Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wine Tasting and Cellar Tour at Weingut Dönnhoff with Christina Dönnhoff – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Picture: Tasting with Christina Dönnhoff at Weingut Dönnhoff

In the Nahe region, we visited three producers: Dönnhoff, Kruger-Rumpf and Diel. We started out with Weingut Dönnhoff, where we were hosted by Christina Dönnhoff, Cornelius Dönnhoff’s sister.

Pictures: In the Nahe Valley

The Dönnhoff family has been making wines for more than 250 years, but a new era started when Helmut Dönnhoff began making wine in 1971. Helmut Dönnhoff has become a living legend of German wine and is celebrated as one of Germany’s very best producers. While Helmut Dönnhoff is still fully involved in all aspects of Weingut Dönnhoff, his son Cornelius has officially taken over from his father a couple of years ago.

 Picture: Arriving at Weingut Dönnhoff

Weingut Dönnhoff

The Dönnhoff family first came to the Nahe Valley over 200 years ago. The Dönnhoffs were a mixed farm up until the 20th century, with cereal crops, vegetables, fruit and livestock in addition to grapes. Helmut's grandfather Hermann made the transition from mixed farm to focus entirely on winegrowing. Helmut Dönnhoff took over day-to-day responsibility from his father in 1971. From the initial 4 hectares of land Helmut Dönnhoff expanded the estate to now 25 hectares. Today, Helmut’s son Cornelius Dönnhoff is responsible for the wines.

In terms of Riesling, Weingut Dönnhoff splits its production between the dry and sweet styles. “Riesling has 2 faces – it has a good reputation for dry wines and it has a good reputation for fruity sweet wines. We used to use the best grapes for the sweet style wines, but the fashion has shifted to dry wines. Now high class dry wines are being made. Global warming has helped. Acidity is lower now and the grapes are riper, so the quality of wines has improved” says Helmut Dönnhoff.

Pictures: Cellar Tour with Christina Dönnhoff

Vineyards

Weingut Dönnhoff’s holdings represent some of the best in the Nahe and all of Germany:

The Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg is a very old site with porphyry soil.

The Oberhäuser Leistenberg, the oldest vineyard held by the family, has slate soils and produces fruity wines with elegant acidity.

The Oberhäuser Brücke, the smallest vineyard in the Nahe, is a tiny parcel saddled on the Nahe River that Dönnhoff owns in entirety. The Brücke has grey slate covered by loess-clay and the vines ripen even later here than in the Hermannshöhle due to large diurnal temperature swings along the river.

Picture: Christian Schiller with Helmut Dönnhoff and his Wife and Steffen Christmann in Seattle

The Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, perhaps the most famous of all the Nahe vineyards, is a slate vineyard with many conglomerates of volcanic rocks, mostly porphyry and melaphyr.

The Norheimer Dellchen is a steep terraced vineyard in a rocky hollow with porphyry and slate soil.
Norheimer Kirscheck sits on a steep south slope of slate soil and produces delicately fruity wines with spice and race.

The Norheimer Kahlenberg: Southern slopes with quartzite and loam soils.

The Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl vineyard has perfect drainage due its topsoil of pebbles over loam soil; characteristic are wines with a mineralic elegance. Due to the water table that flows beneath the vineyard’s soil the Krötenpfhul has always been farmed organically, even before it was purchased by Weingut Dönnhoff.

The Roxheimer Höllenpfad: steep, south-facing site with weathered red and stone soil.

Pictures: Helmut Dönnhoff receiving the Ombiasy Group in 2013

Although the Nahe is a dry region, the vineyards are not watered as to encourage deep rooted vines. The soil is covered with organic material like straw and compost to preserve water and to avoid evaporation and erosion in heavy rains. The vines are all grown on wire frames, low to the ground to benefit from the warmth of the stoney topsoil, and at a density of approx. 6000 vines per hectare.

"We do not irrigate at all. We irrigated in the 1950s. My father and his colleagues did it for frost protection. After 10 or 15 years of doing it we realized that the wines were not better. In particular we saw that in places we did not irrigate, the wines were better. The roots went deeper, the wines were more intense. So we stopped irrigation 25 years ago” says Helmut Dönnhoff.

Cornelius Dönnhoff is Stuart Pigott’s Winemaker of the Year

A few months ago, German wine journalist Stuart Pigott published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine

Sonntagszeitung his favorite German wines and favorite German winemakers of the year – in German (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 23. November 2014, Nr.47, Seite 54-55). Stuart Pigott’s Winemaker of the Year 2014 is: Cornelius Dönnhoff.

At first sight, this award should not come as a surprise. Snooth, for example, recently listed Weingut Dönnhoff as one of the top 10 Riesling producers in the world. At the same time, however, the highly regarded Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland deleted Weingut Dönnhoff from the prestigious 5/5 grapes group in its 2015 edition. The rumor was that the demotion was triggered by the handing over of the primary responsibility for the wines from father Hellmut Dönnhoff to son Cornelius Dönnhoff.

Stuart Pigott argues – and I fully agree with him - that the demotion was completely unjustified: "To make a winery famous is a great job, but to take over a world-famous wine estate from his father and keep it at the highest level is much more difficult. And this is exactly what Cornelius Dönnhoff has achieved to do in an impressive way. His dry and sweet Riesling wines are among the best white wines in the world.”

Picture: Cornelius Dönnhoff and Stuart Pigott at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Awards Ceremony (Photo: Cornelius Dönnhoff)

The Wines Christina Dönnhoff Poured

Christina Dönnhoff: “Grapes are always picked by hand over 2-3 passes through each vineyard. The grapes are pressed as soon as possible – within 3 hours of picking – and fermented in large wooden casks as well as stainless steel”. Wines fermented in wooden casks typically spend 2–3 months in cask and then go to stainless steel.

Pictures: Tasting with Christina Dönnhoff

Dry

2013 Dönnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling dry
2013 Dönnhoff Roxheimer Höllenpfad Riesling dry
2013 Dönnhoff Felsenberg “Felsentürmchen” Riesling dry GG
2013 Dönnhoff Hermannshöhle Riesling dry GG

Fruity

2013 Dönnhoff Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett
2013 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett
2013 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese
2013 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke (Monopole) Riesling Spätlese
2013 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
2012 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel
2013 Dönnhoff 2013 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke (Monopole) Riesling Eiswein

Bye-bye

Thanks Christina for a wonderful event.

Pictures: Bye-bye

schiller-wine: Related Postings

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Coming-up: Wine & Art Tour to Saale-Unstrut - Saxony - Franken - Württemberg: Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (June 11 - June 20, 2015)

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

In the Vineyard and the Wine Cellar (and Lunch) with Robert Schätzle, Owner and Winemaker, Weingut Schloss Neuweier in Baden – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Wine Tasting Luncheon at 1 Star Michelin Röttele's Restaurant im Schloss Neuweier in Baden, with Winemaker Robert Schätzle and his Weingut Schloss Neuweier Wines – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Zähringer in Baden: Cellar Tour and Tasting with Winemaker Paulin Köpfer – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombasy (2014)

Weingut Freiherr von Gleichenstein in Baden: Tour and Tasting with Baron Johannes von Gleichenstein – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014), Germany

Weingut Franz Keller in Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden: Cellar Tour and Tasting with Fritz Keller – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Lunch at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler in Oberbergen, with Weingut Franz Keller Wines – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Visit: Weingut Dr. Heger in Baden – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Karl-Heinz Johner in Baden: Cellar Tour and Tasting with Karl-Heinz and Patrick Johner – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

At Maison Trimbach in Alsace with Hubert Trimbach – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Friedrich Becker – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Lunch, Wine Tasting and Winery Tour at Weingut Jülg in Schweigen, Pfalz with the Jülg Family – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan in Deidesheim with General Manager Gunther Hauck – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Winery Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut A. Christmann, with Steffen Christmann – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Weegmüller with Stephanie and Gabriele Weegmüller – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

schiller-wine - Related Postings (Weingut Dönnhoff)

Top 10 Riesling Producers in the World – Snooth 2012

An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

New Generation – The 111 Best Young German Winemakers (A Listing by Stuart Pigott)

Cornelius Dönnhoff, Weingut Dönnhoff: Stuart Pigott’s Winemaker of the Year, Germany

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bordeaux Rendezvous in Washington DC: Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Picture: Christian Schiller with Pierre Lurton, Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, and Alfred Tesseron, Château Pontet-Canet, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction is an annual four-day celebration in Washington DC, USA, bringing together winemakers, celebrity chefs, gourmands, and wine enthusiasts to raise money for the American Heart Association. It is very much Bordeaux-centered, although American winemakers also participate.

Pictures:  Christian and Annette Schiller at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015. Hopefully, next year we will have a German Riesling producer participating in the event.

The events are not cheap, but high-class and tax deductible (partly). Over the past 13 years, the events have raised over $11 million for the American Heart Association, helping to support research into the number one cause of death in the United States.

Pictures: Item #508 - Seven Day WineTour to German Wine Country, Donated by Annette Schiller and ombiasyPR and WineTours

See: Seven Day Wine Tour to German Wine Country: Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction (2015), Washington DC, USA 

This year, Heart’s Delight took place from Wednesday, April 22 to Saturday, April 25, 2015. As in previous years, there were exciting dinners with celebrity chefs and winemakers at embassies, private homes and top restaurants, tastings, receptions, after-dinner-parties as well as auctions.

A dozen or so wine top producers from Bordeaux are always at the center of Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction. This year, Pierre Lurton of Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem was the star of the Heart’s Delight Vintners Dinner. But there was also a group of American wine producers, including Michael Silacci from Opus One in Oakville, California.

Program

Wednesday April 22 was the United States of Wine celebration showcasing American wine. A range of American wines were presented by owners and winemakers (see below). It included a silent and live auction featuring wine from participating winemakers and exciting trips. This was followed by a byo - style Collectors Dinner celebration. Each guest shared a bottle from his/her cellar in an attempt to impress and outdo their fellow diners. In this friendly competition, there are no losers.

Thursday April 23 offered a series of intimate wine dinners with an international flair in homes, restaurants and Embassies with a host, chef and winemaker at each.

 Pictures: Impressions from Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015 (Source: Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015)

Friday April 24 featured an exclusive Vintners Dinner and highlighting the wines of Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, presented by Pierre Lurton. The dinner was followed by a live auction led by Sotheby’s Jamie Ritchie featuring wine directly from the cellars of the Bordeaux producers in grand format.

Saturday April 25 began with a virtual tour of Bordeaux including a unique Master Class tasting of the 2012 vintage and an older vintage selected by the visiting Château owners and wine directors. The adventure continued with exciting seminars and food prepared by some of the nation’s top chefs, making Heart’s Delight the place to discover the latest in epicurean trends and new talent.

During the Grand Tasting Reception guests had the opportunity to bid on exclusive travel packages, dining experiences and rare and exceptional wines during the spirited silent and live auctions.

The Wine Makers: Bordeaux

Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, Pierre Lurton

Picture: Christian Schiller and Pierre Lurton, Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Château Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy

Château Cos d’Estournel, Saint-Estèphe, Aymeric de Gironde

Château Coutet, Barsac-Sauternes, Dominique Baly

Picture: Dominique Baly, Château Coutet, and Bernard Burtschy, Le Figaro, Paris, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Château Guiraud, Sauternes, David Ornon

Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan, Daina Paulin

Picture: Daina Paulin, Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan,at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Picture: With Daina Paulin at Château Haut-Bailly in 2013

See also:
Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Cru Classé de Graves, France

Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, Lucas Leclercq

Picture: Lucas Leclercq, Château Lafon-Rochet, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Picture: With Owner Basile Tesseron and Winemaker Lucas Leclercq at Château Lafon-Rochet in 2013

See also:
A Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet in Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, with Winemaker and Owner Basile Tesseron (2013), France

Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, Kinou Cazes-Hachemian

Picture: Christian Schiller and Kinou Cazes-Hachemian, Château Lynch-Bages, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Picture: Christian Schiller with Jean-Charles Cazes, Owner of Lynch-Bages, at Château Lynch-Bages in Bages in 2013

See also:
Tour and Tasting at Château Lynch-Bages in Bages, Bordeaux, France

Château Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan, Bruno Laplane

Picture: Bruno Laplane, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, Véronique Dausse

Picture: Véronique Dausse, Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, Alfred Tesseron

Picture: Alfred Tesseron, Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Pictures: Tasting and Chatting with Alfred Tesseron at Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, in 2013

See also:
Tour and Tasting at Château Pontet-Canet, with Owner Alfred Tesseron, Bordeaux

Château Troplong Mondot, Saint-Emilion, Myriam Ruer

The Wine Makers: US

Addax Wines, Napa, California, Brian Kearnes

Banshee Wines, Sonoma County, California, Noah Dorrance

Domain Drouhin Oregon, Willamette Valley, Oregon, David Millan

Early Mountain Vineyards, Madison, Virginia, Steve Monson

Fisher Vineyards, Napa and Sonoma, California, Rob Fisher

George Wine Company, Russian River Valley, California, George Levkoff

Hourglass Wine Company, Napa Valley, California, Samantha Shaw

Opus One, Oakville, California, Michael Silacci

Pictures: Michael Silacci, Opus One, Oakville, California, with Rudger de Vink, RdV Vineyards, Virginia, and Christian Schiller at Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction 2015

Parry Cellars, Saint Helena, California, Stephen Parry

Peay Vineyards, West Sonoma Coast, California, Andy Peay

Plumplack Estate Winery, Napa, California, John Conover

Quintessa, Rutherford, California, Larry Stone

Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino and Healdsburg, California, Eric Baugher

Picture: Christian Schiller and Eric Baugher in 2015

See:
Vincent’s Wine Club: Winemaker Dinner with Eric Baugher and his Stunning Ridge Vineyards Wines, USA

Soliste, Sonoma Coast, California, Claude Koeberle

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Claude Koeberle at Bazin's on Church in Vienna, Virginia, in 2013

See also:
The Premium Soliste Wines of Former Famous Chef and Now Famous Winemaker Claude Koeberle and the Great Food of Chef Patrick Bazin at Bazin’s on Church in Northern Virginia, USA

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles, California, Jason Haas

Pictures: Christian Schiller and Tablas Creek's Jason Haas in 2011

See also:
Tablas Creek Wines from Paso Robles and Belgian Food at Brasserie Beck with Tablas Greek GM Jason Haas and Chef Robert Wiedmaier in Washington DC, USA

Thibaut-Janisson Winery, Monticello, Virginia, Claude Thibaut


Pictures Christian Schiller with Claude Thibaut in 2011

See also:
As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar

Young Inglewood Vineyards, Saint Helena, California, Scott Young

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Seven Day Wine Tour to German Wine Country: Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting and Auction (2015), Washington DC, USA

Bordeaux Trip September 2012, France

Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

An Afternoon at Château Pape-Clément (in 2013), Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

Dinner at Château Canon La Gaffeliere, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé, France

Visiting a “Holy” Construction Site: Château Angélus in Saint-Emilion, France

Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur with Winemaker/Owner Dany Rolland, Pomerol, France

Tour, Tasting and Lunch at Château Beausejour in AOC Puisseguin-St.Emilion, France

Visit of an Ultra-premium Non-mainstream Bordeaux Producer: Tertre Rôteboeuf, with Owner and Winemaker François Mitjavile

Visiting and Tasting at Château Climens, with Owner Bérénice Lurton, Bordeaux, France 

Lunch, Tour and Tasting with Owner Catherine Thibault d'Halluin (nee Boyer) and Winemaker Julien Noel - Château du Cros, Château Mayne du Cros, Château Courbon and Clos Bourbon, Bordeaux, France

Visiting an Oyster Farm at Arcachon Bay, Bordeaux: Raphael Doerfler at Earl Ostrea Chanca , France

Tour and Tasting at Château Pontet-Canet, with Owner Alfred Tesseron, Bordeaux

Tour, Tasting and Lunch at Château Léoville-Poyferré, with Didier Cuvelier and Anne Cuvelier, France  

A Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet in Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, with Winemaker and Owner Basile Tesseron (2013), France

A Tour and Tasting at Château Coufran, Haut-Médoc, with Co-owner Frédéric Vicaire, France

Tour and Tasting at Château Lynch-Bages in Bages, Bordeaux, France

Tour at Tonnellerie Berger and Fils: How is a Barrique Made? Bordeaux, France

Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Cru Classé de Graves, France

As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar 

Tablas Creek Wines from Paso Robles and Belgian Food at Brasserie Beck with Tablas Greek GM Jason Haas and Chef Robert Wiedmaier in Washington DC, USA

Vincent’s Wine Club: Winemaker Dinner with Eric Baugher and his Stunning Ridge Vineyards Wines, USA

The Premium Soliste Wines of Former Famous Chef and Now Famous Winemaker Claude Koeberle and the Great Food of Chef Patrick Bazin at Bazin’s on Church in Northern Virginia, USA