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December 07, 2010

Krack wine bar

Aaaah, someone that understands us who love both worlds - the internet and the wine. And us, who like to try more expensive wines - without having to buy the whole bottle without knowing whether we like it or not!

This is the website of the wine bar 'Weinbar Krack' in Deidesheim, showing the wines that are currently open, giving you (and me for a matter of fact) the opportunity to come and buy the wine by the glass. I am thrilled about the place and we have been there several times already. And we have bought some bottle of wines, too...

300 wines from the Pfalz of excellent quality can be found in this shop, as well as online. A very nice way to get to taste the spectrum of what the region has to offer. All at one place. As nice as it is to go and visit the wineries too - you will need some time to get around so many...

In the front you see the screen where we were just online, exploring the different vineyard sites as we are asking certain questions around a wine we just bought. In the back you see the big screen at the wall that shows the currently open bottles of higher priced wines.

Not on the pictures are the wine shelves with lots of different bottles!

We are delighted to be moving close by soon... for further information on address, opening hours, wine tastings, etc...

Ähm... empty glass and caraffe? Ts!

Perhaps we'll even see you at Weinbar Krack? Drop a note if you're coming.

November 01, 2010

2009 GG Tasting Reichsrat von Buhl

Reichsrat von Buhl offers 7 GG wines, 5 of which we got to taste during our visit to the estate. The tasting was to show and give an understanding of how the different terroirs of each wine will/can be detected. And it was clearly a good lesson! 
Forst with Ungeheuer, Kirchenstück, Jesuitengarten
All 5 wines were dry wines, as the GG label indicates. They all had under 4 g/l residual sugar, which was a new experience for me, as most of 'my' German wines tasted before had 6 and 7 g/l. I totally liked the taste of this 'new dryness'!

All wines were Rieslings and had the grape's significant high acidity which I - of course! - like so much too.

All wines had nice, nice mineral tones. Many German wines can seem fruity 'only' - none of these would match that description.

All wines were complex, had a lot to give both in nose and on palate. They were like stories, opening up more and more and telling more the longer in the glass. That duration though, was of course limited, as part of a tasting, so there is need to try again at home with more time!

All wines had 13 + abv. That is the part where I am having my own little problems. It seems, I am quite sensitive to 'too much abv' - whatever that means, as it is a rather subjective matter. Of course, it is logical: you want a dry wine, meaning, most sugar should be fermented to alcohol. You want ripen grapes, so you have considerable sugar levels. So either you need to have some sweetness, or you need to have alcohol... However, I will store some wine and see how it developes within the next years. Maybe it was also just a bit too early to try such great wines from only one year ago?

All wines are expensive. This said as a non-collector, just a wine lover. Needless to say, price has to be put in perspective. As all these wines will develop further under years/decades to come, it can be fun and interesting to follow just that. Even if you are not a collector or connaisseur. Open a bottle once in a few years. Remember the day you bought it, perhaps other meaningful things of your life worth remembering, connected to that date. Maybe a graduation, a child birth or the first kiss from the significant other. Of course, this is to most people not a wine for daily use. Although: carpe diem - maybe it should be! But that is for everyone to decide.

Here comes the list of wines, sorted by 'Heike liked best':

1. 2009 Kirchenstück Forst, Riesling GG, 0,7 l, 49 €
Served as the last wine of the flight, my notes were very short. I was too busy smiling with the wine in my glass. By such means, it was a good wine: it made me feel good, made me smile.  It was very complex, with a distinct smoky minerality and earthyness, herbal and ripen, yellow fruit. Rather full-bodied, but still very elegant. Mouth-watering. I want more, now as I am writing about it....

That I liked that wine most, seems not to speak for my individual taste, though... This vineyard Kirchenstück is world famous and that since many, many years. In 1828 (note: Bordeaux classification wasn't happening until 1855...) this site was already granted absolute top-status. Rieslings from here were called 'Royal Riesling'. Surrounded by a sandstone wall, this site gains extra warmth.

2. 2009 Ungeheuer Forst, Riesling GG, 0,7 l, 29 €
Very aromatic. Citrus and ripe peach, herbal. Some minerality. Rich and rather full-bodied. Can take it up with food that does not lack spices. A wine that has a lot of a lot. Complex, distinct, elegant.

3. 2009 Pechstein Forst, Riesling GG, 0,7 l, 29 €
Want to bite into a nice rock? Basically not, I assume. But why does a wine that brings that association taste so darn good? Does it make it more interesting? I don't care why.... I just like it. Perhaps it is the nice teenager-memories of biking on wet asphalt on warm summer evenings, where the rain was evaporating on the warm ground? Those times, where you knew you knew it all, your self-esteem was higher than ever again? The aromas of this wine brings it all back to you - and some more! Exotic fruit, citrus, grapefruit, saltyness.

4. 2009 Jesuitengarten Forst, Riesling GG, 0,7 l, 29 €
Exotic, herbal, mineral. Somehow, it did not really open up to me, I need to re-taste this one to be able to say more...

5. 2009 Reiterpfad Ruppertsberg, Riesling GG, 0,7 l, 29 €, Almost towards a creamy consistence. Again, ripen yellow fruit and minerality, herbs and a bit vegetal. It did not give me the 'wow' effect, for which I would want to pay that price. Sorry...

I enjoyed the tasting very much, but need to mention too, that it was not held for a group of professional wine tasters, but rather for a random mixed group of visitors. Not everyone was 'in to wine', so it was hard to concentrate on the wines at times... However, Monika Schmid did a great job of introducing the wines and sites to us!

In a separate post, let's look at the vineyards and their special characteristics...

VDP Erste Lage - First Growth - Grand Cru

As I wrote about in my recent posts, we spent a great day at the estate Reichsrat von Buhl. Part of the event was a tasting of 2009 Grosse Gewächse - the dry wines from Erste Lagen (First Growth, Grand Cru). This is to explain a bit more....:

The definitions are very strict and set by the VDP, Verband der Prädikatsweingüter, Germany's elite estates.

Erste Lage (First Growth, Grand Cru):
"A site’s absolutely finest, narrowly demarcated parcels with discernible terroir qualities. Designated grape varieties and taste profiles. Maximum yield of 50hl/ha. Selective harvesting by hand. Minimum must weight equivalent to Spätlese. First release on 1 May for wines with natural sweetness, on 1 September for Grosses Gewächs the year after harvest, red wines a year later."
The terroir is defined as follows:
"Only wines that reflect the character of their terroir are permitted to bear the name of a vineyard site. Terroir is determined by three components, a “magic triangle” that includes (1) the overall quality and character of a vineyard site; (2) the skill of a grower; and (3) the quality of a vintage. Terroir is recognizable in a wine. The quality of a vineyard is defined by its soil (topographical position, climate and microclimate). Only certain grape varieties are well-suited for a specific terroir. Our knowledge about the best sites and the most suitable grape varieties is based on centuries of experience."
Fruity wines with natural sweetness will carry the Prädikat Spätlese, Auslese... instead of 'Grosses Gewächs', which can always only be a dry wine (= per definition max 9 g/l residual sugar, but most GGs have max 4 g/l). This will help us, the consumers, to distinguish a wine by it's terroir and level of sweetness. Grosse Gewächs is shown on the label with GG and it does not have to state 'trocken', as always dry. The Rheingau refers to Erstes Gewächs (instead of GG). All the bottles filled with wines from First Growths, show the logo as above.

Grape varieties that are allowed for GGs are different in the individual wine regions as follows:
Ahr: Spätburgunder, Frühburgunder, Riesling (only sweet wines)
Mittelrhein: Riesling
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: Riesling
Nahe: Riesling
Rheingau: Riesling, Spätburgunder
Hessische Bergstraße: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder
Rheinhessen: Riesling, Spätburgunder
Franken: Riesling, Silvaner, Weißer Burgunder, Spätburgunder
Saale-Unstrut: Riesling, Silvaner, Weißer Burgunder, Spätburgunder
Sachsen: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Spätburgunder
Pfalz: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Spätburgunder
Württemberg: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder, Lemberger
Baden: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder

In 2009, 360 different wines from 143 German estates and 209 vineyards were marketed as GG / Erstes Gewächs. The first wines by this new definition (building on traditional aspects) were marketed in 2001.

The Pfalz has some 42 vineyards that qualify as Erste Lage. Deidesheim and Forst have 12 of those and the most famous ones are found here. Which brings me to the GG tasting at Reichsrat von Buhl in my next post.

October 17, 2010

A day at von Buhl - Part two

Due to being so incredibly busy with the planning of our new house, and all the ongoing festivities in the Pfalz that need to be visited, the postings here go slow... However, I want to continue reporting about our day at Reichsrat von Buhl, now that it finally is a grey day today:

After the harvesting job of the vineyard 'Deidesheimer Kieselberg', was done and the lunch consumed, we took a guided tour of about 1,5 hours through the wine fields, passing some of the most prestigious vineyards of the Pfalz. Those sites I want to get back to in an extra post later on.

Christoph Graf and Werner Sebastian were sharing lots of information and knowledge with us, explaining the different soils, training systems, vineyards, the biodynamical standards. We got to see the difference between sites treated with chemicals (from other vintners, not von Buhl sites), where nothing but burnt grass is left and sites that were full of lush green grass, flowers and plants. 'Sustainable soil management', a term often referred to in press and literature, became easily comprehensible. Sebastian Werner explained (among other) how they use filled cow horns and cow dung as opposed to chemicals. He himself cannot really explain the mechanisms, and he agrees it sounds like 'hocus-pocus', as many critics like to refer to biodynamic viticulture. But - what he can see, is the difference in how it works and how healthy the vines and grapes are each season. Of accepted 3 kg copper sulfates, they need only ca 900 g / year. Ca 750 work hours are spent in the vineyards during a cycle, which is expensive, but it helps to see problems and risks early on. Fast actions can be taken when trouble is on its way. Plus, vines and people build some kind of relationship, he explains. They care about their vines...
 Christoph Graf showing where the vine will be pruned before next year's growing cycle
(note that this is not a von Buhl vineyard though)
View over Forst and the famous vineyards Freundstück, Kirchenstück, Ungeheuer.

Of course, we were not to suffer (!), so a wine was served here too, before we walked back to the estate. Stuck (Qualitätswein trocken), a cuvée of Riesling and Gewürztraminer - quite interesting! I liked the complexity that was gained by adding the aromas of roses and lychee, but, frankly, I would probably have preferred a little less sweetness (7 g residual sugar)...

The label of this wine dates back to 1887, when the German artist Franz von Stuck, a teacher of Klee, Kandinsky and other famous artists, created it. At that time for a wine made of a field blend, where Riesling and Gewürztraminer were cultivated in the same vineyard and harvested together too. (Unlike today's cuvée, where the wine is blended from two individually produced wines.) This wine seems like a nice way to go back to the roots.
Once back at the estate, we were greeted with cake (again!) and coffee. My husband, a pure tea drinker, was even offered some black tea that someone fetched from the offices - great service! The Sekt-Bar was started up too, so everyone was happy and happier.

Now it was time for the tastings, which deserve their own post...

Then a cellar tour completed the harvesting experience from earlier, to see what happens next to the grapes we picked and to learn more about the estate. The estate that once was part of the Jordan estate which was devided into 3 smaller estates after the death of Peter H. Jordan. Franz Peter Buhl, the son in law and founder of the von Buhl estate, had already been responsible for the wines of the Jordan winery. His son, Armand  Buhl, took the estate to even greater success. During his years, the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal was celebrated with von Buhl wine and many grand awards were given. Smart marriages further saw to the growth of the estate. Unfortunately, the last von Buhl widow, Frida, passed away without heirs. So in 1952 the estate was given to a friend of her late husband Eberhard Buhl, in accordance to his last will. Difficult times came and hectars were sold off. Since 1989, the winery was managed by an investment group and today it is owned by Achim Niederberger, a local entrepreneur. Read part one for the details around today's ownership and management.

The barrique cellar

Sparking wine is done the traditional way

In these tanks the grape must is still fermenting.

After that, dinner was served. A buffé of Pfälzer food, hearty and aromatic, served with... yes: wine.

All in all a very nice day, I can recommend it for you next year! Go to to sign up for their activities.

And stay tuned for my post about the tastings of the Grosse Gewächse and Sekt.

October 13, 2010


You keep hearing the expression 'Grad Oechsle' (or oechsle degrees), and don't really know wth it is referring to? A small summary for Oechsle beginners can be found here... where I wrote it for Invinitum's blog.

September 30, 2010

A Day at VDP Estate von Buhl - Part one

Founded in 1849, Reichsrat von Buhl is one of the prestigious estates of the Pfalz. Together with Bürklin-Wolf and Bassermann-Jordan, it is often referred to as one of the 'big Bs', all found in any famous and not-so-famous wine guide. The estate is today owned by the entrepreneur Achim Niederberger and it is run by an operating company, which in its turn is owned by a Japanese investor and by Stefan Weber, director of the estate, and Christoph Graf, sales manager.

Von Buhl has about 65 ha under vines, of which many are growing on top sites in Forst and Deidesheim. Famous vineyard names like Kirchenstück, Ungeheuer and Pechstein were already in the 19th century known by wine connoiseurs - not only in Germany. I will explain more about the sites (called Lagen in German) with future postings...

Today, it is about the harvest fest of last Saturday: We met at the estate at 10.00 a.m., where we were greeted by Christoph Graf and team. Together we walked up to the vineyard (Lage) Kieselberg. Here we were harvesting the grapes of 8 rows of vines.
Equipped with a bucket and grape harvest shears, we got a short introduction of how to and which grapes to take and which not. Some grapes show beginnings of boytritis and as today's harvest will go into the production of a dry wine, those grapes need to be excluded.
Werner Sebastian, responsible for the estate's vineyards and viticultural management, was explaining all we wanted to know. His passion and love for his work is infectious and it was fun to meet a person so happy for and with his job! He has been in the business for 40 years and works since 2004 with von Buhl. And it was under his guidance that the biodynamical standards of today were implemented and successfully certificated.
When our buckets were full, we simply shoutet 'Trauben!' (grapes), then somebody came to empty them and to give us new empty buckets. Within a couple of hours only the leaves were left on the vines, and the grapes were transported to the winery to meet their destiny: the press.
What we picked that day, was Riesling and the refractometer showed 88° Oechsle. In accordance to the Prädikatswein-system (the German wine system, where wines are classified by must weight), this could give a Spätlese wine. But as the VDP has changed their system by going back to express the origin of the grapes (soils, vineyard sites, terroir), (more about this later) this wine will result in a 'Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling trocken'. Telling you exactly where it comes from and that it is a dry wine. Smart! (And if you happen to catch a bottle of 2010, you know, I had my shears in there.)

After the work was done, we were served a nice, warm potato soup with apple cake. Yum! And to avoid dehydration: a Riesling trocken.

Read my next post about the rest of the day, with vineyard walk, wine tastings and cellar tour.... 

September 27, 2010

Sherry Ambassador Germany

Sherry meets Pfalz. Today this year's Sherry Ambassador was elected: Pietro D'Alto from Vinopolio, Marburg. Congratulations, Mr. Ambassador!
5 finalists from different regions of the country came to Neustadt/Weinstrasse to meet the last challenge. At the Vinicombe, the wine cellars of Mundus Vini, 3 different types of Sherry were served in black glasses (try it yourself!) for the candidates to recognize. Last theoretical questions had to be answered before the winner was announced. Prior to today's competition, 15 in-depth-questions around the famous Andalusian wines had to be answered right, a proposal for a menu with 5 corresponding different sherry styles had to be given. 

Today's candidates are sommeliers from top-houses of Germany and Pietro works as a freelance sommelier with his own company. The competition was announced by the Sommelier magazine

I think it is a good thing to have Sherry Ambassadors in Germany, because the wines get far too little attention and deserve way more! And what a great way to learn through people who know and have the passion for those exciting drops that are said to belong to the oldest wines on earth. Within the next weeks, several Romantic hotels offer Sherry-menus, and I might be trying to get to attend one myself. A nice way to discover brands you won't find on supermarket shelves. Check here for more information (Germany), for the international pages:

It was fun to have a short occasion that brought back memories of last year's Spanish Wine Education programme. The Spanish wine industry is doing a good job in marketing their wines by spreading knowledge...

More about Sherry on this blog...

September 20, 2010

Schloss Deidesheim Gutsausschank Dr Kern

This is where we spent a nice evening the other night: Gutsausschank Dr Kern, Schloss Deidesheim. It had been some 15 years, since my last visit - so it was fun to return. Especially now, that I have come to know the owner Stefanie Kern, since our children attend the same school.
It is unclear when exactly the original castle was built, first documentary evidence relates to a reception taking place end of 1200. What once was built as a water castle, was destroyed in 1689, during the War of Palatinate Succession, when almost all of Deidesheim was burnt down. In the 1700s, a new castle was built - only to once again be destroyed, this time by the French revolutionary army. As a consequence out of the secularization, the area and remains were auctioned by several individuals. Among them was Mr Goerg, who in 1804 and 1817 built two wineries for his sons on the areal he had bought. 
Mr Goerg is an ancestor of Stefanie and she took over the restaurant after her parents. For the last 50 years, food and wine have been served in these rooms, where lots of antiques can be found. Looking at some of the inventory, I wished they could tell me a story of things they have witnessed...
(Every table was occupied, my picture was done before the guests arrived.)

The wine menu concentrates on two wineries: Forster Winzerverein and Bassermann-Jordan and includes some own wines from Schloss-Deidesheim. An excellent way to try some local wines in a very relaxed atmosphere. AND to buy home, if you'd like. (Again, I am thinking of Sweden...)
In the glass: Bassermann-Jordan Riesling Kabinett trocken. Deidesheimer Kieselberg. Wonderfully, dry, elegant wine with nice acidity, minerality, and aromas of apple and white stone fruit. Really like it.
Grilled feta cheese
The food ranges from smaller dishes, like fresh salads over meat dishes to the traditional local 'Pfälzer Kost'. Which you should not choose when on a diet where you are still are afraid of fats. But for those of us, who have moved on to 'high fat plus protein, less-to-no carbohydrates', this works just fine (if you skip the mashed potatoes) (which you can't because they are so good)! That is what I took:
Bratwurst, Saumagen, Leberknödel, Sauerkraut, Kartoffelbrei
(more about this in some other post....)
To read more about the castle and Deidesheim, read here.
To book your table, click here.

September 19, 2010

Wine Select

Another beautiful, sunny day. We took a nice walk in the forests over Königsbach, north of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, where we enjoyed beautiful views over the Rhine valley.
After that, we were happy to stumble over a sign 'Hoffest'. Wine Select, a wine-event, -dealer (international and German wines) and -promotion company had opened their doors for a fest. Perfect for us! 
Up there on the terraces you can have pick-nick enjoying the views...

Today, you could buy 15 different wines by the glass or do a tasting of several, which is what we chose to do. I picked 4 wines for us:

2007 Scheurebe trocken, Weegmüller, Haardt. Not as spritzig as a Riesling, but very aromatic nose with black current and lychee in this dry wine that does have a little higher rest sugar. Definitely worth trying more of that grape variety!

2008 Riesling Kabinett trocken, Ohler, Gimmeldingen. Mussbacher Eselshaut. A dry, clean and fresh Riesling with nice, ripen citrus fruit. Yum.
2007 Riesling Kabinett trocken, Lucashof, Forst. Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker. A dry, clean and fresh Riesling with peach aromas and some minerality. Nice.

All of those were perfectly matching our salmon-shrimp-skewer that came with a couscous salad and a nice lemon-yoghurt sauce. 

2005 Mongrana Maremma, Agricola Querciabella, Tuscany. A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. A food wine, with the typical well pronounced tannin structure. I would certainly have liked it better with some food, but that was gone by the time we got to this wine. Plus we got nicely engaged in conversations so we did not pay the attention the wine certainly had deserved. Sorry. (Next time!)

However, the atmosphere was lovely and we'll certainly be back! There is a nice cellar where you can taste and buy wine, I am curious to see if there will be more happenings taking place. For now, the next Sundays will all be opened until mid of October...
Life is good!

September 17, 2010

300 000 Liters Wine Consumed

at the Wurstmarkt, last year. Reports today's newspaper (Die Rheinpfalz). We'll see what this year's festival will have to report. Today starts the 2nd weekend of the world's largest wine fest...
Read more about the fair in my recent post for invinitum

September 15, 2010

#twv TwitterWeinVerkostung - Twitter Wine Tasting

#twv is the hashtag under which (mostly German speaking) wine lovers (you need not be a wine expert) meet online on a regular base to taste a wine and tweet their opinions about it. The wine was previously bought by each tweeter (=person that has a twitter account).

Real-time results for #twv

  1. weinreiseweinreise 

    Tag 2 und er gefällt mir besser, aber die säure ist schon knackig... Nicht der gelbe, gefällige Typ, das gefallt mir! #twv

  2. DonSimonDonSimon_ 

    Hat gerade Infos zum nächsten #twv Paket bekommen,ihr werdet es lieben :-) Mehr am Montag Abend während dem CabSauv vom Weingut Uebel ! #twv

Initiator is Simon Atzei, widely known and referred to as Don Simon with his blog . About one year ago, the Don organized what he called 'TastingSalesDay': While wine tastings on twitter was nothing new by then, his concept was (and still is) to introduce wineries that are within twitterverse. Interested wineries or wine dealers can propose a tasting package of 1-3 wines, that should cost no more than 20 € for the individual taster, incl. shipping costs. Simon announces the package and then everyone that is interested orders his/her wine, which is shipped in good time before the tasting takes place - mostly on Monday evenings.

Simon's motivation is of purely private nature, out of fun and his interest for wine. As he says (which I can only agree with), it is not so easy to gather people around you for a 'real life' tasting. Thus being able to do so via your computer is a good alternative. For wineries and dealers it is a chance to get new customers, contacts and simply to gain reputation by being 'up-to-date' when it comes to social media. Or just to see how a certain wine can be evaluated...

Nobody knows exactly how many participants there are, as not everybody is active during the tastings. Some just drink, follow the twitter-conversation, and enjoy... So far, there are more male than female tasters, but the number of ladies is growing, the Don says.
It is also he who picks the wines to taste and so far, packages until March 2011 are decided upon. (Hm - I like it)

Besides German wines, there have been Italian, French, South African, Austrian, etc..... So, if you'd like to send in your wines, just send a message - or more fittingly, follow the Don  and let him know! 

Another fun 'side-effect' is, as Don Simon puts it, that he has also found 'real-life' friends through this #twv.

Read here about last Monday's #twv

September 13, 2010

Sauvignon Blanc, Uebel - Twitter tasting

2009 Sauvignon Blanc Kabinett trocken
Weingut Uebel, 
Nussdorf, Pfalz, Germany
6,90 €
12% alcohol
100% Sauvignon Blanc

Color: pale straw with slight hints of green
Nose: medium intense, clearly Sauvignon Blanc: grass, nettle, asparagus, some elderflower, hints of white pepper followed by a slight touch of alcohol
Palate: dry, light bodied with good acidity, gooseberry and grass tones, asparagus, ripen citrus. A decent, enjoyable herbal finish.  

A Sauvignon Blanc as I like it. More 'green' than fruity, fresh and crisp.

Nice to serve with salad dishes, chicken with pesto, green asparagus.  

Wine of tonight's Twitter wine tasting #twv. 

Read here about my visit to the winery or go directly to their website.

Here you can read what the German twitter-tasters had to say about this Sauvignon Blanc:

Don Simon (initiator)
Il Direttore della Gazzetta del Vino
Der Weinspion

September 11, 2010

MundusVini Great Wine Award results

5883 wines from 42 countries were tasted by an international jury (see my previous post): 1771 achieved medals. 471 awards went to German wines - with the Pfalz receiving 157 and thus leading among the German wine regions. Followed by Württemberg and Baden. 

The award 'German winery of the year' went to Weingut von Winning, which also stood for the category 'Best dry German white wine' with their 2009 Deidesheimer Grainhübel Riesling Spätlese trocken.
To find out which other wines and wineries got awarded, please visit

In November the winning wines of the awards can be tasted during the official wine tasting from 12-14 Nov. here in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse.  Drop me a note if you are participating, I'll be there too.

(Information from the official MundusVini press release)

September 08, 2010

Weingut Uebel, Pfalz - Twitter Wine Tasting

The word 'uebel' can be translated with ill, bad, nasty and some more. But this has absolutely nothing to do with this winery carrying the name Uebel!

Jochen Uebel, a young and passionate winemaker is the most friendly person ever! I had the pleasure to get to meet him today, when I visited the Uebel estate to pick up my wine package for Monday's twitter wine tasting. Yes! Finally I will be able to attend this fun club of twitter tasters that meet regularly under the hashtag #twv. But more about this later...
Jochen explained to me that the family-run winery is very young and in the early beginnings. Today, the majority of wines is sold via commissioners, which is a good way to earn money to build a solid foundation for a winery to grow and gain stability. But of course, his passion and his drive are devoted to the bottle wines and I do believe that this man knows exactly what he is doing. We will hear from him and his wines, something tells me.

Uebels have 10.5 hectars under vines and the location (in Nussdorf-Landau) is beautiful, let me assure you! Although it was raining dogs when I got there this morning, I just loved how it is nestled in at the very end of a cute, romantic, narrow road, which is more of a path. (Swedish Volvo erm...) And once you got passed the last bend of the street you see nothing but ... vines. Gorgeous.
In the cellar, where the stainless steel tanks are waiting for this year's crop, Jochen is explaining a bit about the techniques and his philosophy. How the wine is filtered in the end only and how he concentrates his work on letting the different grape varieties reflect just that - their own style. And how he uses barrel aging to accentuate but not to kill a wine. Sounds very good to me!
In a couple of weeks they will start to fill those 5000 l tanks with Sauvignon Blanc, White and Grey Burgundy, Chardonnay and Riesling. The reds include Cabernet Sauvignon, Portugieser, and Dunkelfelder. Ha! You too have not heard about that grape variety, have you? I am going to look it up. It gives very dark wines with lots of tannins, and therefore makes a good component in a cuvée - under the right circumstances, that is.

But now, first, we are going to taste Sauvignon Blanc 2009 on Monday and then the Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. #twv

How fun: Through twitter I got to know a new person in real life too. Not too bad? (Nicht übel?)

September 02, 2010

Ortega 2010

My first sip of this year's wine: Ortega. Sweet, very yeasty. Called 'neuer Wein' , Federweisser, Bitzler. This one here came in that morning, so really, it is still grape juice. The yeasts are working already though and the wine changes almost by the hour. Everyday it will be less sweet and stronger in alcohol. That way, there is a new wine to every taste.
As of today, the temperatures are still too high, it needs to be a bit more cooler and fall-ish, for me to like to drink this wine (I only asked for a sip to be able to take the photos for you, since I was not buying either...). But, of course, just as with all other consumer products, everyone tries to be the first, so already now you can go and enjoy this year's wine.

However, that I am writing about it now, is more out of the curiosity of where it was served:
At the entrance of the local supermarket. That is of course nothing at all curious to us in Germany. People pass it - and hardly even notice it. But to me, just back from Sweden, this is something very attention-catching!

I start giggling (although I am all by myself), just by the thought how much fuzz this would create in front of a Swedish supermarket. Seems like a great joke for candid camera to me! Of course, it wouldn't happen, because it is simply forbidden to sell alcohol outside the monopoly and to sell wine on the parking lot - that would have about the same touch as selling cocaine here. Funny world?