Friday, November 6, 2009

Visiting a German Vine pearl..

Last week I had the opportunity to visit some vineyards in Groß Umstadt, taste the wines and talk to the winemakers.

It must be said that I have not considered myself as a great fan of German wine and I don't know much about their wine-areas..

So for the un-educated person, that I am, I got to know that Groß Umstadt is called a wine-island. It is not connected to the more known Mosel and Rhein areas. a

The vineyards are mostly located on the southward slopes of the hill just above the small city.

The growers like to grow German favourites: Riesling, Gewürtztraminer, Späte Burgunder, Dornfelder and others. I was surprised that they were also experimenting with Regent as an ecological alternative to other wine-grapes.

Since Groß Umstadt is located within the borders of the historical Roman empire, the locals prefer to call themselves the civilised and the rest (20km east) the hunns or barbarians.

The romans brought wine culture to the german tribes. Vine growing has been decreasing in times during the past centuries. Germans love beer instead.

Grosse Umstadt 10/30/09 11:31 PM

Groß Umstadt vine growers have very small plantations. It is due to historic regulations: one could only buy or rent existing vineyards. You are not allowed to start a new one. So a lot of the growers grow on plots smaller than 2 ha.

But, the quality is exceptional. We could taste some increasingly clean, nuance-rich whites and to finnish it all up: a very smooth, chocholate and coffee vibed red, made from Regent. I was immediatelly turned into Regent religion;)

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