News & Events > News
The 31 Days of German Riesling 2013
We are pleased to announce that entries for the 31 Days of German Riesling 2013 are officially open! If you’re a restaurant or retailer owner who stocks German Riesling and fancy getting involved in raising awareness of this delicious grape variety, don’t delay in getting in contact.
The below PDF tells you everything you need to know about the campaign and details the exciting prizes up for grabs this year. For further details and to sign up, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to having you on board!
A series of Tutored Educational Tastings have been announced to take place on the South Germany Stand (N21) at this year’s LIWF and will be of great interest to those who wish to learn more about this little known but important European region whose wines are just beginning to appear in the UK Market.
Over the course of LIWF there will be 6 different themed tastings on the South Germany Stand – each lasting 20 minutes - and these tastings will be led by James Gillespie a speaker, writer and merchant who is known as a specialist in introducing lesser-known wine regions into the UK.
James was awarded the national title of “UK Wine Hero” by “Wine & Spirit” Magazine in 2007 and over the last 3 years has been extensively visiting and tasting in South Germany and is now regarded as the UK’s leading expert on the wines of South Germany.
The programme of Tastings is as follows (all on Stand N21):
Monday 20 May
12.00 Pinot Noir (reds) in South Germany
15.00 Riesling in South Germany
Tuesday 21 May
12.00 Württemberg’s Indigenous Red Grapes
15.00 Whites from the Pinot Family in South Germany
Wednesday 22 May
12.00 Rosé in South Germany
15.00 Wines from South Germany matching Indian Food
The UK’s specialist South Germany importer and distributor “Winehaus” (based in Leicester) will follow up its successful appearance at this year’s Specialist Importers Trade Tasting with a stand at The Emerging Regions Tasting being held at London’s most central venue - 8 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BY on 1st May from 10.30-17.30.
South Germany, with its much warmer climate, makes dry fuller-bodied red and white wines which bear little relationship to the stereotype that the UK Trade still mistakenly has for German wines.
All the wines on the South Germany stand at the “Emerging Regions Tasting” are from Baden and Württemberg whose wines have, until recently, been almost totally absent from UK shelves and wine lists but are just beginning to be recognised here by commentators and buyers as a previously over-looked but classic European style.
The Leicester-based company “Winehaus” – headed by Des Jones - concentrates solely on wines from South Germany and will be showing a small fine selection of these wines at The “Emerging Regions Tasting” as a prelude to its much larger showing from 12 wineries on a brand new “South Germany” Stand at The London Wine Fair later in May
At last month’s Prowein Trade Fair, Steffen Schindler, marketing director at the German Wine Institute talked about what’s happening in the German market. Read the write up in the latest edition of Harpers Wine & Spirit.
Following last year’s 31 Days of German Riesling campaign, Riesling Revivalist Alex Down visited our winning restaurant Kensington Wine Rooms to chat with manager Ollie McSwiney. Check out the video here: http://vimeo.com/58793486
John Stimpfig from How To Spend It magazine (Financial Times) gives German Pinot Noir much deserved recognition!
Last night Wines of Germany won a Grocer Marketing Advertising and PR Award at the annual awards dinner in London.
‘Trial by Pinot Noir’ was awarded Business/Trade PR Campaign of the Year beating off stiff competition from campaigns including Kingsmill and London 2012.
We’re delighted with the win here at Wines of Germany HQ and hope for many more in the near future!
Find out all about Trial by Pinot Noir over on YouTube: http://bit.ly/smnGSA
Giles MacDonogh has conducted an expert tasting for decanter.com on German Pinot Noir. Check out his top picks here: http://www.decanter.com/wine/labels/34164/1/expert-s-choice-german-pinot-noir
Bonkers about dry Riesling? In case you hadn’t noticed, The Winery are too!
Spurred on by Wines of Germany’s “31 Days Of Riesling” initiative, last week’s tasting, and a couple of nice reviews, The Winery are offering a special 6-pack selection. It’s a snapshot of their favourite subject and features six modern dry German Rieslings in a variety of styles from three key regions: the Mosel, Rheinhessen and the Rheingau. Background notes are included.
The case comprises one bottle of each of the following (while stocks last):
Riesling trocken 2010, Walter (Mosel)
Trabener Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett trocken 2008, Martin Mullen (Mosel)
Riesling trocken 2011, Knebel (Mosel)
Riesling trocken 2011, Riffel (Rheinhessen)
Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Kabinett trocken 2011, Asbach-Kretschmar (Rheingau)
Hochheimer Victoriaberg Riesling trocken 2011, Flick (Rheingau)
Each 6-pack costs £75 and includes free delivery to addresses in England, Scotland or Wales.
Whether you’re bonkers about dry Riesling or a little bit intrigued, you can order your 6-pack by phoning The Winery on 020 7286 6475 or email email@example.com.
For more information, visit The Winery site here
Read all about Taste of London 2012 and how Wines of Germany are celebrating the 31 Days of German Riesling
Losen-Bockstanz Riesling on Slate Spätlese 2009 has featured in the latest edition of BBC Good Food and includes a mention of our 31 Days of German Riesling campaign.
"Germany has become one of the fastest-growing countries in the £5-£6 category, second only to New Zealand", Carol Emmas from reknowned Harpers Magazine cites figures from recent Nielson report.
Accordingly, German wine sales have seen a significant increase of 62% from 2011 to 2012 against an overall industry growth of 35%, states 'Wines of Germany' London.
Nicky Forrest, UK managing director of Wines of Germany, confirms: Germany has been growing significantly for the past two years in sales above £5.
"We are not denying that Germany, along with every other country, continues to lose sales under £3, and we know this will continue as the market moves, but sales growth at the more premium end of the market is key for the future for German wines", Forrest explains.
She knows that there is a trend towards less dry and lighter styles. "No one can produce wines in this style better than Germany", Forrest states. "I think most people in the trade would agree with that."
There is no doubt that German wines continue to offer an affordable, great-tasting option for consumers and these wines are hugely food friendly, Harpers magazine continues to state Forrest's findings.
Wines of Germany says it expects to see sales continue to rise throughout the summer on the back of its "31 Days of German Riesling" initiative, which aims to engage and educate consumers via partnerships with more than 40 restaurants and retailers across the UK.
Wines of Germany’s International Pinot Noir tasting has been awarded the Best Trade Campaign in this year’s Drinks Business Awards, announced at the London International Wine Fair (LIWF).
The award entry – which was entitled ‘Trial by Pinot Noir’ – beat stiff competition from Accolade Wines for its ‘WineNation’ report and on trade supplier, Bibendum for its ‘Just add…Bibendum’ campaign.
Nicky Forrest says “We’re thrilled with the response we’ve seen from both the trade and consumers since we held the International Pinot Noir tasting last November and this award is the icing on the cake! The vast amount of positive coverage we achieved from some of the wine trade’s top wine writers really helped us to raise awareness of the quality of German Pinot Noir amongst the trade and consumers and as a direct result, German producers have received increased interest from markets all around the world, including the UK, US and Japan. Whilst our budget was relatively small in comparison to our fellow nominees, the reach of this campaign was truly global and continues to be cited in press coverage, six months after the event was held, so we expect to see consumer demand for German Pinot Noir increasing around the world as a result!”
The win was a double celebration for Phipps - the agency employed by the German Wine Institute to run the Wines of Germany office in the UK – as the Phipps team also won the Drinks Business Award for Best PR Company.
In 2005 the Generation Riesling initiative was launched to showcase the innovative young generation of wine producers in Germany. Since then, many have gone on to discover the older organic methods.
Read more about how they're combining old and new winemaking techniques to bring fantastic wines to market here
German wine and Asian flavours go excellently together.
Click on the link below to see Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee explain why with Studio 4 Host Fanny Kieffer.
This month Berry Bros & Rudd will be taking a dip into the world of German Pinot Noir, introducing two great German Pinot Noirs supplied by The WineBarn.
Please see below PDF for further details.
Recently Alex Down, wine blogger on The Riesling Revolutionary, left his job as a lawyer in the city to pursue his interest in wine.
Starting his new life with a month's experience in famous German Winery, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff in the Nahe, Alex talks about his first week here.
Bethany Guard winning the Wines of Germany WSET scholarship at the Annual WSET Awards & Graduation ceremony
Last week, on Monday 23rd January 2012, the Annual WSET Awards & Graduation ceremony took place in London.
The winner of this year’s Wines of Germany WSET scholarship was announced with the award going to Bethany Guard of Majestic Wine.
Here Bethany is collecting her award from Wines of Germany’s Nicky Forrest and Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Honorary President of the WSET.
In 2012, the German Tourism Board will be focusing on German wines and their origin as part of their ‘Wine, Culture and Nature’ campaign. In support of this, at this year’s ProWein fair, which is taking place in Düsseldorf from 4th – 6th of March, the DWI will give trade professionals the opportunity to taste wines from all 13 German wine growing as part of their ‘Discover the taste of our Regions’ concept.
To read about the German Wine Institute at ProWein 2012 in more detail, please find attached the full press release (PDF).
MO-RHE-NA Wine Export Association have recently published their vintage report for 2011 and it's good news!
All German wine growing regions harvested above average qualities and wine growers are looking ahead to one of the best vintages in the last 20 years or more. After 2010’s shortage in quantity, German wine growers seem confident that they will satisfy the rising demand of Rieslings in 2012.
For more detailed information on different producers and regions, please find the complete 2011 vintage report attached.
The WSTA have asked that we bring this information to your attention, following an increase in the use of identity fraud in the UK as a means of obtaining wines from European producers without payment.
This type of fraud consists of placing an order with a producer, by pretending to represent a well-known business in the UK. Once the order is accepted, the fraudster requests payment within 30 days and delivery to an address which has nothing to do with the business they are impersonating. Once the delivery is made, the fraudsters disappear with the goods without ever settling the invoice. So far, they have targeted producers in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Germany.
To try and prevent this, the WSTA have produced a guide with the Metropolitan Police in English, French, Spanish and German to warn producers of this type of fraud and how it can be avoided.
The WSTA have also set up a fraud prevention unit, so should anyone in your network come across fraud issues involving the UK, please use the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org or contact David Tromans on 020 7089 3880.
The International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) banquet was held on the evening of Wednesday 16th November and once again toasted the success of producers across Germany.
Weingut Horst Sauer, from the Franken region, won the Jancis Robinson Riesling Trophy for the second time in a row with their Escherndorfer Lump Riesling Auslese 2009, while The German Wine Institute Trophy for German Wine Producer of the Year was won by another Franken producer, Weingut Burgerspital. The awards were presented by Frank Schulz, Communications Director at the German Wine Institute.
German wines won a total of eight gold medals in this year's Competition, with five receiving the top honour of Gold (Best in Class).
For more information on the 2011 winners, please visit: http://www.iwsc.net/2011producer-trophies
German Pinot Noir came up trumps at last week's International Pinot Noir tasting, with seven of the judges’ top 10 wines coming from Germany.
The blind tasting, which was organised by Wines of Germany to highlight the top quality of German Pinot Noir and to draw attention to the fact that Germany is the third largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world, was judged by a panel of world-class experts including Jancis Robinson MW, Xavier Rousset MS, Stephen Brook, Peter McCombie MW and Gearoid Devaney MS.*
The top-placed German wine was the 2008 Winzerhof Thörle Spätburgunder Hölle from the Rheinhessen, which came in third position behind Oregon’s 2009 Anticaterra Pinot Noir and the Californian 2008 Au Bon Climat Isabelle. The other top-placed German wines included the 2009 Rudolf Fürst Centgrafenberg Spätburgunder, 2007 Ziereisen Spätburgunder Jaspis Alte Reben, 2008 Gutzler Westhofener Morstein Spätburgunder, 2008 Ziereisen Spätburgunder Schulen, 2009 Jean Stodden Alte Reben Spätburgunder and 2009 Heitlinger GmbH Königsbecher Spätburgunder.
The event was the brain child of Tim Atkin and Hamish Anderson who visited Germany last year and were so impressed by the quality of the Pinot Noirs they tasted, that they challenged the German Wine Institute to hold a comparative tasting, pitting German Pinot Noir against some of the world’s most revered Pinot Noir producers. They then returned to the Rheingau in September this year for a pre-tasting, tasting over 300 German Pinot Noirs in order to select the top 20.
Since the tasting, we have had some excellent feedback and coverage from judges including Jancis Robinson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZRvI2Nlwc&feature=channel_video_title), Tim Atkin (http://www.timatkin.com/articles?250) and Gabby Savage (www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2011/10/breakthrough-for-german-pinot-noir/)
Watch the video here
For full results from the tasting, please contact the team at email@example.com.
Last month, we organised a trip to Germany for Richard Hemming, wine writer for Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages. Richard’s itinerary was jam-packed, with visits to the Rheingau, Nahe, Mosel and Ahr regions in just three days! Check out this video posted by Richard from the Bernkastler Ring Riesling Auction:
Horst Sauer succes at the International Wine Challenge 2011 - Alois Kracher Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine
Following on from its great success at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in November 2010, Franken winery Horst Sauer has been awarded the Alois Kracher Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine in this year’s International Wine Challenge.
The winning wine - a 2009 Escherndorfer Lump Silvaner Trockenbeerenauslese - was described by the judges as “Lychee, sun-dried pineapple and mango. Zippy acidity. Good body and structure. Steel and finishes like a dream!”
The wine was also awarded the Silvaner trophy and the International Botrytis Trophy.
Wines of Germany has unveiled Corks Out and The Vineyard at Stockcross as the winners of the UK’s first-ever Riesling Week, which took place this summer across the country. For more information, click on the PDF link below.
Wines of Germany has unveiled Corks Out and The Vineyard at Stockcross as the winners of the UK’s first-ever Riesling Week, which took place this summer across the country.
For more information, click on the PDF link below.
The lastest newsletter from the Wine Information Council is now out, including information about a Round Table discussion taking place this May in Berlin to consider the theme of 'Drinking or Art de Vivre or is there anything inbetween?' Please click on the link below to view the document.
As part of Harrods' April focus on Pinot Noirs from around the world, the Wine Barn is pleased to announce that wines from two of Germany's top producers will be included in its second promotion with Harrods Wine Club members. The winemaker Doerte Naekel from the Meyer-Naekel estate will be joining the Harrods' customer tasting on the 12th April, please contact Allyson from the Wine Barn: firstname.lastname@example.org
The German Wine Institute is excited to announce that it is launching a Germany-wide theatre tour, kicking off on the 16th April. The play, which of course has a wine theme, will be accompanied by a wine tasting, with performances in Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and most wine-growing regions. For more information, please visit the German Wine Institute website
VDP WEINBORSE - GERMAN WINE FAIR: TRADE ONLY
The world’s largest trade fair for top-quality German wines – the VDP Weinbörse – opens its doors on 17 and 18 April 2011 in the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz. Some 165 VDP estates will be on hand to meet with their most important customers in the wholesale/retail trade, hospitality industry and exporters. This is the first comprehensive overview of the new vintage, during which the estates will personally present their complete collection of 2010 wines, as well as debut a few wines (particularly red wines) from the previous vintage.
Date: Sunday, 17 April, 11:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Monday, 18 April, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Rheingoldhalle in Mainz / Germany
For further details, please visit: http://www.vdp.de/en/weinboerse/
The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) invites you to join them at The Great Rheingau Riesling Review 2011.
15 wineries will present over 90 wines including those fom Kloster Eberbach, Franz Küunstler, Hans Lang, Balthasar Ress and Robert Weil.
Highlights include rare wines from the 1946, 1964, 1975, 1983 and 1998 vintages.
When: 12.30pm - 5pm Wednesday 2nd March 2011
Where: Auditorium, Deutsche Bank, Winchester House, 72 London Wall, London, EC2N 2DB
Wineries participating are: Robert Weil; Domdechant Werner Schloss Johannisberg; Schloss Schönborn; Weingüter WegelerJohannishof - Johannes Eser; Baron Knyphausen; Franz KünstlerHans Lang; Josef Leitz; Prinz von Hessen; Balthasar RessJoachim Flick; Georg-Müller-Stiftung; Hessische Staatsweingüter; Kloster Eberbach
To reserve a place at this tasting, please contact Caroline Park at Phipps PR: email@example.com +44 (0)20 7759 7400
For further information on VDP please go to www.vdp.de
No book, no tasting, no seminar can replace first-hand experience in a wine-growing region.
That's why the German Wine Institute (DWI) is launching Wine Xperience 2011, an international internship programme designed to give young professionals in the wine or hospitality trade from around the world the chance to gain first hand experience working at a 'Generation Riesling' wine estate in Germany.
'Generation Riesling' (www.generation-riesling.de) is the name given to a group of internationally minded, ambitious, young wine-makers in Germany. So far, more than 40 members of Generation Riesling have signed up to take part in the internship programme.
Successful interns will be housed on the estate and producers will provide all food for the duration of their internship - please note that there is no further renumeration offered to participants.
The role of the DWI in Wine Xperience is to put potential interns in touch with Generation Riesling producers, so they can discuss directly with each other when is a suitable time for the internship to take place during the year.
How to get involved:
1. Download an application form below and send it along with an up-to-date CV (in German or English) to Michael Schemmel (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the German Wine Institute, detailing the time-frame for your stay at the wine estate in Germany
2. Michael will pass your details on to the Generation Riesling producers participating in Wine Xperience
3. If a Generation Riesling producer wants to invite you to stay at their winery following your application, they will contact you directly to arrange this.
Please note that to participate you must:
1. ...work in the wine or gastronomy trade
2. ...be available to stay and work in Germany at the wine estate for a minimum of two weeks
4. .... be willing to share your experience on the internet via Twitter, Facebook, etc
Download an application form today and send to email@example.com for your chance to participate in this unforgettable and invaluable experience in the German wine regions.
The annual WSET Awards & Graduation ceremony took place last week at the Guildhall, with industry stalwarts such as Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in attendance to congratulate the new diploma graduates.
The winner of this year's German Wine Scholarship was announced - the award went to Victoria Anderson of Armit Wines, who passed Unit 3 of the Diploma with a Pass with Merit. Victoria wins a place on our Wine Educators trip, which is scheduled for September this year.
Here she is collecting her award from Hugh Johnson and Wines of Germany's UK managing director, Nicky Forrest.
Iris Ellmann and The WineBarn team would like to invite you to their annual trade tasting on Monday 17th January 2011 at the St. James' Hotel, London.
The event will take place between 11am and 6pm and there will be producers on hand to talk about the latest vintages, styles and wine making methods.
Please register before the event with their latest recruit Allyson on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prinz Michael zu Salm-Salm ended his term of office as president of the UK’s longest running independent wine competition, the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), last night by toasting the success of producers across Germany, from VDP estates to cooperative wineries, who strive to produce top quality wines.
Horst Sauer was named German Wine Producer of the Year, crowning a year of particular success for wines from the Franken region - an outstanding 63 medals were awarded to the region’s wines, including 14 Gold (Best in Class).
The Jancis Robinson Trophy for Riesling returned to its Teutonic roots after several years in which it has been awarded to Australian wineries. Dönnhoff from the Nahe won the prestigious trophy for his Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Spätlese.
Prince Michael zu Salm-Salm hailed the worldwide ‘Riesling Renaissance’ saying “The fact that ten years ago Germany only won two gold medals at the IWSC and this year it won 22 represents a real achievement . The ‘Riesling Renaissance’ has contributed to a renewed interest in German wine and success in the IWSC supports the message that Germany is one of the world’s top Riesling producing nations.”
German wines won a total of 22 gold medals in this year’s Competition, with 18 receiving the top honour of Gold (Best in Class), up from a total of 12 gold medals in 2009.
At the annual Wines of Germany importers’ meeting held today in London, the latest harvest figures and forecasts were presented by Steffen Schindler from the German Wine Institute (DWI). The official harvest expectation stands at seven million hectare litres, a decrease of 25% on 2009 figures.
Schindler said: “This is the smallest vintage in 25 years, even smaller than initially expected and it is anticipated that this will lead to significant price increases at certain levels. The demand for German wine has been increasing in the domestic market and in certain export markets over the last few years, so the timing of this is particularly unfortunate.”
In Germany, the overall quality is expected to be good, particularly for the late ripening varieties, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
The German harvest is now drawing to a close and according to winegrowers, this year’s yield is expected to be the smallest of the last 25 years.
Quality-wise, the 2010 vintage is considered to be good, with approximately a quarter of this year’s total harvest expected to be granted ‘Prädikatswein’/Quality Wine with Distinction quality level. However, according to the German Wine Institute (DWI), the total estimated yield for the 2010 harvest is seven million hectolitres, approximately 25 percent down on the 2009 yield.
Norbert Weber, president of the German Winegrowers’ Association, says “The reason for the unusually small yield is mainly due to the reduced fruit set caused by low temperatures at the time of the blossoming. This was not an easy year for our winegrowers. It required nerves of steel and great patience to deal with the situation.”
Measures taken to insure high quality such as the rigorous selection during the picking resulted in a reduction of the yield. This was necessitated by the extremely cool and damp weather Germany experienced in August. In some regions, hailstorms led to further destruction of crops.
The patience of winegrowers was rewarded with a Golden October, which brought late-ripening grapes such as the Riesling, Silvaner and the Pinot family an opportunity to soak up the sunshine.
The 2010 white wines are characterised by the fresh fruitiness and the refreshing acidity typical of their terroir, which is so highly esteemed both in Germany and abroad. Wine lovers can also look forward to first-class, noble sweet wines from this vintage year.
“Sweet dessert wines – Trockenbeerenauslese – with record high must densities of 250 degrees oechsle were harvested,” notes Mr. Weber. In view of the reduced volume of this year’s harvest, he assumes that not many winegrowers will take on the risk of leaving the grapes on the vine in order to produce ice wine this year.
In view of the relatively large reduction of the supply, a small increase in the price of wine for this year’s vintage is highly likely. “We do not expect considerable price increases,” the German Wine Institute’s Director Mrs. Monika Reule declared.
Considering the strong competition on the international market and the sensitivity of consumers to pricing of wine, large price increases will not possible. The market situation in France and Spain where Germany exports significant amounts will become more competitive as in these countries, the yields were relatively good, and it will be a challenge for Germany to maintain its present market position.
The inaugural London Fine Wine Fair was held recently at Chelsea Old Town Hall in London. The event attracted nearly 3000 visitors, and the Wines of Germany stand was a roaring success, with visitors saying they were really impressed with the diversity of Germany’s wines and many pleasantly surprised by the complexity of German Spätburgunder.
We showed an impressive array of dry and non-dry Rieslings and a couple of Spätburgunders, plus a special selection which included comparative vintages of the exceptional Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese, all of which were extremely popular. Big thanks to those importers who contributed wines for the event and to those of you who came along to the event – check out our facebook page for photos of the event here: www.facebook.com/winesofgermanyuk
The VDP recently held the annual Grossering tasting in Trier in the Mosel and as part of their centenary celebrations, the asssociation held a series of auctions at wineries in the German wine regions of Mosel, Nahe and Rheingau, attended by many leading names in the German wine world and beyond.
Michael Schmidt writing for JancisRobinson.com said the auctions were "one of the highlights of the VDP 100th anniversary celebrations".
The three auctions were held on 24, 25 an 26 September in Trier (Mosel), Bad Kreuznach (Nahe) and Kloster Eberbach (Rheingau) respectively. 15,000 special bottles of wine, unusually from all German wine regions in this centenary year, were sold for a total sum of €1.5 million.
Subscribers to JancisRobinson.com can read Michael's full report at
The harvest of the 2010 vintage has just begun in Germany's wine regions. Picking of the early ripening varieties for the vinification of the popular light wines called "Federweissen" commenced at the end of August.
The year 2010 was marked by extremely variable weather. Late budbreak at the end of April was followed by cool weather during flowering in June. An extremely hot July encouraged vigorous growth and the delay in vegetation became smaller. An unusually cool and wet August followed with the most precipitation ever recorded for that month. Fruit development advanced much slower than in the previous year and the ripening stage is now about average for the last ten years.
The cool temperatures during flowering led to diminished fruit-set in many regions. Poor weather further lowered fruit quantities in the vineyard. With estimates at hand from throughout the country, Norbert Weber, president of the German Vintner Association, expects a slightly lower than average yield volume of approximately 8.5 million hectolitres.
According to the German Wine Institute (DWI), harvesting of the first Müller-Thurgau and other early-ripening varieties is currently underway. Picking of the late ripening varieties such as Riesling, Silvaner or Pinot Noir is estimated to commence at the end of September. Just how the vintage will be in quality shall be seen during the next weeks. Vintners hope for continued development in ripening benefitted by sunny autumn weather and a golden October.
The Co-operative Group and Asda have announced major, new listings for German wines indicating that retailers are turning to German producers for modern, quality wines at affordable, everyday prices.
Floriana Pinot Blanc 2009 and Palatium Pinot Noir 2009 will be on offer in Co-op stores for three weeks from 8th September, priced at £4.49. The retailer has also recently confirmed a permanent listing for the Co-operative “Ziel” Pinot Grigio Chardonnay 2009, taking the number of German wines stocked by the group up to 14. Deliberately medium-dry in style and featuring two easily-recognised international varieties, “Ziel” Pinot Grigio Chardonnay was well-received by the press at a recent press tasting and sales are said to be strong. Asda’s latest offering is Knights Fortress Rivaner, a new wine from Moselland which aims to strip away the baggage associated with Germany and bring something “young and fresh” to the consumer.
The new listings are set to please fans of German wines who have long argued that quality German wines deserve more shelf space in major retailers’ stores due to their suitability to modern lifestyles.
Nicky Forrest, UK managing director of Wines of Germany says “Quality German wines, particularly Rieslings, have long been heralded for their versatility and food matching capabilities so we’re delighted to see retailers getting behind quality German wines and discovering what Germany is capable of at an affordable everyday price point.”
Ed Robinson, German wine buyer for the Co-op, says “We want to show our customers what Germany has to offer and with these new wines, we feel we’re not only offering our customers great value but we’re also offering something different to our competitors. We’re fully behind German wines and we hope our customers respond to these new wines with the gusto they deserve!”
The picture amongst high end wine retailers is also looking up for Germany - sales of German wines over £5 continue to soar, with growth of 30% reported this year according to Nielsen (MAT to w/e 12.06.10) fuelling speculation that a German wine revival is imminent in the UK.
- Last week, Wines of Germany attended a meeting for generic wine bodies in the UK hosted by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), a not-for-profit organisation which works in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help businesses and individuals reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.
Representatives from WRAP informed us of the GlassRite Wine initiative which since 2006 has been working with the international wine community to:
- Encourage the use of lighter weight glass wine bottles in the UK and at source;
Encourage an increase in the use of recycled content in green glass bottles manufactured in the UK by promoting the bulk importation of wine into the UK
In the meeting, WRAP representatives talked about the likelihood of environmental labelling legislation and environmental taxation being introduced in the coming years following EU rulings expected next year. These two options seem highly likely to be pursued by the EU so it is imperative that producers act now to reduce their carbon emissions in order to avoid significant financial penalties in the months and years to come.
For more information and advice on the GlassRite Initiative, please visit WRAP's website: http://www.wrap.org.uk/retail/materials/glassrite_wine.html
Decanter 2009 Kabinett tasting
The 2009 vintage in Germany is widely regarded as a great Riesling vintage. So it was no surprise that Decanter, ‘the world’s best wine magazine’, decided to feature a tasting of 2009 Kabinett Rieslings from across Germany in their latest issue. Tasters on the panel included: Anthony Barne MW (head of wine, Bonhams auctioneers), Giles MacDonogh (DWWA Regional Chair for Germany), David Motion (director at The Winery), Freddy Price (wine writer and author) and Margaret Rand (wine writer).
The 2009 Künstler Hochheimer Holle Kabinett, Rheingau scored highest in the tasting, achieving the maximum 5 stars. The Rheingau wines in general received great praise, with MacDonogh, Price and Motion all agreeing that they performed the best. Rand felt the star performer in terms of regions though was the Mosel.
Wines that were awarded four stars included:
2009 Hattenheimm Pfaffenberg Riesling Kabinett trocken, Schloss Schönborn, Rheingau
2009 Ruppertsberger Riesling Kabinett trocken, Dr Burklin-Wolf, Pfalz
2009 Gleizweiler Holle Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Theo Minges, Pfalz
2009 Goldschild Riesling Kabinett trocken, Moselland (Winzergenossenschaft), Mosel
2009 Hallburger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett, Weingut Graf von Schönborn, Franken
2009 Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Winter, Rheinhessen
2009 Rauethaler Baiken Crescentia Riesling Kabinett trocken, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau
2009 Rotstuck Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Dr Wehrheim, Pfalz
2009 Steinberger Riesling Kabinett trocken, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau
2009 Eschendorfer Lump Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Horst Sauer, Franken
2009 Dr Deinhard Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut von Winning, Pfalz
2009 Erbacher Steinmorgen Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Baron Knyphausen, Rheingau
2009 Westhoefner Riesling Kabinett trocken, Groebe, Rheinhessen
2009 Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Langwerth von Simmern, Rheingau
2009 Riesling Kabinett trocken, Dr Burklin-Wolf, Pfalz
2009 Riesling Kabinett trocken, August Kesseler, Rheingau
2009 Riesling Kabinett trocken Weingut Familie Rauen, Mosel
2009 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett trocken, Weingut Paulinshof, Mosel
For a full list of the wines and results, take a look at the feature in Decanter’s August 2010 issue.
As Twitter is one of the greatest platforms to communicate to a worldwide audience, the social media savvy German winemaker Dirk Würtz has started a new project called the Twitter Wine Awards, endorsed by the German Wine Institute (DWI).
The first tasting in April was held in Fraconia and wines with a retail price point up to 10 Euros were judged.
The wines were then judged within three consumer-friendly categories… not bad, good and yummy! If over 50% of the judges gave the wine a “yummy”, then the wine received the Twitter Wine Award.
Wineries, importers and retailers can then use the logo on the bottle to show their customers the acceptance of the wine to a great crowd.
The next Twitter Wine Awards “Riesling Worldwide” will be held in Willi Mittlers Landhotel “Zum Rebstock” in Clüsserath (Mosel) from 30th July until 1st August.
If you would like to join the team of judges, just send an email to email@example.com
If you would like to enter your Riesling wines (maximum retail price of 15 Euros), please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany's wine producers emerged as one of the big winners in this year’s International Wine & Spirits Competition as the Northern Hemisphere results were announced yesterday at the London International Wine Fair.
For full details, download the pdf below...
Based on final harvest results, the 2009 grape must harvest in Germany was some three percent larger than estimated in November.
Based on data compiled by the German Wine-growers’ Association/Bonn and the Federal Office of Statistics/Wiesbaden, the German Wine Institute/Mainz now reports that the total grape must harvest of 2009 is equivalent to 9.14 million hectoliters. This is 8.6 percent less volume than in 2008, and 7.3 percent below the ten-year average.
Due to very favorable weather conditions in 2009, 53 percent of the crop was ripe enough to qualify as top quality wine (Prädikat wine level); 43 percent as simpler quality wine (QbA level); and merely 4 percent as Landwein or “Deutscher Wein”, a new EU term to denote a wine without a more narrowly defined designation of origin (formally table wine).
According to Monika Reule, managing director of the wine institute: “Given the high quality of wine achieved in 2009, it justifiably numbers among the top vintages of recent years. These wines offer extraordinary pleasure for their price, and are in tune with market conditions, in terms of both quality and quality.”
Latest estimates of the European Commission indicate that the overall volume of European wine production in 2009 – 164.6 million hl – was down four percent compared with 2008, and ten percent below the long-term average.
Wines of Germany is returning to LIWF in 2010, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, with a bigger and better stand than ever before. The Riesling & Co Room, which boasts a 60% increase in size, will be located in the new central stand space L20.
The Riesling & Co Room will showcase a range of naturally lower alcohol wines – a lighter style that Germany is celebrated for producing. Also on show are a selection of wines from the highly acclaimed ‘Generation Riesling’ – Germany’s young, internationally experienced, highly skilled and hugely successful new wave of winemakers who are attracting attention both at home and abroad. Familiarise yourself with the new dynamic face of German wine – make a stop at the Riesling & Co Room a must!
Nicky Forrest, Managing Director of Wines of Germany in the UK commented, ”Our aim is for the Riesling & Co Room to continue to be one of the destination stands for visitors to the fair. Over the years we have definitely developed a cult following, with visitors to the stand up 40% last year. In 2010 we will show a broad range of outstanding German wines, all pre-selected in a blind tasting by an independent British panel. Not only do these wines showcase the best Germany has to offer, they also demonstrate one of our campaign aims of showing that Germany is leading the trend for fresh, balanced and naturally lower alcohol wines.”
VDP: The Prädikat Wine Estates celebrate a Century of Fine Wines from Top Sites and Creative Vintners (April 2010)
The VDP (Prädikat Wine Estates) celebrates its centennial in 2010 under the motto: “A Century of Fine Wines from Top Sites and Creative Vintners.”
Since its founding in 1910, the VDP, the world’s oldest association of wine estates, has been committed to the correlation of producer/site/quality, a trinity that has helped set high standards in German wine culture. The 200 members will celebrate this special birthday with a blaze of activities in Germany and in abroad. The complete centennial program is on the VDP website (www.vdp.de) and will be updated on a regular basis.
During the century of its existence, the association has achieved tremendous recognition among wine enthusiasts and professionals alike. Today, the image of German wines and the high quality of wines produced from the finest vineyard sites has reached a level comparable with that of the heyday of German wines a century ago. Many a fine German wine enjoys cult status. With the centennial events in 2010, the VDP wants to celebrate all these achievements – for one whole year.
We would like to invite you to look into some facets that have contributed to the VDP becoming the leader for Germanys Wine culture. Attached please find some themes that we will be exploring during our centennial and that offer food for thought.
If any of these topics are of interest to you and / or your readers, please do not hesitate to contact: Kerry Brady (phone +49-611-373230, mail email@example.com).
VDP. Die Prädikatsweingüter
Themes on how to explore the VDP and its facets:
VDP Portrait: What is the VDP? Who Makes it Tick?
The VDP is celebrating its centennial in 2010. What better time than now to provide a little primer to help demystify “VDP” by clarifying the who, what, when, where and why behind this abbreviation for Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates, i.e. estates that strive to produce a high proportion of top-quality wines at all levels).
VDP: Germany’s Vanguard of Fine Winemaking in the Course of a Century
The forerunner to today’s VDP was founded 100 years ago, at a time when fine German wines enjoyed a heyday. They numbered among the most expensive wines traded, and graced the tables of imperial houses as well as leading hotels and restaurants of the day. What role has the VDP played in the German wine industry during its century of existence and how do its quality standards compare with minimums prescribed by law?
VDP Pioneers: Traditional Innovators and Innovative Traditionalists
Some 20 years ago, when VDP members gathered for their annual meeting, their then-new president, Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm, had an agenda – and he was successful in implementing new ideas based on ecologically friendly viticulture, yield restrictions, and a new capsule depicting the VDP logo (the stylized eagle bearing a cluster of grapes) to improve recognition value and signal a common marketing measure among members. At the same time, there were ongoing discussions about “terroir” and a vineyard classification. What ensued?
VDP Classification: A Venture into Terra Incognita on Behalf of Terroir
The Rheingau region, in conjunction with the Geisenheim Research Institute, among others, gathered scientifically based data on temperature, altitude, wind conditions, rainfall, solar exposure, etc., for decades – all of which to track “vineyard performance” over the years, i.e. to determine why some sites consistently yield a top-quality, ripe crop vs. others, where results fluctuate. The VDP firmly believes that the “top performers” are Erste Lagen (top sites) and that the wines sourced from these sites, which show site-specific characteristics, merit mention of the vineyard name on their labels. Other wines bear proprietor or regional/village names only. How does the VDP classification mesh with the German wine law and/or the classification systems of other wine-producing nations?
VDP Visions for a Sustainable Future
Dating from the efforts of Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm, but even before his time, the concept of ecologically friendly viticulture was already in practice by several VDP estates, not least by pioneers, such as Wittmann and Heyl zu Herrnsheim (both in Rheinhessen). Today, controlled, environmentally sound viticulture is standard operating procedure. Numerous estates have switched to even more stringent, biodynamic measures. Sustainability is an important – and basic – issue for VDP member estates.
VDP’s Feminine Touch: From Helping Hands to Taking the Reins
It comes as no surprise that in family-owned and -operated estates, women have always lent a helping hand, primarily in vineyard maintenance and marketing. In recent years, however, an increasing number of estates are owned by women and/or viticulturally well-educated women are acclaimed winemakers.
VDP: Riesling and Other Varietals of Choice
Germany’s prime white wine variety, Riesling, has long been the grape of choice for VDP members. Other, traditional varietals are also cultivated, e.g. the ancient white varietal Silvaner (particularly in Franken and Rheinhessen), and members of the Pinot family, including Germany’s all-important red wine grape, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), and the white wine grapes, Weiss- and Grauburgunder (Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, respectively). Why?
VDP at Home: Germany’s Wine Châteaux, Medieval to Postmodern
Not only in the Rhine Valley, part of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site prized for its wonderful mix of breath-taking natural landscapes and manmade cultural monuments, are castles home to some of Germany’s finest wine estates, such as Schloss Johannisberg or Schloss Vollrads (both in the Rheingau), to name but a couple with an international following. In recent years, many estates have undergone extensive renovations at the hand of leading architects, often with stunning results. Let’s take a closer look.
VDP Wine Auctions: A Lively Tradition Lives On
From day one, wine auctions have played an important role in the VDP. After all, the name under which the association was founded in 1910 was the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer, referring to estates that sold their Naturweine (“natural” or unchaptalized wines) exclusively at auction. What’s behind the concept of Naturweine and why did the prices for these wines sold at auction serve as a benchmark within the German wine industry? To this day, many of these wines fetch worldwide record prices at VDP auctions. Except for one-bottle lots, these top wines can be sampled prior to and during the auction itself.
VDP’s Treasures: What’s Tucked Away in Members’ Cellars
The Schatzkammer (literally, treasure chamber) of every wine estate is hallowed ground within which many a treasure lies at rest for decades, until a bottle is opened to celebrate a festive occasion and/or make its way to auction, to the delight of many a wine connoisseur or collector. Let’s take a closer look at some VDP members’ treasure chambers.
The German Wine Institute (GWI) will showcase its new generation of winegrowers at this year’s Prowein trade fair, which takes place in Düsseldorf between 21st and 23rd March.
Top-quality wines produced by Germany’s “Generation Riesling” will be the focal point of the GWI’s activity at the fair. Germany’s young, well-educated and internationally oriented wine-growers – collectively known as Generation Riesling – are the ambassadors of the nation’s modern, first-class and dynamic wine industry. By uniting to promote German wines on the world stage, the group believe they can make a stronger impact, without compromising their individuality.
While the “Generation Riesling” name puts Riesling -Germany’s most important grape variety - in the limelight, it does not exclude estates that are more geared to cultivating other traditional varietals, such as Pinots, Silvaner or Lemberger. As such, Generation Riesling will feature a broad spectrum of top-quality wines at the GWI’s stand in hall 4 (4G86) at this year’s ProWein fair.
Once again, the GWI’s stand will also serve as a forum for the products and marketing concepts of numerous wine growing-regions, including presentations by the national organic wine-growers' association "Ecovin" or special wines from regions, such as Franken and Württemberg.
At a meeting with the press on Monday 22 March at 11:30 a.m., the wine institute’s managing director, Monika Reule, will discuss the current position of German wines in the domestic and foreign marketplace. Afterwards, Reule and representatives of Germany's flagship airline Deutsche Lufthansa will announce the winner of the wine institute’s Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) competition. The winning wine will be served to Lufthansa’s business class passengers.
Medal-winning German wines increased by over 30% at this year's wine awards, with a total of 331 gold, silver and bronze medals across the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards, the International Wine and Spirits Competition, and the International Wine Challenge, compared to 251 medals in 2008.