Category Archives: STUART PIGOTT RIESLING GLOBAL

Cool Climate is Dead in Old Europe

I just attended the wonderful and stimulating FLXcursion global Riesling conference in the Finger Lakes (FLX) region of Upstate New York where I also presented a seminar on Tuesday, 23rd July. I got a lot of requests to post at least my introductory comments, so here they are.

Welcome to the Wrong Side of the Tracks seminar at the FLXcursion conference about Riesling in warm and warming regions around Planet Wine in the 21st century. I suggest we all belong to the reality-based community and that means there’s no place here today for nostalgia or wishful thinking. The title of this seminar is appropriate, because it’s seriously shocking. I know I’ve got a reputation for liking to shock people, and it’s true I enjoy doing that, but this is shocking solely because of the massive change that recently occurred in many Riesling regions.

We all know the climate is warming, but I think most of us think it’s a slow process and for Riesling it is mostly positive. I felt that way too until I took a long hard look at the recent weather stats and came to the conclusion that Cool Climate is Dead in Old Europe. Global warming just abolished cool climate viticulture there (though not in the New Europe of wine, by which I mean places like Poland, Denmark and England). This is particularly clear if you look at the Riesling regions of Europe. I must stress that what I’m talking about here is the weather in certain Europe regions during the last decade. How this new climatic pattern affects the aroma and flavor of the wines from these regions is another matter entirely, and with today’s tasting we’ll be seeking answers to that question.

This seminar has a global theme, so it is also about understanding what’s happening in Riesling regions far outside Europe with very different landscapes and the implications of warming climates there. If you taste those wines with an open mind, then I think you find many Rieslings from rather warm regions that show characteristics (for example, fresh fruit and floral aromas, crisp acidity and sleek body) we consider reliable markers for cool climate wines. Clearly, in spite of the warm conditions there this type of wine is possible, but in those regions too, the situation is changing fast. For them too the question is what happens next.

Now on to the stats. Let’s start with how things were at the end of the 20th century. The first table shows the long-term average heat summations (on the Huglin Index) for a selection of winegrowing regions around the world, some important for Riesling, others not. This picture, plus a bit of warming, is what most wine industry people around the planet regard as the current situation, but even then we tend to make some serious mistakes. For example, Clare Valley in South Australia is frequently declared to be cool climate, but it has a heat summation of 2388, which is higher than Barossa at 2342! This common misjudgment results from the fact that Clare is the largest Riesling region in the Southern Hemisphere and because the fresh aromas and crispness of Clare Rieslings make us wrongly assume the region must be cool.

Now let’s turn to the 2018 vintage in Europe. The second table shows what happened in Geisenheim in the Rheingau (the location wine university and research station) last year. The heat summation for Geisenheim in 2018 is marked in red. Note that the Rheingau is not the warmest winegrowing region in Germany by far. Southern Rheinhessen, the Pfalz, Southern Baden and Central Württemberg are all significantly warmer. In 2018 Geisenheim had a heat summation of 2277 compared with an average of just 1623 during the period 1961-1990. What a huge leap! A Huglin Index of 2277 means Germany was warmer than Eden Valley and almost as warm as the Clare Valley, the two premier Riesling regions of South Australia!

The third table shows how a rather similar situation is developing this year. Here is the weather report for June 2019 for Norheim in the Nahe Valley, one of the “classic” cool climate Riesling regions of Europe. I chose Norheim, because it’s the closest weather station to Weingut Dönnhoff and to Gut Hermannsberg where I work as Riesling Ambassador. Cornelius Dönnhoff (a member of my panel) tells me the Norheim weather station is positioned close to a cliff that may push the highs up by as much 1°C, so you may want to adjust these figures accordingly.

Globally, June 2019 was the warmest June ever recorded by a margin of 0.1°C. For Europe it was the warmest June ever recorded by a margin of 1.0°C, and in Norheim June 2019 was fully 3.9°C warmer than the average for the late 20th century. Even if you correct down the measured high of 39.6°C in Norheim, then,it still tops the month’s high of 37.1°C in Bordeaux and that of 37.8°C in Madrid. The 297 sunshine hours during June 2019 in Norheim are also extraordinary, since they are 42.4% more than the average for the late 20th century. July 2019 started cooler in the Nahe like most of Germany, but today’s high in Norheim is 32°C and the predicted highs for the next four days are 37°C, 38°C, 37°C and 34°C!

I’m sure that some of you are now saying to yourselves, “yes, but there are still some vintages in Europe that are much cooler,” because that’s what I also said to myself. Unfortunately, we are wrong.

The fourth table shows the mean temperatures during April – October (the growing season) for the last six years and selected earlier vintages in Geisenheim. When I started getting interested in Riesling in the early 1980s I could still buy wines of the great 1976 vintage rather cheaply and I can still remember that very warm dry summer in England. Only much later did I learn that the summer of 1947 was the warmest of the 20th century. The mean growing season temperatures in Geisenheim for those exceptional vintages were 15.7°C in 1976 and 16.9°C in 1947, far above the average for the late 20th century of 14.5°C.

Now let’s turn to the figures for the last six years. For example, wine industry people inside and outside Germany generally regard 2013 as a cool vintage, because the harvest conditions were cool and the wines have high acidity/low pH that makes them taste sleek and taut. However, 2013’s mean growing season temperature in Geisenheim was 15.5°C, almost as high as that of 1976. Since then the figure for every year equaled or exceeded that for 1976. In 2018 the record of 1947 was smashed by a margin of 1.1°C ! I rest my case and pose the question, where do we go from here?

Posted in FLXtra, Home, STUART PIGOTT RIESLING GLOBAL | 2 Comments

GHB Diary 4/2019 – The 35th Anniversary of My New Life: Part 1

This is the first posting on my blog under my new masthead and this is Part 1 of the most important story I have to tell. / Es tut mir leid aber Sie müssen eine Weile auf die deutsche Übersetzung von Teil 1 der ersten Story auf meinem Blog unter dem neuen Logo warten. Ich arbeite dran!

As I walked into the Hindenburg Raum of the Staatliche Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schlossböckelheim/Nahe State Domaine, today Gut Hermannsberg (GHB), on the sunny morning of Wednesday, 26th April 1984 I was a 23 years old art student and had no idea that it would change my life several times over. Today is the 35th anniversary of that day and it seems like a good opportunity to start telling that story properly.

It was the fifth wine tasting during a weeklong tour of top Riesling producers in Germany by English gentleman and wine merchant Philip Eyres (1926 – 2012) of Henry Townsend Wines based just outside my home town of London. I was both surprised and extremely grateful when, a couple of months earlier, he’d asked me to join him, his wife Jennifer and their son for the whole of this buying trip. It was my first professional wine tasting trip and, in spite of all I’ve learned and experienced since then, when I visit producers somewhere on Planet Wine I am basically continuing to do what I started doing that week. My first article about wine had just been published in Decanter magazine in England, and I also owed that connection to Philip Eyres! At the time those developments were so exciting that I barely gave this situation a second thought and never asked myself why he did all those things for me.

Although the atmosphere on that trip was extremely friendly, during the wine tastings it was also serious as we focused on the wines in near-silence. However, for Philip Eyres the entire undertaking was deadly serious, and without me realizing it at the time that made it serious for me too. It was many years before that all this started becoming clear to me and I may still not have reached the end of that process of discovery.

I remember the scene that greeted us in the tasting room very well. On a table in the Hindenburg Room stood a long row of tall brown wine bottles. Estate Director Dr. Werner Hofäcker had prepared every single Riesling they’d produced in the 1983 vintage for us to taste. None of the other producer we visited did that for us! It showed both Dr. Hofäcker’s thoroughness and that Philip Eyres must have made a very good impression upon him during his previous visits. The fact that it was my very first encounter with the wines from this producer resulted in an element of surprise that turned out to be of crucial importance.

Right from the moment when I tasted first wine in the row it was clear to me these wines were very different to those we’d tasted during the previous two days in the Mosel Valley, but that didn’t prepare me for the shock of the third of fourth wine in the tasting. It was a 1983 vintage dry Riesling from the Kupfergrube vineyard site and it stopped me dead in my tracks. “What the hell is that?” I remember silently saying to myself as I stood there and struggled to make sense of the smell and taste I’d just experienced. It was unlike anything else I’d ever experienced in the world of wine, or anywhere else for that matter. It instantly redefined what wine could be. In retrospect, I would say it was my first compelling experience of “terroir”. Although I understood this was the French word for the taste of the place, I thought it only applied to French wine and cheese.

Unfortunately, I lost the notes I made that day soon after, but the notes from my second experience of these wines in London on the 22nd November 1984 show that already I’d started describing the aroma of the Kupfergrube wines as “pungent”. This adjective usually has negative connotations in English, because it suggests a stink of some kind. I meant it positively though and stuck with it, because nothing else seemed adequate to conveying how intense and radical those wines tasted to me. I’m still struggling to find better words for the Kupfergrube wines. How do you combine “warm and spicy” with “firm and linear” then add “driving and primeval” plus “grapefruit zest and smoke” – my contemporary descriptors for them – and compress all that into just a couple words?

Although I had almost no disposable income when we I returned home I invested what for me was a gigantic sum of money in purchasing almost two dozen bottles of the best 1983 German Rieslings I tasted on that trip. The largest part of my expenditure was for 10 bottles from the Nahe State Domaine and a couple more bottles of their 1983 wines were added to that over the following years. I still have one of those bottles in my cellar!

I must make clear that back then none of this was due to any “Pro-German” feelings on my part. It was all about my very particular experience of discovery and revelation, and such moments were not limited to German wines, as my first taste of the red 1981 Château Cheval Blanc from St. Emilion in Bordeaux almost exactly three years before proves. However, during the next years the wine tastings of that week came to look like a turning point. Slowly, I realized I could better trust the leading winemakers of Germany to tell me the truth than I could their French colleagues. And I found I could sell stories about German wines more easily than those about France, because almost nobody else was writing about the subject in English. Thanks to Philip Eyres and my moment of revelation in the Hindenburg Room I’d found the path I follow to this day.

#GHBismyDRC

To be continued…

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GHB Diary 3/2019: Lieber Nahe als Ferne / Love the Nahe

Niederhäuser WeinfrühlingDie Wettervorhersage für Sonntag, den 7. April ist 17° C mit Sonne und ich habe ein Vorschlag für den Tagesprogramm: Niederhäuser Weinfrühling an der Nahe  / The weather forecast for Sunday, 7th April is 17° C with sunshine. I suggest you visit the Niederhäuser Weinfrühling in the Nahe. For the English language story please scroll down.   

Seit ich Anfang März 2019 angefangen habe für Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) als Riesling Ambassador zu arbeiten, haben mir zahlreiche Menschen zwei bohrende Fragen gestellt. Erstens: Warum haben sie plötzlich den freischaffenden Weinjournalismus gegen die Arbeit für ein Weingut gewechselt? Zweitens: Warum ausgerechnet die Nahe? Die erste Frage verdient eine ausführliche Antwort und ich bitte um etwas Geduld. Die kurze Antwort darauf ist, dass ich wenig Zukunft in der Art von Journalismus, die ich die letzten zwanzig Jahre gepflegt habe, gesehen habe. Die zweite Frage können Sie selber beantworten, indem Sie am kommenden Sonntag, den 7. April den Niederhäuser Weinfrühling besuchen und diesen Teil der Nahe persönlich kennenlernen.

Meine persönliche Antwort auf die zweite Frage ist Liebe. Als ich 1984-86 anfing die Nahe zu besuchen, habe ich mich hoffnungslos in dieses Gebiet verliebt. Schnell habe ich einen Draht zu den damals bedeutenden Figuren an der Nahe, wie Hans and Dr. Peter Crusius von Weingut Crusius in Traisen, Armin Diel von Schlossgut Diel in Burg Layen, Helmut Dönnhoff von Weingut Dönnhoff in Oberhausen und Dr. Werner Hofäcker, den Direktor der Staatlichen Weinbaudomäne in Niederhausen (heute GHB) gefunden. Sie haben mich immer wieder zurück an die Nahe gezogen und schrittweise habe ich entdeckt, was diese Gegend so besonders macht. Die Nahe hat nur 4.205 Hektar Weinberge, ist aber ein ziemlich komplexes Gebiet mit einer erstaunlichen klimatischen und geologischen Vielfalt. Diese Komplexität wäre vielleicht frustrierend, wenn es nicht zu solch einer großen Vielzahl von sagenhaften trockenen wie auch natürlichsüßen Weißweinen, Schaumweinen und auch Rotweinen führen würde. Zweifelsohne wird die Mehrheit der genialen Naheweinen aus der Riesling-Traube (28,6% der Gesamtrebfläche) gewonnen, aber Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) und Chardonnay spielen auch eine bedeutende Rolle an der Nahe.

Für mich ist GHB ein besonderer Teil dieser Welt des Weins und nicht nur weil 100% des 30 Hektar großen Weinbergsbesitzes des Hauses als VDP Grosse Lage klassifiziert sind. Das Gutshaus und seine Nebengebäude stehen zwischen GHBs 12,5 Hektar der Lage Kupfergrube und seiner 5,5 Hektar großen Monopollage Hermannsberg fast direkt oberhalb des Flusses. Drum herum liegen die Felsen und steilen bewaldeten Hänge in diesem wildromantischen Abschnitt des Tals. Aber sie müssen mir nicht glauben, kommen Sie einfach am nächsten Sonntag oder ein anderen Mal und schauen Sie sich das ganze von unserer Terrasse aus an. Dann sind Sie das Juwel in unserer Krone!

Das Beste an meiner neuen Rolle bei GHB ist die frappierende Weise, wie jeder der trockenen Rieslinge seine besondere Herkunft geschmacklich widerspiegelt. Das hat viel mit der harten Arbeit und Zielstrebigkeit von Winemaker Karsten Peter und dem Weinbergsverwalter Philipp Wolf zu tun, aber auch mit dem Wirken des ganzen Teams, unter Direktor Achim Kirchner und Jasper Reidel von der Besitzerfamilie. Wie Warren Winiarski, der Gründer von Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley/Kalifornien mir einmal gesagt hat: „Terroir ist taub bis jemand es entdeckt und einen Weg herausarbeitet über den es zum Ausdruck kommt.“ Jedes der führenden Weingüter der Nahe hat eine eigene Geschichte, wie ihnen das gelungen ist. Lernen sie das am kommenden Sonntag, den 7. April in Niederhausen und auf GHB kennen! (Fotos: Nathalie Schwartz)

#GHBistmeinDRC #7Terroirs #LieberNahealsFerne #Nahe #Riesling

Niederhäuser Weinfrühling

Since I started work for the Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) estate in Niederhausen/Nahe as Riesling Ambassador at the begining of March 2019 many people asked me two questions: Why switch from wine journalism to working for a wine producer? Why the Nahe? The first of these will require a lengthy answer at some point in the near future, but the quick version is that I don’t see a long-term future for the kind of wine journalism I dedicated myself to for the last twenty years. The second question is much easier to answer and you don’t even need to read the following to do so, just come to the Niederhäuser Weinfrühling next Sunday, 7th April in Niederhausen/Nahe and experience it for yourself.

My own answer to that second question is love. During my first trips to the Nahe in 1984 – 1986 I fell head over heels in love with this dramatic region and rapidly connected with several of the leading producers there. My contact with Hans and Dr. Peter Crusius of the Crusius estate in Traisen, Armin Diel of Schlossgut Diel in Burg Layen, Helmut Dönnhoff of the Dönnhoff estate in Oberhausen and Dr. Werner Hofäcker of the Staatliche Weinbaudomäne in Niederhausen (GHB today) pulled me back again and again to find out ever more about what makes the Nahe so special. The fact is that although it only has 4,205 hectares of vineyards it is geologically and climatically diverse is crucial. That might be frustrating if it wasn’t for the fact that it leads to an astonishing diversity of wonderful dry white, sweet, sparkling and red wines. Yes, the Riesling grape (28.6% of the total vineyard area) gives the majority of the great wines of the Nahe, but Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Chardonnay all play important roles.

For me, GHB is a special part of this world of wine, and not only because 100% of its 30 hectares of vineyards are classified as VDP Grosse Lagen. GHB’s 12.5 hectares in the Kupfergrube site on two side of most of them lie directly around the complex of estate buildings, and the 5.5 hectare monopole Hermannsberg site lied on the other, the river Nahe forming the forth side. Beyond those vineyards lie the volcanic cliffs, and forested sleeps that make this section of the river valley breathtakingly beautiful. But don’t take my word for it. Come along to GHB on Sunday and experience for yourself the view from our terrace. Then you’ll be the jewel in our crown!

The best thing about my new role for GHB is the arresting way each of the wines dramatically reflects its place of origin. That has a great deal to do with the hard yet thoughtful work of winemaker Karsten Peter and vineyard manager Philipp Wolf, supported by the entire GHB team under director Achim Kirchner and including Jasper Reidel of the owning family. As the great Californian winemaker Warren Winiarski of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley said to me many years ago, „Terroir is mute until someone recognizes it and enables it to express itself.” Each of the leading producers of the Nahe has their own story of how they did that. Come and experience this for yourself on Sunday, 7th April in Niederhausen and at GHB! (Photos: Nathalie Schwartz)

#GHBismyDRC #7Terroirs #LoveNahe #Nahe #Riesling

 

 

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“I dwell in possibility” – Nancy Irelan, FLX Rebel Winemaker with a Cause

Nancy Irelan

Since early March 2019, when I began work for the Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) wine estate in Niederhausen in the Nahe region of Germany, the focus of this blog has certainly shifted. Here’s proof that it is by no means limited to stories about GHB.

Recently winemaker Dr. Nancy Irelan of Red Tail Ridge estate winery in Seneca Lake/FLX (Finger Lakes) in Upstate New York was recently on the list of semi-finalists for one of the James Beard Awards – the “Oscars” of food and wine in America – but she didn’t make it to the finals, much less has she won the award itself. I’m sure that she doesn’t see it this way, but I think you could say that once again she has been damned with faint praised. You see, again and again during the dozen years since the winery released its first wine people have said nice things about her, but nobody ever publicly celebrated her special form of genius. Maybe it’s because she never did or said anything outrageous enough to abruptly drag the world wide web’s attention to her. Maybe it’s because she’s a strong-willed, highly intelligent and extremely articulate woman. Maybe’s it’s because she doesn’t neatly fit into any of the established roles for women winemakers. Strangely, I’m pretty sure that if she were a movie director then she’d have a better chance of wining an Oscar, than she has of wining a James Beard Award as a winemaker!

But let’s begin this story in 2004 when Nancy and her husband Mike Schnelle, then an accountant and now a self-taught grape grower, purchased a 34 acre parcel of wooded land on the west side of Seneca Lake.  At this point, the year of my first visit to the region, the reputation of the FLX was a pale shadow of what it is today. The first planting was 3 acres of various clones of Pinot Noir that went into the ground in the spring of 2005. However, a huge storm of the kind locals call a “gully washer” hit just a couple of days after it went in and the rain washed all the young vine stocks out of the ground. Mike was alone at the estate, because at this point Nancy was still Vice President for Victiculture & Oenonolgy RD for Gallo in California. He called her in a panic and she told him how he would have to try and find the vine stocks – they were all at the bottom of the hill – and replant them all by hand.  He did that and in 2006 they picked their first crop, just half a ton of Pinot Noir grapes. Nancy turned them into a Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine (to this day sparkling remains of Nancy’s strong suits), “it was yummy,” she says, “sadly it’s all gone now, but one bottle.” Winemaking is a double-edged sword and winemakers have to lick that blade repeatedly.

Fast-forward to October 2014 and my first visit to Red Tail Ridge. I was up in the FLX from NYC with my then girlfriend and she insisted we had to visit Nancy. She was right to overrule my skepticism and our first meeting was one of those connections with a winemaker that changed how I think about wine, although in a very non-dramatic way. At this distance in time it’s hard to say exactly what lead to that, beyond stating the simple fact that Nancy is a very thoughtful winemaker who bases her decisions on strong science, but who’s goal can be expressed in one old-fashioned word that she makes liberal use of: delicious! I say old-fashioned, because in the natural wine scene “authentic”, “naked” and “real” have taken over the role “harmonious”, “elegant” and “delicious” play in the regular world of wine. And the natural wine scene’s disdain for the regular world of wine has made those words look increasingly like expressions of out-dated reactionary concepts.

Nancy has strong beliefs, not least in the central importance of deliciousness to the wine industry, but she’s never rigid in her thinking. Taking several leaves out of the natural wine scene’s book she makes an excellent skin-fermented dry white wine called “Miscreant” and Pet Nats (short for Pétillant Naturel). However, she also makes elegant dry Rieslings with bright citrus and stone fruit aromas in a style no natural winemaker would accept. Their generosity has a lot to do with the warm site and the limestone soil (unusual for the FLX) there. In the 2016 vintage it also has to do with the warm year she seemed to effortlessly master. You could say much the same about her Chardonnay too, a rare star for this grape variety in the FLX. And those Pinot Noir vines have matured to the point where they give silky and subtle red wines that no Burgundy lover would consider radical or revolutionary. Nancy is a self-confidently liberal winemaker who rejects all forms of dogma and the idealization that so often accompanies it.

Rebel with a Cause grapes

I used to repeat in mantra-like way the statement, “Red Tail Ridge wines are unspectacularly excellent”, but then along came a red wine called Rebel with a Cause, a blend of Blaufränkisch (aka Lemberger and Kékfrankos in its native Hungary) with Lagrein and Teroldego. It is spectacular in many ways, beginning with that blend. The first of those grapes has a small tradition in the FLX, but the latter pair of Northeast Italian varieties have zero tradition anywhere in North America. The idea of pushing these three together is radical in the extreme and for this reason the name is a perfect fit. As luck would have it I was at Red Tail Ridge on the 3rd October 2016 during the fermentation of these grapes (pictured above with Nancy’s hands) and could follow the development of this wine almost from Zero Hour onwards.

Of course, radical winemaking ideas is one thing and a delicious wine is quite another. Thankfully this bizarre marriage born in Nancy’s fertile mind is a very happy one, though not without a stunning tension that make the 2016 Rebel with a Cause one of the most exciting new reds I’ve tasted anywhere on Planet Wine. And during the last three years I tasted about 25,000 wines from all the wine continents. Just how is it delicious? What grabs me most is the forest berries and wild herbs character and strong, but there’s also the strident yet balanced tannins and vibrant acidity which together give it so much structure. This isn’t a red for the faint-hearted who need a smooth as silk landing, nor is it for those who demand plenty of (reductive) funk in their wines as proof that they’re “natural”. Once again, some people will fail to take her seriously and that’s the reason that the image on the label of Nancy preaching from a pulpit in the vineyard is spot on.

Stuart Pigott Riesling Global

Posted in FLXtra, Home, ROCK STARS OF WINE AMERICA, STUART PIGOTT RIESLING GLOBAL | Leave a comment

GHB Diary 2/2019 – Revolutionary „7 Terroirs“ Wine from Gut Hermannsberg Launched at 2019 ProWein Trade Fair

Kupfergrube

The revolutionary white wine 7 Terroirs from Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) estate winery in Niederhausen/Nahe is launched on the 17th-19th March, 2019 at the ProWein trade fair in Düsseldorf/Germany. The dry Riesling from the 2018 vintage redefines and reinvents the Estate Riesling category so crucial for Germany. Each of those wines is named after the estate winery that produced it and they are normally blends of wines from several different vineyard sites. Since the category was launched with the 1985 vintage they have introducing an entire generation of global wine drinkers to German Riesling by simplifying labels and offering attractive and harmonious flavours (usually in a dry style). With 7 Terroirs the next stage in their development begins. For a first taste go to ProWein hall 14, stand E46

Ein revolutionärer Wein namens „7 Terroirs“ von Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) in Niederhausen/Nahe feiert am 17.-19. März 2019 auf der ProWein in Düsseldorf Premiere. Der 2018er Riesling trocken definiert die wichtige Kategorie Gutsweine neu. Gutsweine sind meistens trockene, rebsortenreine Weine, die Cuvées aus verschiedenen Weinbergslagen sind. Es gibt sie in Deutschland seit dem Jahrgang 1985 und sie haben seitdem enorm geholfen gute deutsche Weine einem neuen Publikum zugänglich und attraktiv zu machen. Jetzt geht ihre Entwicklung in die nächste Phase und die Qualität wird dabei nochmals gesteigert. Erste Verkostung: ProWein Halle 14, Stand 46 

Many Estate Rieslings from leading German producers contain some wine from top vineyard sites, but which of them comes 100% from top vineyard sites? Until recently that wasn’t the idea behind the category, but that’s exactly what the 2018 7 Terroirs from GHB is! As the name says, it is a blend of dry Riesling from the 7 VDP Grosse Lage (or “Grand Cru”) vineyard sites in which GHB has holdings. In fact, 100% of the estate’s 30 hectares of vineyards holdings are in these top sites: Hermannsberg (Monopoly), Steinberg und Klamm in Niederhausen; Kupfergrube (12 hectares!) und Felsenberg in Schlossböckelheim; Bastei in Traisen; Rotenberg in Altenbamberg.

Viele Gutrieslinge von führenden deutschen Weingütern enthalten etwas Wein aus Spitzenlagen aber welcher stammt zu 100% aus Spitzenlagen? Bisher war das nicht die Idee hinter dieser Kategorie, aber genau das ist der 2018 „7 Terroirs“ Riesling trocken von GHB! Wie der Name schon sagt, handelt es sich um einen Cuvée aus den 7 VDP Große Lagen, (oder auch „Grand Crus“) wo GHB Weinberge besitzt. 100% des 30 Hektar großen Weinbergbesitzes des Hauses liegt in folgenden Lagen: Hermannsberg (Monopol), Steinberg und Klamm in Niederhausen; Kupfergrube (12 Hektar!) und Felsenberg in Schlossböckelheim; Bastei in Traisen; Rotenberg in Altenbamberg.

It is frequently claimed that certain wines have a mineral taste, but often consumers find it hard figuring out just what that special taste is. The steep vineyards of GHB all have stony soils that were weathered from volcanic melaphry and rhyolite, of from metamorphic slate. Since generations experts have talked about the special taste of the Riesling wines from these sites. 7 Terroirs is an excellent example of this, offering intense smoky minerality, racy acidity and juicy grapefruit character for a friendly price: just Euro 11,90 to private customers in Germany. The 100% wild-fermented (without cultured yeast added) wine will be bottled shortly and interest is already great.

Häufig wird behauptet, dass bestimmte Weine „mineralisch“ sind, doch allzu oft suchen die Konsumenten vergeblich nach dem sogenannten besonderen Geschmack. Die Hang- und Steillagenweinberge von GHB haben ausnahmslos steinige Böden, die aus verwittertem vulkanischen Melaphyr und Rhyolith, sowie metamorphischen Schiefergestein bestehen. Schon vor Generationen wurde der besondere Geschmack der Riesling-Weine aus diesen Lagen von Fachleuten gefeiert und genau das findet man im „7 Terroirs“ wieder. Der 100% spontanvergorene (ohne Zusatz gezüchteter Hefen) Wein hat eine sehr ausgeprägte rauchig-mineralische Note, viel Rasse und eine wunderbare Saftigkeit für den freundlichen Endverbraucherpreis von Euro 11,90. Die Abfüllung folgt im späten März aber das Interesse ist schon sehr groß.

Stuart Pigott

#GHBismyDRC / #GHBistmeinDRC

Email: Stuart.Pigott@t-online.de

 

Posted in @deutsch, GHB, GHB, Home, STUART PIGOTT RIESLING GLOBAL | Leave a comment

GHB Diary 1/2019 – The Lost World of the Rotenberg – Die verlorene Welt des Rotenbergs

Rotenberg

I just started as Riesling Ambassador for the Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) estate in Niederhausen/Nahe and, of course, I spent some time getting to know my new desk, where I wrote and translated a row of texts for the fast approaching ProWein trade fair in Düsseldorf. However, I also discovered lost world of wine.

Vor wenigen Tagen habe ich angefangen als Riesling Ambassador für Gut Hermannsberg (GHB) in Niederhausen/Nahe zu arbeiten. Ich habe natürlich einige Zeit an meinem neuen Schreibtisch verbracht, wo ich Texte für die bevorstehende ProWein-Messe geschrieben und übersetzt habe. Ich habe aber auch eine verlorene Welt für mich entdeckt.

It started during an extensive tasting of the current range of GHB wines, plus fast approaching additions to that range from the exceptional 2018 vintage. “Rotenberg,” said winemaker Karsten Peter softly as he poured me the first of the 2017 GGs, a dry Rieslings from the Rotenberg site. It was not the most breath-taking wine of the tasting, but it was extremely striking thanks to its smoked bacon character. Smoke is what I associate with the red Syrah grape and I never tasted a Riesling like this before! It was married to ripe peach aroma that the intense mineral character and strident acidity were beautifully balanced.

Das fing bei einer Verkostung der aktuellen Weine an, sowie auch die bald dazu kommenden Gewächse des herausragenden Jahrgangs 2018. “Rotenberg” sagte mir Winemaker Karsten Peter leise, als er mir der erste von den 2017er GGs des Hauses, einen trockenen Riesling aus der Lage Rotenberg. Es war nicht der atemberaubendste Wein der Verkostung aber er stach heraus mit seiner Räucherspecknote. Dieses Aroma assoziiere ich normalerweise mit Rotweinen der Traubensorte Syrah. So was habe ich bei einem Riesling noch nie erlebt! Und es war mit genug Pfirsichfrucht gepaart um die mineralische Note und betonte Säure wunderbar zu balancieren.

GHB has a reputation for charging rather serious prices for their top wines, at least within the moderately priced context of the Nahe region that is. However, the 2017 Rotenberg GG is just Euro 26 to private customers direct from the estate, or just over half of the Euro 48 that the breath-taking 2016 Kupfergrube GG costs. This is because the Rotenberg is nowhere near as famous as the legendary Kupfergrube, and this remarkable wine therefore sometimes get’s overlooked. I’d always liked the Rotenberg wines, but never really “got” them before. Now I really do, and the fact they’re underdogs also makes them appeal to me!

GHB hat der Ruf, recht hohe Preise für seine Spitzenweine zu verlangen – zumindest innerhalb des eher günstigen Kontexts der Nahe. Mit Euro 26 für Privatkunden ab Hof kostet der 2017er Rotenberg GG nur etwas mehr als die Hälfte des großartigen 2016er Kupfergrube GGs (Euro 48). Die Lage Rotenberg ist unbekannt in Vergleich mit der legendären Kupfergrube und deswegen wird sie manchmal übersehen. Ich habe die Rotenberg-Weine immer gemocht aber erst vor wenigen Tagen richtig geschnallt. Ihr Underdog-Status macht sie für mich auch anziehend!

Rotenberg

Then, Karsten Peter took me on a long vineyard tour that ended in the Rotenberg. Suddenly, Karsten’s jeep pulled up at the edge of the hill country into which the Alsenz Valley is deeply cut. With not quite 30 hectares of vineyards it is composed of a series of steep and rugged islands of vines surrounded by woodland and scrub, the later on the slopes where vineyards used to be. No doubt the season accentuated the wildness of the place and it reminded me of a painting by Bruegel. On a distant hill stood a castle. Of course, we’re in The Real Germany!

Dann nahm mich Karsten Peter mit auf eine lange Weinbergstour, dessen Endziel der Rotenberg war. Plötzlich hielt sein Jeep an der oberen Kante des engen Alsenztals in das wir hinab blickten. Nicht ganz 30 Hektar Weinbau gibt es noch hier. Es gibt eine Reihe von steilen und schroffen Rebinseln, umgegeben von Wald und Gestrüpp (letzteres auf den Hängen wo es mal Weinberge gegeben hat). Zweifelsohne hat die Jahreszeit die Wildheit dieser Landschaft betont. Es erinnerte mich an ein Landschaftsgemälde von Bruegel. Auf einem Berg in der Ferne stand eine Burg. Selbstverständlich! Wir sind doch im wahren unverbrauchten Deutschland!

Rhyolit/Rhyolith

We climbed out of the jeep and as I vainly tried to get a sharp photograph of him in the blustering wind Karsten showed me bedrock where it was exposed at the side of the road. It is composed of red volcanic rhyolite with a small amount of what local winemakers call Tonschiefer, or clay slate. It made me think of the surface of Mars! Together with this precipitous south-facing slope, it surely leads to that special personality of the wines. GHB has almost 3 hectares of Riesling planted in the Rotenberg and the ground has been cleared and prepared to plant another 1 hectare, because we believe in it. Considering I never had a bottle of Rotenberg Riesling in my extensive cellar I’d say it counts as a lost world of wine!

Wir stiegen aus dem Jeep und als ich vergeblich versuchte ein scharfes Bild von Karsten, trotz heftigem Wind zu knipsen, zeigte er mir den Fels, wo er an der Straßenkante freigelegt ist. Er besteht vorwiegend aus rötlichem vulkanischen Rhyolit mit etwas Tonschiefer. Es hat mich an die Marsoberfläche erinnert! Zusammen mit diesem nach Süden exponierten Steilsthang, führt es zu diesem besonderen Wesen des Weins. GHB besitzt fast 3 Hektar Reben hier und wird bald noch 1 Hektar dazu pflanzen, weil wir daran glauben. In Anbetracht der Tatsache, dass ich nie eine Flasche Rotheberg in meinem weitläufigen Weinkeller hatte, würde ich sagen, es ist eine wahre verlorene Welt des Weins!

#GHBismyDRC  

#GHBistmeinDRC

 

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Gut Hermannsberg celebrates its 10th Anniversary and I am their Riesling Ambassador

stuart_pigottHere is the text of the press release that Wine + Partners sent out on Monday, 25th February. Bitte nach unten scrollen für die deutschspachige Version.

35 years ago Stuart Pigott visited Gut Hermannsberg, then the Staatliche Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schloßböckelheim or Nahe State Domaine, for the first time. That moment is recorded in his diary entry for Thursday, 26th April 1984 where his order for several of the wines he tasted that day is also noted. “I’ll never forget my very first sip of Kupfergrube, I was totally amazed and fascinated,” recalls the British born journalist. Since then he has devoted himself to studying the Rieslings of Planet Wine, but those from the Nahe have always had a special place in his heart.

After many adventures in the big wide world of wine, the last of which was as Contributing Editor for James Suckling, one of the world’s most influential wine critics, Pigott returns to Germany to live out at least a part of his fascination for Riesling in the beautiful and dramatic Nahe Valley.

Stuart Pigott’s decision has a great deal to do with the fact that this year Gut Hermannsberg celebrates an important anniversary. 10 years ago the estate, founded in 1902 by the Prussian State, was purchased by Jens Reidel and Christine Dinse. As a result of many carefully planned investments, and through the sensitive leadership of winemaker Karsten Peter, Gut Hermannsberg has climbed back into the first league of German wine. Stuart Pigott followed this process in detail and he showered praise upon the wines Karsten Peter made from the last vintages (see www.JamesSuckling.com), particularly those from the great Hermannsberg, Kupfergrube and Bastei vineyard sites. In fact, all the estate’s 30 hectares of vineyards are classified VDP Grosse Lage, or “Grand Cru”.

Jens Reidel, Christine Dinse & Karsten Perer

Several months ago Jens Reidel’s son Jasper joined the team directing Gut Hermannsberg. Together with Achim Kirchner (sales) and Karsten Peter (production) the three are planning the future of this exceptional estate. “2019 is a particularly important year for us, because we have now completed a decade of groundwork at Gut Hermannsberg,” explain Jens Reidel and Christine Dinse, “we converted the vineyards to sustainable cultivation, reduced the yields and successively pushed up the quality. We also constructed a new copper-coloured press house and opened a stylish guesthouse. By the summer the tasting and sales area will also have been modernized. Then everything at Gut Hermannsberg will be ready for a glamorous anniversary celebration and an even brighter future.”

Stuart Pigott will play an important role in that process. His enormous experience with Riesling wines that reflect the geology of the vineyard, and his ability to communicate their qualities outside the conventions of modern winespeak, will be no less important for Gut Hermannsberg than his critical and analytical faculties or his global network of connections.

During their anniversary year in parallel to his journalistic work Stuart Pigott will be Gut Hermannsberg’s „Riesling Ambassador“. He will bring his skills as a wordsmith to texts describing the development of the estate and its remarkable wines during the last decade, and he will present the estate’s Riesling wines at a series of tastings for professionals in Germany and around the world.

Vor 35 Jahren besuchte Stuart Pigott zum ersten Mal Gut Hermannsberg, das damals noch Staatliche Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schloßböckelheim hieß. So steht es in seinem Terminkalender vom April 1984 eingetragen, und gleich daneben die Bestellung, die er tätigte. “Als ich den ersten Schluck Kupfergrube auf der Zunge hatte, war ich sofort fasziniert und begeistert!” schwärmt der gebürtige Brite, der sich seit Jahrzehnten mit Riesling auseinandersetzt, und das Nahetal besonders ins Herz geschlossen hat.

Nach vielen Abenteuern in der Weinwelt, die ihn zuletzt an die Seite von James Suckling gebracht hatten, kehrt Pigott nun ganz nach Deutschland zurück und wird zumindest einen Teil seiner Begeisterung für Riesling an der Nahe ausleben. 

Denn die einstige Staatliche Domäne feiert ein Jubiläum: vor zehn Jahren wurde das 1902 gegründete Weingut durch Jens Reidel und Christine Dinse erworben. Dank vieler Investitionen und unter der umsichtigen und respektvollen Führung durch Karsten Peter hat das Paradegut Schritt für Schritt wieder den Anschluss an die absolute Spitze in Deutschland geschafft. Stuart Pigott war all die Jahre ein aufmerksamer Beobachter der Entwicklungen und freut sich ganz besonders über die tollen Qualitäten, die Karsten Peter aus dem Hermannsberg, der Kupfergrube oder der Bastei entwickelt. Sämtliche Weinberge des Gutes sind übrigens VDP.Grosse Lagen.

Jasper Reidel

Seit einigen Monaten ist Jasper Reidel, Sohn von Jens Reidel, aktiv in der Geschäftsführung tätig. Gemeinsam mit Achim Kirchner (Verkauf) und Karsten Peter (Produktion) planen die drei nun die weitere Zukunft des außergewöhnlichen Weingutes. „Das Jahr 2019 ist ein sehr wichtiges für uns; wir haben eine Dekade lang Aufbauarbeit in allen Bereichen geleistet. In den Reben haben wir nachhaltige Bewirtschaftung umgesetzt, die Erträge haben wir reduziert, die Qualität sukzessive gesteigert. Wir haben eine neue – kupferfarbene – Kelterhalle errichtet und ein Gästehaus eröffnet. Bis zum Sommer werden wir nun noch den Degustations- und Verkaufsbereich neu gestalten. Dann ist alles bereit für ein glänzendes Fest und eine noch glänzendere Zukunft!“ freuen sich Jens Reidel und Christine Dinse.

Stuart Pigott wird eine wichtige Rolle in der Vorbereitung dieser Zukunft spielen. Seine Erfahrung und sein Enthusiasmus für Riesling von geologisch-spannenden Herkünften, seine mitreißende Art, über große Weine zu schwärmen, seine Sprachgewandtheit und sein internationales Netzwerk, aber auch sein kritischer Blick machen ihn zum idealen Partner.

Neben seinen weiteren journalistischen Tätigkeiten wird Stuart Pigott für Gut Hermannsberg ab März 2019 in dem Jubiläumsjahr als „Riesling Ambassador“ tätig sein und überall dort unterstützen, wo er seine Kompetenz und seine Begeisterung in gleichem Maße einbringen kann: bei der akribischen Aufarbeitung von Texten und Dokumenten der letzten 10 Jahre, bei der Vorstellung und Erläuterung der Weine, bei Degustationen mit Fachpublikum aus aller Welt und bei Events mit Weinliebhabern.

Stuart Pigott Riesling Global

 

 

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Vienna Wine Diary: Day 4 – BETRIEBSFEIER ZUM 35. JUBILÄUM MEINER TÄTIGKEIT ALS WEINJOURNALIST / OFFICIAL CELEBRATION OF MY 35th ANNIVERSARY AS A WINE JOURNALIST

Riesling Nonnberg, 26.08.18

Samstagabend, den 15.09.18 findet an einem geheimen Ort im Rheingau meine offizielle Betriebsfeier zum 35. Jubiläum meiner Tätigkeit als Weinjournalist statt. Wer eingeladen ist, weiß wo und wann.

The official celebration of my 35th anniversary as a wine journalist takes place on the evening of Saturday, 15.09.18 at a secret location in the Rheingau. Those who are invited know who they are, where and when.

2018 erzeuge ich meinen ersten Riesling im Weingut Flick in Wicker/

Rheingau (siehe Foto oben von meinen Trauben am 26.08.18 – mehr darüber nach dem

Lesetag voraussichtlich am 17.09.18!)

2018 I am producing my first Riesling wine at Weingut Flick in Wicker/

Rheingau (see the photo above of my grapes on 26.08.18 – more about this after the

harvest, probably on 17.09.18!)

2016 habe ich New York aufgegeben und bin nach Eppstein/Taunus gezogen.

Gleichzeitig habe ich angefangen für www.JamesSuckling.com als

Contributing Editor zu arbeiten.

2016 I left New York and moved to Eppstein/Taunus. Simultaneously, I

began to work as a Contributing Editor for www.JamesSuckling.com.

2015 ist mein erstes E-Book Rock Stars of Wine America #1 auf Kindle

erschienen. Es folgten später im Jahr das zweite Band in dieser Reihe und

Anfang 2016 das dritte und vorläufig letzte Band.

2015 my first e-book Rock Stars of Wine America #1 appeared on Kindle.

Later the same year the second volumne in the series was published, then

the third and final one appeared early in 2016.

2014 ist mein letztes gedrucktes Buch Best White Wine on Earth (Stewart,

Tabori & Chang Verlag, New York) erschienen, später im gleichen Jahr ist die

deutschsprachige Ausgabe Planet Riesling (Tre Torri Verlag, Wiesbaden)

gefolgt.

2014 my last printed book Best White Wine on Earth (Stewart, Tabori &

Chang, New York) was published, the German language edition Planet

Riesling (Tre Torri, Wiesbaden) appearing later the same year.

2012 bin ich nach New York gezogen wo ich zuerst im Hotel of Hope in East

Village/Manhattan gewohnt habe. Später wohnte ich in der Nähe von Union

Square/Manhatten und an Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg/Brooklyn.

2012 I moved to New York initially living in the Hotel of Hope in the East

Village/Manhattan. Later I lived close to Union Square/Manhattan, then

finally on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg/Brooklyn.

2010 habe ich mit dem Filmregiseur Alexander Saran angefangen die TV-Serie

Weinwunder Deutschland für BR zu drehen, eine Arbeit die bis weit in

2012 gedauert hat. Schließlich sind 18 Folgen von jeweils 30 Minuten

entstanden.

2010 together with film director Alexander Saran I started shooting the TV

series Weinwunder Deutschland, or wine wonder Germany, for BR Bavarain

Broadcasting. Over three years we wrote and filmed 18 episodes of 30

minutes length each.

2009 habe ich meinen ersten Wein, ein Müller-Thurgau im Grand-Cru- oder

GG-Stil im Winzerhof Stahl in Auernhofen/Franken erzeugt.

2009 I made my first wine, a Müller-Thurgau in Grand Cru or GG style at

Winzerhof Stahl in Auernhofen/Franken.

2008 ging ich als Gasthörer ein Jahr auf die Weinuniversität in Geisenheim/

Rheingau.

2008 I became a guest student at the wine university in Geisenheim/

Rheingau.

2007 erschien das gemeinsame Werk Wein spricht Deutsch (Scherz Verlag,

Frankfurt) das ich mit Ursula Heinzelmann, Chandra Kurt, Manfred Lüer und

Stephan Reinhardt geschrieben habe. Andreas Durst hat fotografiert.

2007 the joint work Wein spricht Deutsch (Scherz, Frankfurt), or wine

speaks German that I wrote together with Ursula Heinzelmann, Chandra

Kurt, Manfred Lüer and Stephan Reinhardt was published. Photography was

by Andreas Durst.

2003 habe ich angefangen meine Buch-Trilogie zum Thema Wein und

Globalisierung – Schöne neue Weinwelt (2003, Argon Verlag, Berlin), Wilder

Wein (2006, Scherz Verlag, Frankfurt), Wein weit weg (2009, Scherz Verlag,

Frankfurt) – zu schreiben.

2003 I began to write my trilogy of books about wine and globalization –

Schöne neue Weinwelt, or brave new wine world (2003, Argon, Berlin),

Wilder Wein, or wild wine (2006, Scherz) and Wein weit weg, or wine far out

(2009, Scherz, Frankfurt).

2001 bin ich Weinkolumnist der Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

geworden. Seitdem erscheint meine Kolumne regelmäßig.

2001 I started to write the wine column in the Sunday edition oft he

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and it still appears there regularly.

1994 ist mein erstes deutschsprachiges Buch Die großen deutschen

Rieslingweine (Econ Verlag, Düsseldorf) erschienen. Es entfachte sich eine

große Kontroverse. Ein Bericht darüber im SPIEGEL trug den Titel Wie eine

Wildsau.

1994 my first German language book Die großen deutschen Rieslingweine

(Econ, Düsseldorf), or the great German Rieslings was published and ignited a public

controversy. The article about this in SPIEGEL magazine was titled Wie eine Wildsau, or

like a wild boar.

1993 bin ich nach Berlin gezogen.

1993 I moved to Berlin.

1989 habe ich London verlassen und eine Wohnung in Bernkastel/Mosel bezogen.

1989 I left London and moved into a flat in Bernkastel/Mosel.

1988 ist mein erstes Weinbuch Life Beyond Liebfraumlich (Sidgwick &

Jackson Verlag, London) in England erschienen. Danach habe ich die

komplette Weinlese bei Weingut Dr. Loosen in Bernkastel/Mosel gearbeitet.

1988 my first wine book Life Beyond Liebfraumilch (Sidgwick & Jackson,

London) was published in London. I worked the wine harvest at Dr. Loosen in

Bernkastel/Mosel.

1984 habe ich meine erste intensive Verkostungsreise nach Deutschland als

Gast des britischen Weinhändlers Philipp Eyres und seinen Sohn Harry Eyres

unternommen.

1984 I undertook my first intensive tasting trip as guest oft he British wine

merchant Philip Eyres and his son Harry Eyres.

1983 habe ich meinen ersten Artikel zum Thema Wein für die

Fachzeitschrift Decanter in London geschrieben.

1983 I wrote my first article fort he wine magazine Decanter in London

Stuart Pigott Riesling Global

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Eppstein Wine Diary: Day 2 – WEIN WEIBLICH The Movie Seeks The Superstar / WEIN WEIBLICH sucht den Superstar

This could be you!

I am a small part of the documentary movie WEIN WEINBLICH or Wine Women team. We – Christoph Koch, Gunnar Swanson and I – are seeking a young female winemaker who is studying at the Geisenheim Wine University to be one of the stars of this movie. There is no age limit and you don’t have to be from a wine background, nor do you need to look anything like a Hollywood movie star! Because fluency in the German language is a requirement the German version of this announcement precedes the English version. 

WEIN WEIBLICH sucht den SUPERSTAR

Stuart Pigott sucht das größte Nachwuchstalent unter den angehenden Winzerinnen an der Uni Geisenheim!

„Wein Weiblich“ ist ein Dokumentarfilm in Spielfilmlänge (100 Minuten plus) für den wir eine Jungwinzerin suchen, die Studentin an der Hochschule Geisenheim ist.

Ihre Aufgabe: Sie muss einen eigenen Wein machen.

Die Vorgabe:   Trockener Riesling, Jahrgang 2018 (min. 300 Liter).

Vom ersten Rebschnitt bis zur Abfüllung begleiten wir Sie mit der Kamera. Im großen Finale findet eine Blindverkostung mit allen Weinen der Protagonisten statt. Mit dabei sind die Winzerinnen Dr. Eva Vollmer, Katharina Wechsler, Silke Wolf (Shelter Winery), Theresa Breuer und der Weinkritiker Stuart Pigott, der für dieses Projekt auch einen eigenen Wein kreiert. Am Besten haben Sie genauso viel Spaß an der Sache wie wir. Dann wird es richtig gut! Bitte nicht vergessen: wir sind NICHT in Hollywood! Unser Ziel ist so nahe wie nur möglich an die gegenwärtige Realität des Weinbaus zu kommen!

Am 31.01.2018 findet unser Casting an der Hochschule Geisenheim statt. Sie müssen sich und Ihr Weinbauprojekt „Trockener Riesling 2018“ vor uns und der laufenden Kamera präsentieren (max. 10 Min., jede Teilnehmerin bekommt einen eigenen Termin).

Alle Bewerbungen bitte an folgende E-Mail: casting@wein-weiblich.de

Wir nehmen max. 20 Bewerbungen an. Die ersten 20 Bewerberinnen werden berücksichtigt und bekommen einen Termin am 31. Januar. Die Dreharbeiten beginnen mit dem Casting und enden im Sommer 2019 (ca. 8-10 Drehtage für Sie insgesamt)

Sie erhalten zwar kein Geld, aber werden zum SUPERSTAR!

Stuart Pigott und das WEIN WEIBLICH Filmteam freuen

sich auf Sie.

*********

WEIN WEIBLICH seeks the SUPERSTAR

Stuart Pigott seeks the best new winemaker talent amongst the female students of Geisenheim!

„Wein Weiblich“ is a documentary film of feature film length (100 minutes plus) for which we are seeking a female student at the Hochschule Geisenheim.

Your task:                     to make your own wine

The parameters:          dry Riesling, 2018 vintage (minimum quantity 300 liters)

From the pruning of the vines to the bottling of the finished product our camera will follow how you make your wine. The finale of the film will be a blind tasting in which the wines of all the protagonists will be included. This means that your wine will stand next to those made for our film by Theresa Breuer, Silke Wolf (Shelter Winery) Dr. Eva Vollmer, Katharina Wechsler and the wine critic Stuart Pigott. Ideally you will have as much fun doing all this as we will filming it. Then the results will be really good. Please don’t forget that this is NOT Hollywood! Our goal is to get as close to the contemporary reality of winemaking as possible!

The 31.01.2018 is the casting day for this role and the casting interviews will take place at the Hochschule Geisenheim. You must then present yourself and your dry Riesling 2018 project to us in front of the running camera (maximum 10 minutes per candidate, each of whom get an appointment to prevent long waiting times).

Please send your application to the following email address:

casting@wein-weiblich.de

Unfortunately we can only accept 20 applications, since this is the maximum number of casting interviews we can on 31.01.2018. Therefore it is important to apply as soon as possible. Shooting begins with the casting interview and extends through to the end of the summer 2019 (in total you can expect c. 8-10 days shooting).

Sadly, we can’t pay you for all this,

But it’s your chance to become a SUPERSTAR!

Stuart Pigott and the WEIN WEIBLICH film team look forward to working with you!

Wein Weiblich

 

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Eppstein Wine Diary: Day 1 – The New Beauty of German Wine, James Suckling and I

James Suckling

Who believes in the beauty of wine? James Suckling (pictured above) and I, along with many others too. However, some of our colleagues seem to have a problem with it. My report about the wines of the Nahe region of Germany came out just a few days ago on JamesSuckling.com (for the link scroll to the bottom) and very quickly it became clear that while many wine lovers agree with me about their beauty, some of my colleagues are stunned and outraged by my report.

What’s the problem? It’s very simple really: I dared to rate many dry and sweet Rieslings from rising star producers 90+ and some 95+ because that’s how good the wines struck me when I tasted them. For us at JamesSuckling.com the taste of the wine is everything; fame gains a producer no extra points and being unknown denies them no points either. We are fundamentally democratic in our approach and open for every kind of wine beauty.

Over the last 20 years the printed guides to German wines – there are now 5 of them! – developed a system of rating not only individual wines, but also producers. The problem with that approach seems to be that if a producer is highly-rated, then their wines get higher scores than they would if the producer was less highly rated. During my research for the series of German wine reports (Mosel, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz and Nahe) I wrote this year for JamesSuckling.com I was repeatedly told by rising star winemaker in Germany that they didn’t get 90+ scores from one or other German wine guide, “because I’ve only got two stars/grape symbols, not four or five.” Looking at several of the guides (Falstaff seemed to be an exception) I could see exactly what the young winemakers were talking about.

The problem with this situation is that it results in a distorted picture of the nation’s wines being communicated to the readers of the wine guides. I reject this not only because it creates a strange hierarchy but, more importantly, because the ratings fail to reflect what you or I can taste. The beauty of certain wines doesn’t seem to count fully for some of my colleagues.

Of course, giving a wine a 95+ score makes a big statement, and the words of description I used for these wines on JamesSuckling.com do the same thing. Of course, I am sticking my neck out with them and if the majority of readers disagree with me about the beauty of that wine, then I made the opposite mistakes to the wine guides. However, in my opinion every wine critic must be willing to take that risk to state her or his opinion as clearly as possible. Certainly, this is how James Suckling has worked over the 30 years I’ve known him, and this was an important reason for me to join his team.

I must point out that these “high” ratings are not the product of my desire to lavish praise on underdog producers. Rather, they result from the great ambition, determination, perfectionism and rigorousness of the new generation of German winemakers who emerged from the last turn of the century. They have created a wealth of new wine beauty and this demands my attention. However, because of the inherent conservatism of their methods and what strikes me as a grudging attitude to recognizing the achievements of young talent, the printed wine guides are lagging behind this development. All too often their ratings seem to be influenced by the situation 5, 10 or more years ago.

Maybe I am wrong, but my gut tells me that behind this problem lies in the longing for more certainty than is realistic in our rapidly changing world. Many of my colleagues seem to yearn for is a canon of classics that though not static, changes by small increments that are determined by them. They want the illusion that they are in charge, when the truth is that the market is the decisive thing. At JamesSuckling.com we want to be part of that dynamic and believe that doing so enables to have more influence than if we try to pull the breaks on.

None of this means that we are against giving well-established producers top ratings if their wines deserve it. Some of my favorite wines during JamesSuckling.com tastings this year were 2014 Château Mouton-Rothschild (rated 98), 2008 Vega Sicilia Unico (rated 100 points) and the 2015 Hermannshöhle Riesling GG from Dönnhoff (rated 97 points). Take a look at the Nahe report on JamesSuckling.com by using the link below and decide for yourself. Please note that you can read the story for free, but to see all the ratings and tasting notes you have to take out a subscription. The only thing we have in common with the wine guides is that you have to pay for the results of extensive tastings. Please don’t hesitate to tell me what your impression is. You can easily find me on Facebook and Twitter.

https://www.jamessuckling.com/wine-tasting-reports/lost-world-riesling-nahe/?mc_cid=1336fcb083&mc_eid=0765a4a47d

Stuart Pigott Riesling Global

 

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