Germany North - INTRODUCTION
QUINTESSENTIAL GERMAN RIESLINGS:
The northern tour
9 day immersion: April 29 - May 07, 2019
During this tour we delve deep into German "Riesling Country" and will fully experience authentic Germany. We start the tour with a visit to the "Weinbörse", the annual exhibit of all wineries belonging to the Association of Premium German Wine Estates (VDP). Here you can do a tour d'horizon of all German wine regions and you can taste the portfolio of more than 200 wine estates. After this fabulous introduction we travel along the main wine arteries of Germany: the Rhine river, the Mosel river, and the Nahe river. Roman, medieval, and modern history accompany us all the way and will help us to understand what German wine is all about. The beauty of the landscape, the steep vineyards, the romantic Rhine valley, the quaint villages, the stories behind the wineries and their families, and the gorgeous wines we will taste at world-renowned wineries will give us a renewed understanding of German wines. In a nutshell: this is a German wine class on the ground.
- We will visit a total of 18 wineries (14 are members of the VDP, the German association of elite wine makers) in 5 different wine regions where predominantly white grapes are planted: Rheingau, the jewel in the crown, with its perfect, fuller bodied, racy Rieslings; Mittelrhein where the Rieslings grow on the steep slopes of the fortress- and castle-ribboned banks of the Rhine river; Mosel with its dizzying steep vineyards and famous elegant Rieslings; Nahe and its serene, peaceful valley where perfect harmonious wines reflect their roots; we pay a visit to one of the up- and coming winemakers in the Rheinhessen region.
- We will have the change to taste wines from all over Germany at the Weinbörse in Mainz.
- We will get intimate insights into a selection of Germany’s best of the best wineries, normally not open to visitors.
- We will learn how to read the label on German wine bottles.
- We will get to know the classification of German wines including the new VDP classification.
- We will explore why wine from the same vineyard can be sweet or dry.
- We will have excellent, typical German meals at great restaurant, historical places, and at the wineries with the owner/winemaker.
- We will bump into ancient German history and culture at every turn of our trip.
- We will do a cruise on the Rhine river traveling the most beautiful part of the Rhine where the river almost narrows to a canyon and where the banks on both sides are dotted with medieval castles and ruins, and dizzying steep vineyards.
- We will meet the owners and/or winemakers, among them winemakers famous throughout the world.
- We will get the inside track and will feel what the German "Gemütlichkeit" is all about.
Germany with its roughly 250,000 acres under vine belongs today to one of the smaller wine producing countries in the world. However, viticulture in Germany has a long tradition, going back to Roman times 2,000 years ago. In the 15th century, the area under vine was four times larger than it is today. Wars, subsequent loss of territory, diseases, overproduction, and competition from beer brewing resulted in land turned over to other agricultural uses. In the 19th century, concentration on terroir and technological progress fostered a tremendous improvement of quality and the prestige of German wines, in particular from the Mosel, Rheingau, and Pfalz regions, resulting in prices above those for first growth Bordeaux wines. Today, all thirteen wine regions in Germany produce outstanding wines, and German Rieslings belong to the best white wines in the world.