Luxembourg and its wines – “wine study path” in Wasserbillig

September 4, 2012

The Mosel view towards Trier which is further donwstream

I have written about Luxembourg and its wines before. When I visit my home town Trier I almost always include also an excursion to the Gand Duchy. I love the place, its people and its wines

The vineyards of Wasserbillig in Luxembourg

When I visited in July, I discovered a so called “wine-study path” (Weinlehrpfad in German) right on top of the hills above Wasserbillig, a small town right across the border from Germany and very popular for its cheap petrol and the petrol stations selling coffee and also wines.

The ‘wine-study path’ from Wasserbillig to Mertert

The path leads from Wasserbillig to the neighbouring hamlet of Mertert. The walk through the vineyards is just magnificient. A multi-faced billboard at the start of the walk informs the casual visitor about the vineyards and the wine industry of this part of Luxembourg.

Map of the Mosel river and the mouth of the Sauer, a tributary

Billboard about the wines of Luxembourg

Luxembourg mainly produces dry white wines and sparkling wines called Crémant de Luxembourg. Since the soils are so different here from the soils further donwstream (where we find mostly Devon slate), also the wines are different. The keuper marl soils of Remich and the calcareous soils of Grevenmacher produce distinct whites reflecting the “taste” of these soils.

Wines and gastronomy in Luxembourg

The main grape varieties are Mueller-Thurgau (Rivaner), Auxerrois Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Elbling, Gewuerztraminer and Chardonnay. Some Pinot Noir is grown as well. All the wines are cold climate and usually dry. Very little semi-dry and sweet wines are produced.

Vines in “full swing”

I highly recommend this walk, and , of course, a tasting of wines made in Luxembourg.


Wine bottle enclosures – yellow tail bubbly

May 22, 2012

It was quite a surprise when I openen the bottle of yellow tail sparkling the other day. When I peeled off the metal foil I discovered a whole new enclosure. Where I had expected metal, there was only plastic. Moreover, the plastic top could be used to close the bottle after pouring the wine. Great, I thought, and kept the bottle top for future use.

This sparkling wine by yellow tail is very fresh and fruity, a bit sweet as well, I would say. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the cold and bubbly liquid.

A few days later, I even bought some more of it. Cheers to you


Effervescent Silvaner

August 19, 2010

Great Franconian wines in the bocksbeutel bottle

I just love the wines from the Silvaner grape. Most of Silvaner is grown in Alsace and Franconia, one of my favourite German wine regions. Many of the wines from Franconia come in the famous “Bocksbeutel” bottle.

What I did not know is that some Silvaner producers also make the grape into sparkling wine. One of these essences was served to me during a recent family gathering in Reichenberg near Wuerzburg.

2008 Wertheimer Tauberklinge Silvaner extra dry

The ‘2008 Wertheimer Tauberklinge Silvaner sparkling extra dry’ (12.% alc. vol., 3.6 g. acid/litre and 14.7. g. sugar/litre) was a wonderful effervescent experience.

I think this wine from “Tauberfranken” technically belongs to the Baden wine region and not Franconia. However, nice Silvaner are produced their that’s for sure, and it’s just right at the border of these two outstanding German wine regions.

Effervescent Silvaner

This wine was very refreshing, spritzy with zest and round fruityness, very pleasurable indeed. I will have more of it in the future. Thanks go to my folks in Reichenberg for introducing me to this excellent sparkling wine.


Portugal – The sparkling wines of Lamego

February 19, 2009

The Douro wine region in Portugal is not only famous for its red and port wine production. There is also a place were a wonderful sparkling wine is produced. The picturesque town of Lamego, considered the birthplace of port wine, was the target of a Sunday afternoon drive last August along the upper Douro river. Lamego is well known for the only sparkling wine produced in this region. So off we went along the river through a wonderful summer’s landscape with blue sky and a very dry wind.

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Park, church and stairs in Lamego, Portugal

We drove up from Peso da Régua at the Douro where we had lunch and which is about 12 km from Lamego. We returned the same way except that we did not follow the Douro river on our way back but we took the highway through the mountains which was faster.

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A scenic spot with church in the city of Lamego

As with all places in Europe, their history has been shaped by many a people. Lamego has seen Roman masters and the Visigoths, it was battleground in the wars of the Moors and Christians. Historically Lamego is significant because it was here that the first king of Portugal, Alfonso Henriques, was declared king by noblemen in 1143. Today, Lamego has about 9000 residents in the city walls proper, and another 17,000 live in the surrounding villages and the countryside.

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There is not only ham but also local cheeses

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Local produce can be bought from small shops – can you see our bottles?

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We dashed in one of these small local shops before the afternoon closure to buy two bottles of the legendary sparkling wine of Lamego. We grabbed the last two bottles available without consideration for brand nor price, jumped into the car and went straight home because of the advanced time.

Later at home at Quinta do Gatao we chilled the bottles and I took the photos below.

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This is the first bottle

Our booty consisted of a dry red and a semi-dry white sparkling from Caves da Raposeira, located in Lamego. Both wines where very fruity. The red displayed red berry aromas, the white a more fruit salad type fragrance. We tasted them before we had dinner, just like that, as a apperitif so to say, just delicious at a hot summers day. Both wines come from Raposeira’s flagship brand called “Reserva”, their premium and super-premium segments are called “Super Reserva” and “Old Reserva” respectively. We will have to try those another time.

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This is the second bottle.

Our dash to Lamego was just too short. We have to come back and explore the Caves in the town proper. The wines we had secured, were very much to our liking. It’s a pity that we do not know where to get them here in Bangkok.

Address:
Caves da Raposeira
Lugar da Raposeira
Apartado 9
5101-909 Lamego, Portugal
Te.: (351)-254655003

mapoflamego


Bubbly, bubbly, bubbly…

January 9, 2009

“Bubbly” that’s what the Australians call all sparkling wines including sparkling from Champagne. The first day of the year is of course full of sparkling, wine included.

I started the New Year with feeding the parrots, to be precise, the King Parrots. They come to Helen’s and Michael’s terrace. The picture encapsulates my encounter with a very gentle king parrot, a very good omen for 2009, I hope.

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After a long, or better, short night (behind me Mt. St. Leonard to the left)

We had some sparkling, starting with sparkling Shiraz, but went on to French sparkling and quickly changed to Australian fizz.

Below the various bottles which were consumed by us.

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I loved the ‘2005 Seppelt Fleur de Lys’, but also the Taltarni was very delectable. Though the grapes came from three different regions (Pyrenees, Yarra Valley and Tasmania), the blend was just superb. I suggest you try them out.

Cheers 2009, keep on drinking, life is too short to drink bad wine (especially if you are above 50).