Wine bars in Trier: Weinstube Kesselstatt

April 10, 2011

Wine bar Kesselstatt in Trier

A place I just love to visit while in my home town Trier, Mosel is a cosy wine bar-cum-restaurant near the cathedral, called Weinstube (wine bar) Kesselstatt.

It is housed in the historic administrative building of the Estate Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, a well known winery with a long tradition (more than 600 years – difficult for us Australians to comprehend).

In front of the building is a replica of a tomb stone called the “Roman wine ship” found in Neumagen-Drohn, a village at the Mosel river, in 1878. In 220 it used to be one of two stones marking the grave of a Roman wine merchant. Honestly, I would love to get such a tombstone set on my own grave. What a hoot.

Today the winery is owned by the Reh family. Annegret Reh-Gartner manages the 36 ha of prime vineyards located along the rivers: Mosel (12 ha), Saar (12 ha) and Ruwer (12) ha. 98% of the area is under Riesling. The estate calls itself “the Riesling winery”.

When I strolled through the town at the end of March, I could not resist its magnetism and dropped in for a quick glass of wine.

The inside of wine bar Kesselstatt

Because the Kesselstatt estate owns vineyards along the three rivers constituting the former wine region of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, one has a great choice of different Riesling wines.

I ordered a semi-dry Riesling from Scharzhofberg, a grand-cru of the outstanding Saar Riesling wines. Normally I avoid semi-dry wines but because of the early hours of my visit I just could not go for a dry Riesling.

2010 Scharzhofberger Riesling semi-dry, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

What a delight this wine is! I dissolved, so to say, this is Riesling at its best, and I tend to argue that none in the world is better. Lush and full, round but with zest, a titillating pleasure for the palate.

Below you will find pictures of the inside of the bar. There are old barrels filled with bottles, a old wooden press, and a side room with a map of the estates’ vineyard locations and other interesting wine paraphernalia.

Wine bottles in old barrels

A huge wooden wine press with a church bench in front

The function room

When I left the Kesselstatt wine bar revitalized and in high spirits, I walked out to a cherry tree in full blossom with a splendid view of the adjacent church of St. Liebfrauen and the cathedral (Dom, left).


Top Australian Riesling wines

December 21, 2010

Riesling grape

I admit that as a German Riesling aficionado I have my problems with Australian Riesling wines. I try them again and again but, and to my great chagrin, I have not found what I am looking for.

Australian Riesling wines from the Adelaide Hills, the Clare Valley, the Eden Valley, Tasmania, Canberra District and from Great Southern in Western Australia enjoy a good reputation.

Also our own wine region, the Upper Goulburn Wine Region, produces some beautiful Riesling wines.

The September/October issue of the Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Journal summarised the tasting of 26 Australian Riesling wines. All of them were under crew caps! Impossible in my native Germany.

Only one of them came from Victoria (Paradigm Hill 2009 Riesling from the Mornington Peninsula). The price range was from A$ 22 to A$ 45 (16.75 to 34.2 EURO). The four top rates wines were:

– 2010 Jacob’s Creek “Steingarten” Riesling (it is German for “stone garden”), a tank sample, Barossa Valley, South Australia

– 2009 “The Florita” Riesling by Jim Barry Wines, Clare Valley, South Australia

– 2009 Premium Riesling by Helm Wines, Canberra District, New South Wales

– 2009 Riesling by Plantagenet Wines, Mount Barker, Western Australia

The magazine carried also a photo of the vineyard where the Jacob’s Creek “Steingarten” Riesling is produced. It reminded me of my home region along the Mosel and Saar river. Here every vine has a single “stick” and is “wrapped” around it with no wire between the posts, nothing.

The “Steingarten” vineyard is entirely worked by hand because of it’s steepness. Also this reminds me of the Mosel with its ultra-steep slopes. The stones are of red colour, though, whereas the Mosel has blue and grey slate.

And believe me these Australian wine producers are not modest. At the recent International Riesling Challenge in Canberra they gave the top wine the title: Best Riesling in the World. Can you imagine. Modesty used to be a virtue which must have jumped out of the window down under.

The trophy was given to a ‘2005 Pauletts Aged Release Polish Hill Riesling’ from Polish Hill in the Clare valley, South Australia by Paulett Wines.

I cannot even try this wine because it is sold out. My search continues. I keep you posted.


November ambience in a Saar vineyard

November 29, 2010

Vineyard near Schoden, Saar

When I recently visited my home town Trier, I also had the chance to explore mother nature in nearby Schoden, Saar.

It was a grey and rainy November day as we like it. The weather makes you wish for a hot tea in a warm place, maybe near a window with a view. Or a walk through the steep vineyards in the Saar valley.

Individual vines trained on a “stick”

Some of the vineyards were already pruned. One could spot pruners here and there, alone or in small groups. Please note the pruning style of these vines. November is a good time to visit wine regions. It is less crowded and people have time for a yarn.


Wild pig from Schoden, Saar

September 15, 2010

I am afraid some of you might not like this post and the pictures which I present today. But meat comes from animals and they have to die so that we can enjoy the meals we make from it. Wild pigs are a real pest in Germany theses days, and very difficult to hunt and kill. My friend Heinz shot the little boar in Schoden, Saar.

My mother prepared a wonderful Sunday lunch with the best parts of the meat. We enjoyed it together with a bottle of our Merlot (2004 Two Hills Merlot), and I tell you that was just heaven on a stick, as we say in Australia.

Wild piglet hide

The carcass

…from a different side.

The butchered boar meat

…and in the pan

…and finally on the plate

How tender is this?

My favorite Australian Merlot


Venison from a roe deer for Sunday lunch in Trier

August 24, 2010

My stories from July and August do not come in any particular order. When arrived in early July in Trier at my mother’s place we were greated by a feats, as always. And beecause her partner Heinz is a hunter we often eat game. This time it was venison from a German roe deer (in German: Reh) he had just shot. Needless to say that my mothers cooking is just delicious as you can see from the pcitures below.

Tender venison, a meal in the making

With noodles of course

2008 Saar Riesling Van Volxem Estate

The wine I choose for this meal was a Riesling from Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, near Schoden (where the venison was from), one of my favourite producers from the Saar. Tough this is just a “simple” wine, it deplays all the character of a Saar Riesling, fine and delicate which machted the tender venison just perfectly.

Address
Weinmanufaktur Van Volxem
Roman Niewodniczanski
Dehnstrasse 2
54459 Wiltingen, Saar
Ph.: +49-6501-16510
e-mail: vanvolxem@t-online.de


Back from the Mosel River

August 12, 2010

Photo taken in Paris at the City Museum

The Man from Mosel River is back in action. After a long, long flight yesterday, we got home to Bangkok safely but exhausted. The summer holidays are over. Needless to say that we had a great time in Europe.

I gained extremely valuable experience with old and new wines and in the process of wining and dining three to four kilos of additional weight. I am also “loaded” with stories of wine, food and play “incidents”.

Europe and its people were kind to us. The summer was just wonderful; blue sky and warm, even hot (we had 45-48 Celsius in Rome) at times, with long and glorious evenings which we spent in beer gardens, restaurants and at barbecues with family and friends.

It is nice to be home again. The weather in Bangkok is humid and cooler than when we left Thailand five weeks ago. Moreover, today is a public holiday and I have time to recover from the excruciating flight.

Sparkle sparkle little wine

I was not able to produce any blog entry after the one on Villa Bucci, Italy. Ever since we have visited Paris, the “Muensterland”, Bavaria, and enjoyed wines from the Mosel, Saar, Nahe and Main (Franconia) among others. In the days to come, I will try to work on my material and extract some interesting information which I will post on the Man from Mosel River.

Bear with me and cheers to the good times.


Winery Review: Vereinigte Hospitien, Trier, Mosel

June 2, 2010

vereinigtehospitien1

The St Jacob of United Hospices wine label

I grew up just next to the convent of St. Irminen at Irminenfreihof No. 5 in Trier, Mosel. The convent belongs to Vereinigte Hopitien, a foundation which also ownes a well known winery with the same name. Their English name is “United Hopices Wine Cellars“. The patron saint of United Hospices is St Jacob, an image of which is also used on the wineries labels.

As a kid I played in the cellars and warehouses of the convent. I also remember them sending their vats and barrels for controlling purposes to the Eichamt, the local Weights and Measures Office, which my father was heading. We played around the barrels and I vividly remember the smell emitted by the oak and the moist wood.

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The winery

United Hospices owns vineyards along the Mosel (locations: Piesporter Goldtroepfchen and Triere Augenscheiner) and the Saar (locations in Wiltingen, for instance Hoelle, Scharzhofberg and Kupp, Kanzem and Serrig). Most of the vineyard originally belonged to monastries and convents. Today about 25 ha are under vines, 90% of which are planted with Riesling grapes (my favourite grape variety), the rest consists of Pinot Gris, Blanc and Noir.

As many of the wineries in Trier, also United Hospices has a large traditional wine cellar (some parts of it dating from the 3. century) which you should have a look at. Wine tasting in ths historic atmoshere are unforgettable events. United Hospices top wines are the dry and sweet (Trockenbeerenauslese) Scharzhofberger Riesling wines from the Saar some of which sell for up to 100 Euro/bottle. The ordinary Riesling wines cost about 6.20 Euro/1 l. bottle.

I hope you are going to visit Trier this summer and drop in for a wine tasting. Cheers

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The main hospice building along the Mosel

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Church St Irminen

Address:
Vereinigte Hospitien
Krahnenufer 19
54290 Trier
Tel.: +49-651/945-1210 o. 0651/945-1211
Fax: +49-651/945-2060
Opening hours: Mo. – Thu. 08-12:30 and 13:30 to 17h; Friday closing at 16h, Saturday 10-14h