It’s hard to mention German wines without thoughts of Riesling popping into your head. It is an amazing grape that produces wildly diverse styles of wine, everything from bone-dry to luscious sweet tipples. It is the queen of German wines that sometimes hides us from the other delectable goodies coming out of this great land.
I was recently invited to an event in London hosted by the German Wine Agencies called ‘Germany Unplugged’. I really didn’t know what I was getting into, my initial thought was that it was simply an event to get to know some more of the fairly unknown wine producers in Germany. In some ways I was right however I have to admit I walked away from the event with a feeling of what i can only associate with a teenage girls admiration for Justin Bieber. German wines are being re-born and let me go on the record for being the person who said it first – German wines are the next big thing.
German wine is undergoing a transformation. In the years to come they are not only going to be known for too expensive Riesling and overly sweet wine. What they call the ‘new generation of winemakers’ are hailing from century old wine industry families with a desire to travel the world and ultimately pick up skills to better craft their wines. They are listening to the cries and trends in the market place on how to better satisfy us, the consumers.
What really warmed the cockles in my heart was hearing stories from the winemakers themselves. Not only are their travels making them open-minded to winemaking but also they have a strong sense of teamwork between them. They are concentrating on promoting German wine as a whole. They want to share their history collectively with us through a glass of wine.
Nothing shows this more so than the devastating effects of the late frost in May 2011. Frosts are the monsters in the closest for all winemakers. It’s one of the gambles of growing grapes and sadly something we can’t control. Well not yet anyway. The 2011 frost was the most devastating for the Konrad Schlör vineyard in the North Baden region. Having lost 80% of their 2011 harvest in a mere 1 hour it’s hard to even put it into words what a terrible loss this was.
This is the bit that made me proud to have German heritage in my family tree. Fritz Wassmer, a winemaker living 330kms south of the Konrad Schlör vineyard didn’t spare a moment’s hesitation in offering some of his grapes to Konrad Schlör. This meant Konrad Schlör was able to fill the gap in his production and produce a 2011 vintage.
Fritz, who once interned at the infamous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti knew the devastation of losing vines due to weather conditions. Sharing similar philosophies in the art of winemaking with Konrad Schlör, this amazing gesture bonded the northern and southern parts of Baden. It is a hauntingly romantic story that captured my attention. What is best about it, is that I found out this after I had fallen in love with their wine range. Hi my name is Casey and I am a Wassmer wine addict.
We need to keep our eye on German wines, as from what I saw at Germany Unplugged it is an exciting wine sector that is going to have some amazing evolvement over the coming years. You can also expect me to be blogging in more detail on specific vineyards I think are going to be the next wine superstars. Now where’s a glass of Wassmer Pinot Noir when you need one 😉