Saturday, June 25, 2011

German Trip

Write up to come once I get some sleep. For now, a look at our trip itinerary and then my individual appointments.

Landmarks of Wine Culture in Germany

Franken and Rheingau

Thursday, June 16th 2011
 Weingut and Hotel Meintzinger
Babenbergplatz 2 - 4, 97252 Frickenhausen a. Main

Get-Together & Dinner  Ehrbar Fränkische Weinstube
Hauptstraße 17, 97252 Frickenhausen

Friday, June 17th 2011
09:00 – 10:15  Visit &  Tasting at winegrowers’ cooperative
Divino Nordheim Langgasse 33, 97334 Nordheim/Main
10:45 – 13:15 Visit & Tasting
Weingut Horst Sauer Bocksbeutelstr. 14, 97332 Escherndorf

Lunch in Eschendorf

15:30 – 17:15     Visit & Tasting
Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg Residenzplatz 3, 97070 Würzburg
17:15 – 18:45  Dinner
 Residenz Gaststätten  Residenzplatz 1, 97070 Würzburg
19:00 Music Festival
Mozart Festival Würzburg Mozart-Night with Prager Kammerorchester
Residenz Würzburg

Saturday, June 18th 2011

09:30 – 12:00  Visit & Tasting &  Lunch
Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist Theaterstraße 19, 97070 Würzburg        

12:00 – 13:30 Bürgerspital-Weinstuben  
Theaterstraße 19, 97070 Würzburg

15:30 – 18:00    Visit and tasting
Domäne Schloss Johannisberg
18:00  Dinner at Schloss Schenke / Weingut Schloss Reinhartshausen
Hauptstraße 41, 65346 Eltville-Erbach

21:00 Check-in at Radisson Blu Schwarzer Bock Hotel Kranzplatz 12, 65183 Wiesbaden

Sunday, June 19th 2011
09:30 – 12:00  Visit & Tasting
 Monastry and Staatsweingut Kloster Eberbach
Domäne Steinberg 1, 65346 Eltville/Rheingau
12:00 – 14:00  Lunch
Hotel und Weinhaus „Zum Krug“ Hauptstraße 34, 65347 Hattenheim
14:15 – 16:15   Visit & Tasting
Schloss Vollrads Vollradser Allee, 65375 Oestrich-Winkel
16:30 – 18:30  Visit &Tasting
  Weingut Georg Müller-Stiftung  Erbacher Straße 7-9, 65347 Eltville-Hattenheim
19:00 Visit wineBANK
Weingut Balthasar Ress Rheinallee 7, 65347 Eltville-Hattenheim

19:45   Dinner
Weingut Koegler Kirchgasse 5, 65343 Eltville
End of Press Tour

Individual Visits:

Monday, June 20th
Martin Müllen

Tuesday, June 21
 J.J. Prüm 
Willi Schaefer

Wednesday, June 22
Günther Steinmetz
Peter Lauer

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Austria Trip: The Wine

Now that I am vaguely coherent, and before I head to Germany, I wanted to say a few words about the wines on the Austrian trip. For the curious, a complete list of all wines tasted can be found here.
First, some geography. Our trip began and ended in Vienna and was focused on the Carnuntum and Burgenland. These regions, in Eastern Austria along the Hungarian border, are known for their full-bodied and rich red wines, not the Gruner Vetliner that many associate with Austria. Although white wines are produced in the area, particularly the stand out sweet wines sometimes called "liquid gold," the majority of wines we tasted were reds, mainly zweigelt and blaufrankish.

Zweigelt was created 1920's by Professor Fritz Zweigelt, a cross between Blaufränkisch and St Laurent. It is the most widespread red wine variety in Austria. Zweigelt ranges from easy drinking, unoaked wines to rich and full bodied wines aged in oak barrels.  In my house, zweigelt has been mainly a pizza and meatball wine so I looked forward to the opportunity to learn more.  From Terry Theise: "The last word in red wine!. . . At its best this is oh-so- drinkable. . .  It always smells great! It’s  a cross of St. Laurent with Blaufränkisch and its most overt fruit note is sweet cherry, but there’s more to the best wines. Imagine if you could somehow skim the top notes off of really ripe Syrah, so that you had the deeply juicy fruit and could leave the animal-herbal aspects behind. That might be Zweigelt."

Blaufränkisch is a late-ripening variety with characteristic high acidity. It can seem quite astringent at first, yet soften and become more smooth as the wine matures, and fine examples have aging potential. Again from Terry Theise: "It’s of the cabernet type, a little bricky and capsule-y, and when it’s unripe it’s slightly vegetal. But lately I’ve seen much better stuff from this grape. In fact I think the quality-spread is widest here. Most of Austria’s greatest red wines are made entirely or mostly from Blaufränkisch, yet weak Blaufränkisch is less pleasing than weak Zweigelt."

I'm not going to give reviews of all of the wines tasted. Because that would grow rather boring rather quickly. Instead, a few general thoughts. Many of the wines we tasted were high in acid. These high acid bottles sometimes screamed out for food, but also showed a potential that excited me. Some had far too much oak, which is a style that does not speak to me. Others were completely approachable and made me want to stand or sit and enjoy rather than moving onto the next bottle. They were also mainly young, mainly 08s and 09s with a few other vintages mixed in. We, or at least the people I talked to on the bus, did not always agree. And that is the fun of a trip like this: not just the opportunity to learn, (I've described it to friends as like a language immersion course but for wine), but also to discuss.

Some highlights white, sweet and rose: Kracher’s Grand Cuvee No. 6,
Leitner’s Pinot Blanc Pannobile Weiss, Leo Sommer Leithaberg Weiss, Brundlmayer Brut Rose
Reds: Glatzer Dornenvogel Zweigelt, Preisinger Zweigelt Pannobile, Preisinger’s Pinot Noir, Weingut Hans Igler: 2006 “Biiri”, 2001 “Ab Ericio,” and 2000 “Jewel”, IBY Rotweingut Reserve Durrau Blaufrankisch, Straka Klassik Blaufrankisch, Unger Gerald  Blaufrankisch Reserve, Paul Achs Ungerberg Blaufrankisch

Next up, a few thoughts on the places we visited and, of course, the food including the best lardo I have ever had. 

Friday, June 3, 2011


Rust from our boat

Last night emergency schnitzel


So I'm back. Sadly, my suitcase is not and the call from United Airlines last night to tell me they could deliver my bag at 1 a.m. led to words I should not write. Latest update is a possible delivery tonight.
I have a lot to say about the trip and will do a full write up over the weekend. But for those eager to see what I've been up to I'll share our itinerary and a link to the photographs of our trip. More to come very soon as the Austrian Wine Marketing Board puts on a wonderful event.

Saturday, 28th of May 2011
07.00 pm
Get-together on the Nussberg
Rotes Haus, Vienna
Sunday, 29th of May 2011
09.15 am
Carnuntum Zweigelt Masters
Winery Netzl, Göttlesbrunn
12.00 noon
Neusiedlersee Luncheon Featuring Zweigelt
Restaurant Nyikospark, Neusiedl am See
02.30 pm
Sparkling Boat Trip across Lake Neusiedl
04.00 pm
Burgenland´s Liquid Gold Tasting
Austrian Wine Academy, Rust
07.30 pm
Burgenland & Carnuntum Gourmet Dinner
Restaurant Taubenkobel, Schützen am Gebirge
Monday, 30th of May 2011
09.00 am
Leithaberg DAC Tasting at Leithaberg
Single vineyard site "Himmelreich", Donnerskirchen
11.30 am
Visit of the Esterhazy Palace
12.30 pm
Pannonian Luncheon
Restaurant Henrici, Eisenstadt
02.30 pm
Comperative Blind Tasting
Esterházy Palace, Eisenstadt
05.15 pm
Vineyard Rallye & Private Dining with Winemakers
Tuesday, 31st of May 2011
09.00 am
Tasting of Mittelburgenland DAC
Vinatrium, Deutschkreutz
12.00 pm
Eisenberg DAC - Luncheon and Winebar
Restaurant Wachter-Wieslers Ratschen, Deutsch Schützen
07.00 pm
Big Austrian Wine Party
Waggon 31, Prater