Kaiserstuhl Weekend

Kaiserstuhl, an old extinct volcano in the south of Baden. Today covered with vineyards on terraces and slopes. Exciting wine land from several aspects: The soil, mostly volcanic and loess. The producers, several top rated in the German wine guide Eichelmann. The grapes, with Spätburgunder, i.e. Pinot Noir, performing on top.

We spent the weekend here. Unfortunately, the weather turned more windy and cold, but who cares? To take a vineyard walk, just put on some warm clothes, and when in cosy probierstuben, the only thing chilly is the wine. Some pictures:

From our vineyard walk around Winklerberg. Could it be a red phylloxera vastatrix on the wall?

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Wine tasting and cellar tour at Dr. Heger in Ihringen. Timo Renner welcomed us and David Beck showed us the cellar.

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Visit at Weingut Bercher in Burkheim. This particular day there was a little event with delicious small dishes to the wine.

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Visit at Salwey, which we met the first time at the Sommelier Day in Gothenburg. Philipp Hettich welcomed.

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We also made a short visit in Franz Keller’s modern tasting room in Oberbergen.

Now, to end the trip, just a quick stop in Pfalz before going home again.

 

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Schloss Neuweier, History and Charm

What can be better than going to the prince’s ball at the castle? We know. Much better is to meet the charming, energetic Robert Schätzle at his Schloss Neuweier in Baden, and to explore the wines made of grapes grown in the historical vineyards surrounding the delightful castle.

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The history of the vineyards is impressing, cultivated already by the Romans. The famous Mauerberg vineyard, with about 3 km of drystone walls holding up the terrassed vineyards on the steep hill, is more than 500 years old. However, in Victorian time it was not the Mauerberg but the sparkling Neuweier that rendered the highest price. Interesting is also the tradition of bottling the wines on bocksbeutel, the only place where this is allowed outside Franken.

The Schloss Neuweier wines are not loud, but delicious and fine. Robert makes them to express purity and minerality. As light butterflies, I have written in my notebook as a heading for the 2012 and 2013 Rieslings. The Weissburgunders were other favourites, such super-foodie wines.

And even if there isn’t any ball to attend, it is a treat to stay at the castle. Calm and relaxing. Lovely decorated rooms and excellent food by Röttele’s Restaurant & Residenz. Looking out of the window right into a vineyard, that is a winelover’s holiday dream.

You can expect some more to read about Schloss Neuweier. Coming when all my notes have been sorted out.

Siegrist, Pure Palatine Gems

Leinsweiler, a beautiful small village in southern Pfalz. Soft hills, coated with vineyards protected by the Palatine woods. Thanks to the favourable climat, a real grape heaven. In the hands of Weingut Siegrist, transformed into the purest liquides. Finding the wines of Siegrist is like finding a big bowl, filled with the clearest, purest, most beautiful gems.

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We met Monika Dapprich, presenting the Siegrist wines, at the Sommelier Day in Gothenburg in the beginning of February. Were totally seduced by the exquisite wines and directly promised ourselves that we must head for Pfalz to experience these on their birthplace.

After our visit to Monika, Thomas Siegrist, Bruno Schimpf and their families at the Siegrist winery in Leinsweiler, the first impression has been confirmed. Their passion for wine is traceable into every little drop. The wine list is extensive, mirroring innovation, the different sites, grapes, the development of the wines in the celler and not least the urge for purest quality.

Siegrist wines have something very special. Elegance and a very pure, clearness. Will come back with the full story when back home again.

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Read more: All posts on Lovely Wine Grapes about our visit to Weingut Siegrist in March 2015:

Links to Weingut Siegrist homepage and on Facebook.

 

Marie in Paradise

Villa im Paradies, Weinstrasse no 80 in Deidesheim, Pfalz. Paradise villa on wine street. What tempting names for a wine lover! For Marie Menger-Krug,  it is her working address. Or, in fact one of three. As winemaker at her family estates she shares her time between Villa im Paradies and the Motzenbäcker Estate in Pfalz and the Krug’scher Hof Estate in Rheinhessen. We meet her in the Paradise.

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The Menger-Krug family makes wine with sustainability as leading star. In the vineyard we see a multitude of plants, flowers and herbs as cover crop. We also meet some of their loyal vineyard workers. Marzi and Pan are the third generation of pigs gently working the soil with their snouts from after harvest to spring. In their footsteps,  some beautifully coloured hens.

When I met Marie the week before, in Ästad Vingård in Sweden, I tasted some wines from the Krug’scher Hof. Now we got the opportunity to taste more beautiful wines and also from the Pfalz. Marie’s sparkling made by ‘methode rural’, i.e. only one fermentation, is unique, and delicious. Her new blend Marie, perfect companion for the summer. The Motzenbäcker Riesling, very nice. And the moon oak wines, one Chardonnay and one Riesling, superb.

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I’ll come back with a longer write-up of our meetings and the wines when back home again.

On the wine road, Pfalz and Baden

Already when we drive off the ferry in Puttgarten, we get this very special warm feeling inside. Not only thanks to a beginning spring with fields changing colour from brown and yellow to a multitude of green nuances. No, much better than that.

We are heading to German Pfalz (Palatine) and Baden. Wine travelling to, for us, new destinations. So often we have just passed by on autobahn, heading to some French destination. But our eyes were opened at the Sommelier Day in Gothenburg in the beginning of the year. All thanks to meetings with some VDP producers and their beautiful wines. Riesling, of course, and also Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder and some exquisite Spätburgunder, i.e. Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. And on Ästad Vingård, last week, the impression was confirmed.

So, new destinations, but at the same time not. New friends in the lovely world of wine are waiting for us. Marie, Monika, Robert and Konrad. It will be great to see you again!

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