|I have to admit that being in the wine trade is sometimes very rewarding, especially if you like to travel to the interiors of the country and explore the cultures, tradition, food and of course the wines. Every year I look forward to visiting a new wine region and this year was no exception when I visited the famous wine country around Mosel in Germany. A postcard from Vishal Kadakia.|
If you have not visited a wine country yet, I suggest you start packing right away. I guarantee it will be truly exciting experience.
Another part of the fun, being in the wine trade is getting to taste one of the best wines around the world, especially when you are the guest of two of the most famous wineries in Mosel – Kesselstatt and Urbans-Hof. My first day started in the castle of Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt, a 650 year old producer of wines in the Mosel. Annegret Reh-Gartner, the owner of Kesselstatt had organized a wine tasting of 20 bottles of the finest German Riesling from Kabinett to Auslese. Just the sight of the bottles was a feast for my eyes. Half way through the tasting, lunch was served which was cooked by Mr. Gerhard Gartner a Michelin Two Star chef and the husband of Annegert. Later we headed toward the vineyards of Kesselstatt along the Mosel River. Mosel by far has the prettiest landscape of any wine region I have yet visited.
Wine Tasting at Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Winery
Riesling, the famous white wine from Germany, is a cool climate grape which excels in the Mosel region with its unique topography of steep slopes ranging up to 70 degrees along the Mosel River. The river plays a very important part in ripening the grapes by reflecting the sun on the vineyards along the slopes. Hence the grapes grown on these slopes are far better then the one’s grown on flat land. It like comparing a BMW with a Fiat! The slate soil on these slopes also helps in retaining the heat for further ripening of the grapes, apart from giving a mineral like taste to the wines. The end product is a racy, minerally wine with a superb balance of sweetness to counter it. The Rieslings are great food wines and match perfectly with the Indian spicy food countering the spiciness with its well balanced sweetness. I have to be honest, reading a German Riesling label on the bottle is similar to decoding the Da Vinci Code, but a basic rule of thumb while ordering one is to consider level of sweetness and concentration you enjoy in a wine – Kabinett being the lowest, followed by Spatlese, Auslese, Beeren-Auslese, Trocken-Beeren-Auslese and Eiswein, the last 4 being dessert wines.
Piesporter Goldtropfchen Vineyards of St. Urbans-Hof
On my last day I met with Nik Weis, the passionate and dynamic owner of Urbans-Hof winery. Under his supervision Urbans-Hof has gone places with their wines and are constantly being rated among the best in Germany. In 2005 Urbans-Hof had 7 wines that rated 90 points and higher in Wine Spectator, a huge achievement. Nik explained how meticulously they carry out the viticulture in their vineyards and how little irrigation is provided to the vines in order to make them struggle. This according to him brings the best out of the wines – he draws the parallels with humans who tend to develop character like his vines only after the struggles of life. We finally went to the town of Piesporter, the most famous village in Mosel where the finest of the Rieslings are grown. These are single vineyards sites and owing property here is equivalent to having a sprawling property on Marine Drive! They are bottled as Piesporter Goldtropfchen (Goldtropfchen means tiny drops of gold). Only after tasting one you will know why!
Piesporter Goldtropfchen Village and steep vineyards observed behind this picturesque village