Wine Rally – German wine bloggers on the move

May 6, 2008

German wine bloggers have established a monthly scheme called “wine rally” where one blogger hosts a blog entry collection around a predetermined theme. The last one was for instance about “Chenin Blanc”. wines.

I have participated in two rallies over the last couple of months and it was great fun. Moreover, I learned a lot about the topics discussed myself. I also binds the blogger community together somehow; it is networking in action.

Since the blog entries are in German, I will try to summarize some of the highlights of the last rally for you here in English. The host this time was Christoph Raffelt. On his blog Originalverkorkt one can find interesting wine reviews and stories around food and drinks. Also the photos on the blog are very appealing.

– About 15 bloggers participated this time.
– Most Chenin Blanc wines tasted by the bloggers came from the Loire Valley, some from South Africa but generally new world wines were not favourably reviewed.
– Many of the tasted wines came from biologic or bio-dynamic production.

Which wines were tasted?

– Crémant de Loire
– Les Doucinières von Vincent Girault (Loir)
– Crémant von Château Tour Grise (Loir)
– Domaine Patrick Baudouin Effusion 2004 (Anjou)
– Domaine de la Taille aux Loups by Jacky Blot
– Vouvray by Gaston Huet
– Coteaux du Layon by Jo Pithon
– Coteaux du Layon
– Plaisier der Domaine de Romchambeau (Coteaux de l`Aubance)
– Vouvray 1999, Domaine du Clos de L`Epinay
– 2001 Saumur Blanc Brézé by Clos Rougeard
– Clos de Coulaine by Claude Papin, Château Pierre Bise (Savennière)
– Raats Chenin Blanc and Raats Original Chenin Blanc (Steen, South Africa)

And who were the participants? In the following I just list blogs and their addresses. For readers who are fluent in German this could be a real treat because many of the German and Austrian wine bloggers are true originals. Check it out.

six-to-nine (Pivu)
vinissimus (Robert Freudenthaler)
myexperience4u (Svetlana Kittke)
Weingut Lisson (Iris Rutz-Rudel)
K&M Gutsweinblog (Bernd Klingenbrunn)
Culinarium Curiosum (Sabrina und Simon Klaiber)
weinwelt (Michael)
Nikos Weinwelten (Niko Rechenberg)
drinktank (Mario Scheuermann)
Winzerblog (Thomas Lippert)
Weingut Steffens-Keß (Harald)
viva-vino (Matthias Metze)

I hope this gives you a first impression even if it might be rather superficial. I do not know of any such initiative by Anglo-Saxon wine bloggers and their various communities. If you know something, please get in touch with me. Yours

Country Inns in Germany – Klostermühle, Ockfen, Saar

May 5, 2008

When I am visiting my hometown Trier I always try to arrange an outing to the Saar, my most favourite tributary of the Mosel (the other one I love very much, is the river Ruwer).

One day in March my mother, my friend Heinz and I, we went for lunch in the countryside. It was March. Spring was waiting in the wings, but could not get through as yet. However, it was a beautiful day. We choose the Klostermühle in Ockfen, Saar, as our destination, a winery cum hotel and restaurant (

Winery-Hotel-Restaurat Klostermühle in Ockfen, Saar

Pork tenderloin with Spaetzle, a German type of noodle dumplings

The food was delicious, typical country inn style, rustique, big portions, in short: value for money type of food. I had one of their Rieslings with my food. Ockfener Bockstein is the name of the most famous location (terroir) in this neck of the wood. It was a very typical Saar Riesling, low in alcohol but zippy and fruity, with complex acids, a good structure and a long and intense finish.

After lunch we drove though the vineyards of Ockfen. On our way to Schoden where Heinz together with some friends is renting a hunting ground, we passed by the “Bockstein” which you can see in the picture below (where the tree line on the hill in the background is ending).

Ockfener Bockstein, one of the most famous “terroirs” of the Saar

The Saar is a very picturesque wine region and tourist destination in southwestern Germany and certainly worth a visit. Do it regularly as I do. The Riesling wines are among the best of Germany.

Weingut – Hotel – Restaurant Klostermühle
Fam. Minn
54441 Ockfen, Saar