Yes, today is the day! Today is the day that I plant “my” vineyard in Töplitz just outside Berlin on the southwestern side in the state of Brandenburg. Sadly, even with the assistance of global warming Riesling won’t ripen there except in the warmest years. The combination of low rainfall and a sandy soil (typical of Brandenburg) also means that drought stress for the vines is almost inevitable. This is another good reason to think twice about the grape variety. That’s why I decided to go for a new red grape variety (pictured above) called Pinotin. It was developed by the Swiss vine breeder Valentin Blattner in the Pfalz region of Germany with the Freytag vine nursery of Neustadt. It has a bunch of additional advantages including excellent resistance against mildew (Oidium) and noble rot (Botrytis), plus good resistance against downy mildew (Peronospera). I followed Pinotin in an experimental vineyard in Werder/Brandenburg for two years to see how it actually did under our weather conditions and was very impressed; it outperformed a range of grape varieties from Pinot Noir to Tempranillo (both not so bad for Brdenburg)! I also tasted the Pinotin wines from the Rummel estate in Landau/Pfalz, who proved that Pinotin has a fine cherry aroma and interesting dry tannins. I thank them for the photograph above. Today a crazy group of friends, some from my days as a guest student at Geisenheim, others from Berlin, are gathering to help me plant 1,000 Pinotin vines on the south-facing slope which belongs to Weingut Klosterhof Töplitz. Wish us luck!
I will, of course, report in full on how it went. Please be patient.