009
**
Lamb head to tail, cauliflower flan, thyme jus, spring garden
Château Lafon-Rochet 2006
**
Grilled short Rib, 3 carrots, provençale, sauce St. Estèphe
Château Lafon-Rochet 2000
**
Foie gras, cacao, brioche, 20 y balsamico, cherry B-waffle
Château Lafon-Rochet 1996

Reserve your seats for this event at $ 119.00 per person plus tax and gratuity now by contacting: B Too at (202) 627-2800 or by mail: info@btoo.com.

B Too, 1324 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20005

Visit Château LAFON-ROCHET with ombiasy PR and WineTours

This year again, ombiasy PR and WineTours is organizing a wine tour to Bordeaux, which will include a visit of and tasting at Château LAFON-ROCHET, with winemaker Anaïs Maillet and owners Michel (father) and Basile (son) Tesseron. For more information, see:

Upcoming in September 2014: Bordeaux Wine Tour by ombiasyPR – Bordeaux Immersion

or

ombiasy PR and WineTours

or talk with Annette Schiller at the tasting.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pre-tour Visits: Schloss Neuweier, Franz Keller, von Gleichenstein, Dr. Heger and Restaurant Schwarzer Adler - The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South) by ombiasy

Picture: Annette Schiller and Bettina Keller, Weingut Franz Keller, Oberbergen, Baden

From September 14 – September 20, 2014, we will explore three wine regions (Baden, Pfalz, southern Rheinhessen) in the south of Germany and will experience the German red wine revolution.

For the exact itinerary, prices and other questions, visit the ombiasy Public Realtions website:
ombiasy Public Relations.

See also:
Upcoming in September 2014: Germany Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasyPR - The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South)

This tour is one of 3 tours by ombiasyPR coming up in 2014:
3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux

In preparation of the tour, Annette and I visited some of the wineries a few days ago. We focused on the wineries in Baden this time. Later in the year, and before the tour, we will also visit the wineries in the Pfalz and in Rheinhessen.

Below, I have copied the itinerary of the trip and supplemented it with pictures taken on the pre-tour visits and additional comments.

The Sun-kissed German South (Germany-South)

We will visit a total of 17 wineries (12 are members of the VDP, the German association of elite wine makers; 1 is in Alsace) in 3 different wine regions where predominantly other grapes than Riesling are planted: Baden, the most southern German wine region and Germany’s answer to Burgundy; Pfalz with its almost Mediterranean climate and voluptuous whites and reds; Southern Rheinhessen where a variety of white grapes and also Pinot Noir grow.

DAY 1: Sunday, September 14

09:30 am Departure by coach from Frankfurt am Main.
11:30 am Visit at winery Schloss Neuweier (VDP) in Baden-Baden-Neuweier.

Wine has been produced at this impressive 13th century castle for more than 700 years. About 100 years ago Riesling became the dominant grape and passion. Still today, winemaking takes place in the vaulted cellars that date back to the 17th century. The Rieslings grown in the steep vineyards produce sumptuous, racy wines with delicate fruit. In 2012 the Schätzle family bought the estate and continues to produce wines of uncompromising quality. Robert Schätzle, the winemaker, studied oenology and comes from a family with a long tradition of winemaking in the Kaiserstuhl region to the south.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller with Robert Schaetzle, Weingut Schloss Neuweier - Robert Schaetzle

01:00 pm Wine pairing lunch at Röttele’s Restaurant in Schloss Neuweier.

Armin Röttele is a 1-Michelin star chef and I am sure that our lunch will be fabulous.

04:30 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery Karl H. Johner in Bischoffingen, Baden, Kaiserstuhl.
07:00 pm Arrival and check-in at Mercure Hotel in Freiburg im Breisgau.

Evening on your own. Explore the 700 year old city and admire the Gothic Cathedral completed in 1513. Enjoy the view of the Black Forest Mountains to the East. If you are lucky you can also glimpse the Vosges Mountains to the West. Dinner on your own.

DAY 2: Monday, September 15

09:45 am Visit and tasting at winery Freiherr von Gleichenstein (VDP) in Oberrotweil, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

Since 1634, this estate has been in the hands of the family of the Baron von Gleichenstein. The estate comprises 75 acres of the finest vineyards exclusively planted with the classic Burgundy grapes. Baron Johannes and Baroness Christina von Gleichenstein manage the estate in the 11th generation. They aimed at producing top level wines: through consistent yield reduction and other measures to optimize quality, they produce wines that have won several awards, in particular the spectacular Pinot Noir.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller with Christina von Gleichenstein, Weingut Freiherr von Gleichenstein, Oberrotweil

12:00 pm Wine paring lunch at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

This 1-Michelin star traditional restaurant run by the Keller family of winegrowers offers a harmonious mix of Baden country charm and elegance. The menu is a successful marriage of French and German cuisine reflecting the frontier on the nearby Rhine River, which is the border between Germany and France. The impressive wine list boasts 2 600 different wines, including a good selection of bottles from both Baden and France.

Pictures: Lunch at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler

02:00 pm Visit and tasting at winery Franz Keller (VDP) in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

With the Keller family, which can trace its roots as winemakers and hoteliers back to the Thirty Year War in the early 17-hundreds, everything started with producing and offering outstanding food. Franz and his wife Irma, parents of the current owner, were among the first generation of chefs to start the German revolution in the kitchen more than forty years ago. Well beyond the immediate post WWII era, the urge to simply have enough food on the table – quantity over quality- lingered on. In 1969 Franz and Irma Keller and their restaurant Schwarze Adler were awarded one Michelin star, which the restaurant defends until today. For Franz Keller, the central idea of winemaking was to produce top quality wines that perfectly accompanied the creations in the kitchen. The current generation, Fritz and Bettina Keller have brought the winery to a new level. They just finished construction of a brand new winery that is an architectural landmark, beautifully integrated in the landscape. Their efforts to produce top wines, among them stunning Pinot Noirs, were acknowledged by their selection as new member of the VDP in 2013.

Pictures: Visit of Weingut Franz Keller

04.00 pm Visit and tasting at winery Huber (VDP) in Malterdingen, Breisgau, Baden.
06:30 pm Back at hotel in Freiburg.

DAY 3: Tuesday, September 16

09:30 am Visit and tasting at winery Dr. Heger (VDP) in Ihringen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden.

This estate is also one of the young wineries by German standards. It was founded in 1935 by Dr. Max Heger, a country doctor. Today the winery is in the hands of the third generation. Joachim Heger and his wife Silvia are in charge of 50 acres planted primarily with Pinot Noir and the white Burgundy grapes. The winery lies in the Kaiserstuhl, a small volcanic group of hills in the Upper Rhine Valley in southwest Germany. The town of Ihringen enjoys the highest average temperature in Germany. While some fine Riesling and Silvaner gets made here, it is really Pinot country. The wines are rich, very well-structured, compact, but nevertheless elegant and subtle.

Pictures: With Winemaker Markus Mleinek, Weingut Dr. Heger and Weinhaus Heger in Ihringen

12:15 pm Lunch (beverages on your own) at restaurant Löwen in Heitersheim.
01:45 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery Zähringer in Heitersheim, Markgräflerland, Baden.

Since 1844 the Weingut Zähringer makes wine in the Markgräflerland, in southern Germany right across the Rhine River from the Alsace region. This area benefits from lots of sunshine, a good terroir, and a mild climate that favors varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinots. In 1986 Walter Zähringer rigorously pursued quality control and was convinced that this can only be achieved through organic winemaking. In those days this philosophy was unimaginable, but as time went by Walter Zähringer and the estate manager Paulin Köpfer won regocnition. Today their long experience has become an asset in marketing organic wines, and they count among the pioneers of organic wine in Germany.

05:00 pm Visit and tasting at winery Maison Trimbach, Alsace, France.
07:00 pm Arrival and check-in at Hotel de la Tour in Ribeauvillé, Alsace.

DAY 4: Wednesday, September 17

10:00 am Visit and tasting at winery Friedrich Becker (VDP) in Schweigen, Pfalz.
12:00 pm Lunch (beverages on your own) at restaurant Deutsches Weintor in Schweigen.
03:30 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery Ökonomierat Rebholz (VDP) in Siebeldingen, Pfalz.
06:15 pm Arrival and check-in at Hotel Ritter von Böhl in Deidesheim, Pfalz.

DAY 5: Thursday, September 18

09:40 am Visit and tasting at winery Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan (VDP) in Deidesheim, Pfalz.
11:45 am Walk to center of Deidesheim, lunch on your own.
02:20 pm Cellar tour and tasting at winery A. Christmann (VDP) in Gimmeldingen, Pfalz.
04:30 pm Visit at winery Weegmüller in Neustadt-Haardt, Pfalz.
06:00 pm We will have dinner paired with Weegmüller wines at the restaurant Eselsburg in Neustadt-Mussbach.

DAY 6: Friday, September 19

09:30 am Visit and tasting at winery Markus Schneider in Ellerstadt, Pfalz.
12:15 pm Arrival in Westhofen, Rheinhessen.
02:15 pm Visit and tasting at winery Wittmann (VDP) in Westhofen, Rheinhessen.
04:30 pm Visit and tasting at winery Klaus Peter Keller (VDP) in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen.
07:15 pm Arrival and check-in at Hotel Merian in Oppenheim, Rheinhessen.

DAY 7: Saturday, September 20

09:30 am Guided sightseeing tour in Oppenheim.
12:00 pm Cellar tour, tasting and lunch at winery Gunderloch (VDP) in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen.
03:00 pm Arrival at Frankfurt airport.


Wineries

This is a new tour, with a large number of southern producers of ultra-premium German wine included:

Schloss Neuweier

Karl H. Johner
Visiting Winemaker and Web 2.0 Guru Patrick Johner - Weingut Karl Heinz Johner and Johner Estate - in Baden, Germany
German Wine Makers in the World: Karl Heinz Johner in New Zealand

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

Fritz Keller

Huber
One of the Fathers of the German Red Wine Revolution: Weingut Huber in Baden

Dr. Heger
Joachim Heger, Weingut Dr. Heger: Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2013, Germany

Zaehringer

Maison Trimbach
A Feast with Jean Trimbach, Maison Trimbach in Alsace, and Chef Bart M. Vandaele at B Too in Washington DC, USA/France
Back in the Washington DC Area: Jean Trimbach Presented Maison Trimbach Wines at a Winemaker Dinner at Open Kitchen, USA (2013)
Visiting Jean Trimbach at Maison Trimbach in Ribeauville in Alsace (2011)
With Jean Trimbach from Domaine Trimbach, Alsace, at Bart M. Vandaele’s Belga Café in Washington DC (2011)
Jean Trimbach and the Wines of Maison Trimbach in Washington DC (2010)

Friederich Becker
5 Top Wine Makers at Premier Cru Wein Bistro in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Rebholz

Bassermann-Jordan

Christmann
The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA
Steffen Christmann (Weingut A. Christmann) and Wilhelm Weil (Weingut Robert Weil) Presented the New Wine Classification of the VDP, Germany

Weegmueller
The World Meets at Weingut Weegmueller, Pfalz, Germany

Markus Schneider
The Wines Chancelor Merkel Served President Obama and Michelle Obama in Berlin (and the Wines she did not Serve), Germany
German Riesling and International Grape Varieties – Top Wine Makers Wilhelm Weil and Markus Schneider at Kai Buhrfeindt’s Grand Cru in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Wittmann
Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2012

Klaus Peter Keller
Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2012

Gunderloch
Visiting Agnes and Fritz Hasselbach at their Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen, Germany