Autumn views – wild berries ripening

October 7, 2009

Autumn is an exciting time in Europe not just for grape growers but also for other nature lovers. In the forests and along the many paths, rural roads, and highways various types of berries and other fruit can be spotted. The photos below are from Schoden, Saar. I took them last week.


Rose hip


Wild apple





Vintage time: Schodener Herrenberg

October 6, 2009


Schodener Herrenberg, in the background the village of Schioden with the Saar

One of my favourite places along the Saar river is Schoden, a small hamlet about 30 minutes southwest of Trier, my hometown. I visit regularly, because my friend Heinz together with some friends has rented the local hunting territory and when I visit Trier, we often go together on the hunt.

Schoden has also some vineyards and wineries. The location (terroir) “Herrenberg” is one of them. The vineyards are quite steep, which is difficult to depict in a photograph as you can see from the comparison of the two pictures above and below. It is realy a steep site, and the best location for producing Saar Riesling wines of superior quality.


Schodener Herrenberg: vineyards from the South


Schodener Herrenberg: the vineyards from below


A promising vintage?


Beautiful Riesling fruit

The fruit on the vines looked very healthy. In a couple of days or weeks, depending on the weather, the pickers will come to harvest. Needless to say that no machinery can be used, all the work will be done by hand. The vineyards workers will have to navigate the steep hills and balance on the slate pebbels which can be tricky when they are wet.

Needless to say that Schodener Herrenberg produces outstanding Riesling wines. Learn more about these Saar wines on my blog soon. Cheers

Also the foxes like sweet grapes

October 4, 2009


Ripe Riesling grapes, Herrenberg in Schoden/Saar

Right now it is vintage time in Germany and along the Mosel and the Saar one can admire ripening grapes. What a beautiful picture.

The weather was warm and dry when I accompanied my friend Heinz on a morning hunt in Schoden, Saar. We sat on a raised hide from about 5:30 until 8 in the morning. We watched two red deer does with their young ones making their way through the meadow. Later we went through the hunting territory and checked out a couple of places.


I found the above turd of a red fox. Obviously the beast loves what humans love: the juicy fresh and sweet grapes. Also other wild animals love to nibble from the vines, especially red deer and wild pigs. They can be a quite a nuisance.

Autumn is just such a beautiful time in Germany. I will share more with you soon. Watch my blog entries.

Restaurant review: Schlosshotel Cecilienhof, Potsdam

October 1, 2009


Schlosshotel Cecilienhof

I had the great pleasure to participate in a formal dinner at Schlosshotel Cecilienhof in Potsdam. This hotel is part of a historic castle of great significance: it was the site for the Potsdam Conference which brought peace to Europe at the end of World War II. It was in this building that Truman, Churchill and Stalin (among others) negotiated the fate of Germany in 1945. But I will not bore you with too much history today.

The dinner was a very enjoyable affair: I had great company, the food was excellent, the wines were very, very drinkable and the service was eminently suitable. I went for the seafood choice below: first a salmon starter followed by a “Zander” (pike perch) fillet.


The starter made of salmon


“Zander”/pike perch fillet for main course

I also tried both wines on offer. The choice for white consisted of a ‘2007 Weingut Schloss Sommerhausen Riesling dry’ from Frankonia in Germany and was an excellent pairing with the starter. Schloss Sommerhausen is located between Ochsenfurt and Wuerzburg, the home of my maternal grandfather who introduced me to the wines from Frankonia.

I just love Riesling and Silvaner wines from Frankonia, but they also produce excellent Spaetburgunder and many other wines. The shape of the Frankonian wine bottles is unique (only the sweet Meteus wines from Portugal can also be found in such bottles), they are called “Bocksbeutel”.

Sommerhausen Riesling

But I also wanted to taste the Pinot Noir, a young wine from 2008, ‘Alde Gott Spaetburgunder dry’ from Baden. This was my second Pinot Noir from Baden since I arrived in Germany and I must say, both wines (the other one was from Affental) were excellent.

Both are produced by wine co-operatives. “Alde Gott” is located in Sasbachwalden, a village near the cities of Buehl and Baden-Baden were also the wine co-operative of Affental can be found.


Weingut Schloss Sommerhausen
Familie Steinmann
Ochsenfurter Straße 17–19
97286 Sommerhausen
Tel. 0 93 33/2 60
Fax 0 93 33/14 88

Wine sales at Schloss Sommerhausen
Steinmann family
Hauptstraße 25
97286 Sommerhausen
Tel. +49 – 93 33/2 60
Fax +49 – 93 33/14 88

Opening hours:
Mo. – Fr. von 9.00 – 18.00 Uhr
Sa. von 10.00 – 16.00 Uhr
Public holidays 10.00 – 14.00 Uhr

Wine Co-operative Sasbachwalden
Talstraße 2
D-77887 Sasbachwalden
Tel.: +49-07841 – 20 29 – 0
Fax: +49-7841 – 20 29 18