It has become a bi-annual tradition to visit different wine regions of Europe. This year Joa-Vinklubb decided to visit the Pfalz wine region of Germany. While preparing contact was made with Janne, who previously has worked for the German wine industry. At one of our regular wine-club evenings Janne visited us and introduced us to German wine making. Later she assisted in setting up the trip to Pfalz.
Deidesheim: Steigenberger hotel(0), Weingut von Winning(2), Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan(3), Weinstube Kirchenstübl (4), Gaststätte Zum Woibauer(1), Restaurant Schwarzer Hahn (6), Weisbrodt’s Weinbar 1911(5) and Gasthaus Zur Kanne (Dr Bürklin-Wolf Weinbar und Vinothek)(7).
Forst: Weingut Georg Mosbacher and Gutsausschank Spindler
Wachenheim: Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf and Wachtenburg
Bad Dürkheim: Wine-festival.
Again, we selected the early flight out of Stavanger, but unlike the previous trip we landed at our destination just a little delayed but with all our luggage. We were picked up by a shuttle bus, and had a smooth ride from Frankfurt Airport to Deidesheim.
The Steigenberger hotel proved to of a high standard, and all were satisfied with rooms and the ambience of the hotel. The center of Deidesheim was only a short walk (5-10 minutes) away, and we soon made our first visit there. Being early noon not many restaurants were open, but we ended up on the family run Gaststätte Zum Woibauer and had our first Wurst and a beer for lunch!
Shortly after we visited von Winningen and had our first taste. We did learn about the different vineyards and parcels, defined by various erosion of old sea-floor, of the area. The tour involved walking through their cellars, and one memory was the fermenting of new wine on oak barrels. This proved to very dynamic and loud. The trip through their premises concluded in a shopping spree, including one whole bottle of eis-wein that will be enjoyed at the Joa Wineclub’s 2017 annual dinner.
From von Winningen the club went directly to Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan. This was a taste only event, but we were served by a very enthusiastic employee and we tasted almost their whole product list. At the end of our tasting we were joined by two Americans, and all of us went to Weisbrodt’s Weinbar 1911 to continue the tasting.
After a short break at the hotel, dinner took place at Weinstube Kirchenstübl. Yet another German cuisine, with a pleasant atmosphere and good steaks. To top off the evening, we made yet another visit to Weisbrodt’s Weinbar 1911.
This was to be our first bike- ride, and we headed north and made a stop at Weingut Georg Mosbacher (GM) in Forst. GM was in the middle of harvesting, and we witnessed the process ahead of pressing grapes. We also made a walk through one of their vineyard in their back yard! At this point we learned about the Asian fruit-fly that attacks red variety-grapes and is spreading north. At the end we tasted several of their produce.
A few hundred meters bike trip and we arrived at our lunch restaurant, Gutsausschank Spindler. Again we opted for a traditional German meal, started off with beer but came to good sense and ordered proper wine for the meal. This restaurant was well worth a visit.
Thankfully the traffic and bike-lanes made it possible to continue biking, and we aimed for Bad Dürkheim and the wine festival.We arrived early afternoon, and the festival area was still tranquil. We didn’t find any quality wine tasting possibility, but did as most visitors do. We found a table, ordered bottles of wine and relaxed.
Friday night dinner was to take place at Schwarche Hahn. A place known for outstanding quality and service, but also famous because former Kansler Helmut Kohl had the habit of bringing distinguished guest there. We opted for the 7-course meal, and a full wine-package. The meals and wines were outstanding, the one negative thing was the duration of the dinner; up to 5 hours!
Using the night for digestion we started the days with bikes including one fancy mountain bike! The first stop was at Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf in Wachenheim. At their site, we were welcomed by Tom Benns, and he gave us a very nice introduction to their wines and we had a great tasting session in their outdoor area. A little later and a short walk way, we came into their cellar and witnessed the abandoned production lines when quantity was of importance; i.e. in the 1980s. Now, they aimed at high quality ecological wines, and were even showing off experimental works.
For lunch, we made a stop at Wachtenburg, a place when mounting the tower we had a splendid view of the area and the thunder storms rolling over the plains. Fortunately, we avoided the heavy rains… for a while!!
Dinner we had at Steigenberger hotel, and the menu was splendid. Later that night we made a short stop for cheese and cured meat at Dr Bürklin-Wolf Weinbar und Vinothek.
We did a morning walk in Deidesheim, and had our last meal at the same place as where we had our first! We were picked up and driven by the same shuttle service to the airport.
All in all this was a trip to remember. The balance between scheduled visits and free time was perfect. We were also educated in Riesling wines, and impressed by the dedication and quality of wine production in the area. We will certainly enjoy the next bottle of Pfalz Riesling, and we recommend this trip for other Wine Clubs.
|Karl-Petter Sørnes||Svein Erik Fylkesnes||Tore Loe|
|Ivar Høie||Morten Kjeldsen|
Sola, Norway, October 2017