Even if some people dislike or even reject my wine, my experiment is a success +++ Two weeks after the presentation of the first wine I made myself there are enough reactions to draw some initial conclusions +++ Many of you will remember that my winegrowing project in the remote Franconian section of the Tauber Valley sought to answer the question if it is possible to produce a wine of Großes Gewächs / Grand Cru format from the humble Müller-Thurgau grape +++ So far only one person who tasted the result was so indifferent to the wine that he said it was „nice“, whereas everbody else seemed to have a strong reaction +++ For some people it was clearly too powerful, too tannic or alcoholic, but it often seemed that they were comparing it with dry Rieslings or other wines which are completely different in type +++ That was the reason I offered a white Châteauneuf du Pape (the 2008 „Vieilles Vignes“ from Château Beaucastel), a white Burgundy (the 2008 Bourgogne Blanc from Comte de Vogüé) and an Austrian Grüner Veltliner (the 2008 „M“ from F.X. Pichler) to compare with it at the official presentation on the 5th September in the Muesuem for Film & TV in Sony Center/Berlin +++ Like my wine they are all full-bodied dry whites with a moderate natural acidity content and plenty of character from extended ageing on the lees +++ None of the professional tasters suggested this comparison was illogical, pretentious or absurd, which is itself a sign of success for my wine +++ I say „for my wine“, because the 16,5 points Jancis Robinson gave in her report (see the „Purple Pages“ of www.jancisrobinson.com) were for the wine, not for me +++ You too could learn from Professor Schultz of the Geisenheim wine school how the vine grows if you attended his lectures, because it really isn’t that complicated (though it is rather surprising) +++ Though we wine journalists like to present it as something noble, winemaking is more a matter of paying attention to details and doing things at exactly the right moiment, than it is of genius +++ During my frequent visits to Winzerhof Stahl in Auernhofen/Franken, where I made my wine, this was confirmed to me again and again +++ The biggest challenge was going the full course even, if this meant 9 hours of hoeing on a 68% slope in the hot sun +++ If you could have done that too, then you could have made the wine which I did ! +++ Being a winegrower is hard work, but becoming a winegrower was both fullfilling and mind-expanding for me +++ That’s whay I went to Potsdam with Clemens Busch of the eponymous wine estate in Pünderich/Mosel on Friday to look at the Winzerberg, a terraced vineyard constructed for Frederick the Great in 1763 +++ A citizens initiative is restoring it in order to replant it with the aim of producing high quality wine (see www.winzerberg-potsdam.de) +++ After what Monika Lange from the citizens initiative told us and showed us I believe this will be possible +++ However, it is a completely different challenge to produce a great wine here to in the Tauber Valley, due to the different soil, climatic situation, and the unique feature of this site: vines under glass ! +++ We will have to adapt to all of this, both in the choice of grape varieties and in the method of cultivation in order to succeed +++ I can’t wait to start !
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