19 May 2013

Geisenheim University classes!

Today, I went back to school! Geisenheim is where most of the Enology degrees in Germany originate, and we sat through a long and interesting day full of seminars. But first, we took a bus ride with the German Wine Queen (left) and the Rheingau Wine Queen (right)

I want one of these! Awesome large wine chiller with the white wines we are to taste during the seminars.

I loved this seminar! Jeannie Cho Lee, the only female Master of Wine in Asia, led a seminar on pairing German Wine with Asian food. I thought she was amazing. I took so many notes that I'll actually follow this up with a post devoted to the topic.

Professor Schultz, the Director of the University, gave us a talk on some of the advancements that they have been working on to improve the industry for the country. They've got a project right now to see how grapes will react to the increased C02 in the air with global warming. It's a FACE system (Free Air C02 Enrichment) can you see the picture on the top left? the FACE spikes surround a small patch of vines.

They are also developing robots to harvest grapes on the slopes too steep to use a tractor--which is a lot of them. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find people who want to do this terribly difficult work. The robot looks like a drum with spikes to dig into the ground. He had a great point: "the only way to maintain heritage is to use technology." The University was founded in 1872!)
One heck of a lunch buffet in the cafeteria!

Billy Wagner, a sommelier from Rutz Weinbar in Berlin, guided us through 16 different Pinot Blancs, Pinot Noirs, and Pinot Gris. He's also an expert on Riesling--his wine list has over 400!

This was a fun 6 hours of seminars!
Look for some info to come from the VDP classification chat.
- Emily Garrison, Shiraz Fine Wine & Gourmet

Location:Rheingau, Germany

What is "Wines of Germany"?

I was grateful that Day 1 on this Germany trip included a seminar on German Facts & Figures by one of our hosts, Steffen Schindler of Wines of Germany. After all, they were the group that brought us all here--so I wanted to know more about them!

My goal with this blog post is to cram the most fascinating information I learned in 1 1/2 hours and give you a quick 2-minute read. So here goes:

-Believe it or not, Germany is #7 in the world in wine production! They are #4 in consumption per capita (we are #2, by the way)
-Only 35% of the wines made in Germany are sweet (I've been telling you!)
-Point of reference: German acerage is the same amount as Bordeaux
-64% of the wines grown here are white.
-Germany is #3 in the world in Pinot Noir grown! (#1=France; #2=USA)
-They're #3 in the world for Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and #2 for Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). You'd be amazed how good they are too!
-7% of German wines are organic. The biggest group, Ecovin, has 217 members.
-another weird point of reference: The Rheinhessen, which produces half of Germany's wine, makes 1.9 million Hectaliters a year. Gallo makes 1.8!
-We talked about "the dreaded L word"--Liebfraumilch is ONLY exported. NO one in Germany has ever sold it.
-THERE IS A RIESLING RENAISSANCE IN GERMANY. Modern cuisine is lighter, with herbs spice, more fish & chicken, with a focus on Asian food worldwide. This is perfect with Riesling.

Wines of Germany is a organization to promote German wine in all other countries, by the way--it's like a tax for the wineries. And boy, do these guys work hard to spread the gospel! Many thanks to their including me--and we can't wait to participate in the 31 Days of German Riesling this July!

- Emily Garrison, Shiraz Fine Wine & Gourmet

Location:Rheingau, Germany