Moufflon leg and Loch Riesling

October 15, 2009


When I am at home in Trier, Mosel my mother cooks for me. This time Heinz had shot a young moufflon (a kind of wild sheep) in Schoden. He prepared a leg of the lamb and we had it the traditional way. It was simmering on low heat for ages. The meat was tender and had a fine gamy taste.

This feast was accompanied by a wine from the same place, a ‘2008 Schodener Herrenberg “Stier” by Weinhof Herrenberg and the Loch family in Schoden. This Riesling shows that it was made by hand. It has a fine character, is minerally and fruity with good acidity and length, a perfect Saar wine to be enjoyed right away or cellared for a couple of years.

Nothing could be more perfect, I thought. The moufflons might have roamed the very location of the Herrenberg, the vineyard where the Loch Riesling was produced. I consumed the fruits of the land, the forests of Schoden and the dedicated vintners from the Saar. I am glad my mum is such a good cook. Cheers


It’s vintage time at the Saar right now. Why not go on an outing and drive along the romantic Saar river, visit wineries and enjoy rustic German food?

Claudia and Manfred Loch
Weinhof Herrenberg
D-54441 Schoden/Saar
Tel.: +49-6581-1258
Fax: +49-6581-995438

2008 Loch Riesling

October 10, 2009


When I opened the first bottle produced by Weinhof Herrenberg, a ‘2008 Loch Riesling’, a was quite surprised when I found a it to be closed with a metal cap.


This was the first time in my life that I was confronted with such a kind of enclosure. In the process of getting to the wine unwrapping some of the plastic, I first thought it would be a glass stopper. But then I discovered the metal cap. Whow, all my traditional gear, my corkscrews, were useless and could be pushed aside and I searched for a beer bottle opener.


The above picture shows all the elements of the metal cap including the plastic covering it.

The Loch Riesling is a clean wine typical for the Saar. Aromas of tropical fruit, fully ripened, were displayed. The wine was fresh, a little spicy, with good structure and a medium finish. I had it without food, just like that, on a beautiful autumn afternoon. The golden colour of the wine reflecting the golden autumn sun. I recommend you try it.

Claudia and Manfred Loch
Weinhof Herrenberg
D-54441 Schoden/Saar
Tel.: +49-6581-1258
Fax: +49-6581-995438

Weinhof Herrenberg – Loch Riesling, Schoden, Saar

October 8, 2009

My friend Heinz was kind enough to help me out. He dropped by the Weinhof Herrenberg in Schoden, Saar, on his way back from the hunt and bought three bottles of Loch Riesling. I had planned to visit the Loch family winery for some time but never managed to get there. There was always something else when visiting Trier, my hometown nearby, a birthday, a visit, a train to catch etc.

Heinz brought back the box shown below and three different Loch Riesling wines, all of the 2008 vintage. Regular visitors of my blog know that I am a Riesling lover, especially if they were grown along the Saar, my favorite provenance of German Riesling wines.


The treasures from Weinhof Herrenberg and the two brochures

The three wines were a ‘2008 LochRiesling’ (8.90 Euro/bottle), a blend of Riesling grapes from various vineyards, a ‘2008 Schodener Herrenberg “Stier”‘ (12.90) and a ‘2008 Schodener Herrenberg “Stoveler”‘ (13.90), both wines from my favorite ‘terroir’, a very steep vineyard called “Herrenberg” bordering a forest and enticing large groups of wild pigs and deer to visit and taste the sweet grapes during vintage time. I had walked the vineyard and heard about the Loch wines but never tried a single drop. It was high time to change that.


2008 Loch Riesling wines from Schoden, Saar

I also love the brochure with the “whole” (the “Loch” in German) explaining the philosophy of Claudia and Manfred Loch, the proprietors and vintners of the boutique winery “Weinhof Herrenberg”, which is the basis for their wine-making. In short, the Loch’s aim for authenticity, uniqueness, they reject designer wines but quest for a unique character and truthfulness.

The brochure is a very unusual one, telling people why to keep their hands off LochRiesling wines and what the weaknesses of the wines are: for instance that their wines are unknown, consumer hostile, old fashioned, egoistic, lawless, dangerous and limited (in numbers of bottles!). I like this brochure.


The “Loch” brochure with a whole in it

The wine list also includes wines from locations in Ockfen and Wiltingen, two famous Saar wine villages. The “Beerenauslese” wines are not available any longer. The Loch’s also produce a dry, sparkling wine. All wines are reasonably priced.


The current wine list

You might wonder what they taste like? Well, I will tell you more about this at a later blog entry. But if you are near Schoden or in the vicinity of the Saar, please visit the Loch family vineyard at Weinhof Herrenberg. If you cannot visit in person, visit the website which is very informative.

Claudia and Manfred Loch
Weinhof Herrenberg
D-54441 Schoden/Saar
Tel.: +49-6581-1258
Fax: +49-6581-995438

Spring in Schoden, Saar

May 25, 2009

Spring was in full force when I visited Germany recently. The sky was blue and everything was fresh, a young green covered the land. As always I accompanied my friend Heinz on the hunt in Schoden, Saar. We took a tour around the 500 ha of hunting ground rented from the local land owners association (“Gehoeferschaft).

I took photos of the vines at “Herrenberg” one of the best terroirs at the steep hillside overlooking the Saar valley.


The canes are bent down and arranged in a circle


The Herrenberg vineyards are very steep


The view downwards


New shoots


The flowers are almost ready

And guess what I found in my mothers cellar? A rare bottle of ‘2001 Two Hills Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc’.
The colour of the wine was still a splendid light straw, and it was drinkable. Of course it had lost its zest, almost no finish but it was still OK with my meal, I must say. A clean white wine.


Wine tasting at Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, Saar

September 8, 2008

In April this year, my friend Heinz and I, we had visited the Van Volxem Winery ( in Wiltingen, Saar for the first time. Unfortunately, all wines were sold out then. Dominik Völk, the wine maker, served us a delicious coffee instead and we were invited to visit again in the month of July when part of the new vintage would be released.

Steep slopes for maximum exposure to the sun at the Saar

And that’s what we did. This time I brought my whole family (mother, wife, children). Our appointment was at 14 h in the afternoon on a rainy summers day. Ms. Niewodniczanski, the wife of the owner Roman Niewodniczanski, served us six newly released wines, all of which were excellent representatives of the Saar region. Van Volxem calls these wines ‘classic dry wines’, though residual sugar in Van Volxem Riesling wines may go up to 9 g./l.. For Franconian vintners, for instance, 7.5 g./l. is the agreed maximum. Van Volxem, however, believes that the higher residual sugar content contributes to the overall harmony of its wines. The only exception to the dry wines we tasted was a semi-dry ‘2007 Rotschiefer Riesling Kabinett’.

Contemplating about Riesling wines with Ms. Niewodniczanski

Five of the six were Riesling wines, one was a Pinot Blanc. The following list shows the six wines:

– ‘2007 Weissburgunder’ (Pinot Blanc), 9.90 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Schiefer Riesling’ (“slate” Riesling), 8.60 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Saar Riesling’, 9.80 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Wiltinger Braunefels Riesling’ (a single location/vineyard wine), 12.50 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Alte Reben Riesling’ (from old vines), 13.80 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Rotschiefer Riesling Kabinett (red slate), semi-dry, 9.90 Euro/0.75 l

We liked all of them but some more than others. Heinz bought some bottles of Saar Riesling and the semi-dry Rotschieder Riesling Kabinett. Apart from Saar Riesling I bought some bottles of ‘Alte Reben’ (old vines).

The Van Volxem tasting room is a wonderful place, with old wooden furniture and beautiful old maps on the walls.

The estate will release the Grand Cru wines later this summer. We were to early to taste them.

Farewell, but we will come back (my daughters Lucy and Charlotte with the vintner’s wife).

If you are interested in German Riesling, you have to visit the Saar region. Wiltingen is a must, so is Van Volxem Estate. Have fun tasting the best German Riesling has to offer.

Van Volxem Estate
Dehenstr. 2
54459 Wiltingen, Saar
Te.: +49-6501-16510