Country inns in Germany: Forsthaus Altenhof, Trier

September 10, 2012

The city of Trier – photo taken from Kockelsberg

During the month of July, we spend some glorious days in my home town Trier. On a splendid Sunday, wen went to have brunch with music at a country inn called Altenhof, at the edge of the forest surrounding the city.

A leisurly walk through a lovely forest (mainly sweet chestnut trees) of about one or one and a half hours will get you there.

Signpost in the forest

So what is the place like, you might ask? Well, it is a former forester’s lodge cum country inn, which was built in 1874 on the site of an old farm going back to 1406.

Country inn – Forthaus Altenhof

In my youth the place was a popular destination for family outings to enjoy a drink or two in the company of family and friends.

We went there for a breakfast brunch with music. The duo Wollmann and Brauner was playing blues and jazz.

We got there quite early, and the garden of the Altenhof was still empty. But it should fill up fast. Many families made the pilgrimage and brought their young children as well as their old parents along. In the early afternoon, it was difficult to find an empty table.

Wollmann and Brauner Duo

We were craving for some blues our most favourite music, reminiscing about lovely live music events in Yarra Glen and Healesville, Victoria. The two musicians did not disappoint us. They played among others some of the classic songs from Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton; so just the right stuff. It was great music and we had great fun.

Viez – local apple & pear cider

One of the specialities is the apple and pear cider called Viez in the local German dialect. I love it. It is usually very dry (one could say sour), and so it should be.

Riesling by Weingut Linden

My wife preferred the Rieslnig wine on offer by Weingut Linden, Mosel. The ‘2010 Riesling Spaetlese dry’ is a very solid wine, and displays the wonderful character of the Mosel terroir and climate.

Riesling Spaetlese

We also had food, hearty German delicacies. Unfortunately, I have no photo of the various dishes we consumed from morning to afternoon. But rest assured you get value for money. These were the best prices offered to me while I was in Germany.

It was such a pleasant day. The ambience was just wonderful. Everybody was relaxed. Because of the spatious surroundings, children could play ball, horse rider could tether their horses, people could walk around etc. If you have the time and opportunity visit this extraordinary place.

Address:
Forsthaus Altenhof
Aacher Weg 86
D-54293 Trier

http://www.altenhof-trier.de


Winery review: Punt Road Wines – Yarra Valley, Victoria

February 4, 2012

Punt Road cellar door entry

We were on St Hubert’s Road on our way to Healesville when we passed Punt Road Winery and decided on the spot to drop in. Our main motivation was to buy some of the famous pear cider for Michael, my brother-in-law.

The back entrance to the tasting room

In all the many years we have come to the Yarra Valley, we had never made it to this well known winery. The estate with about 75 ha under vines (two vineyards, one planted in 1987 and the other in 2001) is owned and operated by the Napoleone family.

The senior wine-maker is Kate Goodman, one of the so called “young guns” of the Australian wine industry and much sought after judge for wine competitions.

The Punt Road vineyards are planted with the white varieties Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier and the reds Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

The cider stacks

From the outside we already spotted the boxes with the Napoleone Co. apple and pear cider piled up in a neat stack.

My heart jumped. Here it was, the golden liquid which stirs up so much emotions, and is considered one of the best ciders in the valley. Quality has its price, so a box of the stuff does not come cheap.

Having been raised in Trier at the Mosel river, I am very familiar with cider, which is called “Viez” in the local dialect. “Viez” is a mixture of fermented apples and pear juice coming from a very small kind of apples/pears (they are in-edible and very very sour/acidic).

The trees are grown along the rural roads. All the peasant in the region used to make their own cider, as a very refreshing drink for home consumption.

The garden

The premises are very lovely with wide open spaces, tables and chairs, picnic facilities and an area prepared for boule playing (pétanque).

The back porch

We had not time for a proper tasting. The man behind the counter was not very welcoming either. So we decided to try some of their bubbly and the Pinot Gris which we (my wife Margit and I) both liked.

I am not a fan of Pinot Gris but this one was just the right stuff for a hot summers day. We bought a bottle of each. Later we also tasted the Pinot Noir, but the 2010 vintage did not catch our fancy.

The two bottles we acquired at Punt Road Winery

Golden liquid: Punt Road Pinot Gris

I guess we will have to come back for a proper tasting. Punt Road is a good place to visit in the Yarra Valley.

Address:
Punt Road Wines
10 St Huberts Road – Coldstream
Victoria, Australia 3770
Tel.: +61 3 9739 0666
Fax: + 61 3 9739 0633
wine@puntroadwines.com.au
www.puntroadwines.com.au