Just the briefest of blog posts this morning from what is turning into a truly enlightening but also incredibly fast-paced trip. The only downtime we have had so far is lengthy bus journeys between the various German wine regions, which are spread out quite a bit.
We began at Fürst, in Franconia. The strength of the house here is Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), although they also make very good Riesling and a lovely Sylvaner. It was nice to meet both Paul (father) and Sebastian (son), who are doing such great work.
Second stop was my first time in the Württemberg region, which is right next to the major city of Stuttgart. For a long time, the thirsty local market made selling bad wine profitable and easy, but we visited a quality minded producer who started from scratch in the mid-1990s: Schnaitmann.
Rainer Schnaitmann makes super Spätburgunder and really nice Limburger (Blauftrankisch). He also makes a really interesting natural wine from Trollinger, the dominant local red variety known for heroic yields and big berries.
It was a long drive from here to Johner, in the south of the Baden region, just over the river from the Alsace vineyards. We met with Karl and Patrick, the father and son team that not only run this winery, but also a winery in Gladstone, in New Zealand’s Wairarapa. The wines here are really good, with the strength once more being Spätburgunder.
Another long drive took us to Villa Wolf in the Pfalz region. Hosted by winemaker Sumi Gebauer, we tasted through the range, which spans well made, affordable varietals to some pretty smart high end Riesling from the better sites.
Then another drive took us to the Mosel, where we met with Ernie Loosen. It was my second time here, and I was once again amazed by the vineyards here, some of them planted on astonishing slopes that I wouldn’t even walk down, let alone try working on. We tasted through the range, which included some really stunning dry Rieslings from GG sites, made with native yeasts and long ageing on the full lees in large oak with no racking.
More on all of this later. Today brings more driving, and more visits: Stodden in the Ahr, Leitz in the Rheingau and Dönnhoff in the Nahe. This is such an interesting trip.