German wines have experienced a serious revival in the past few years. At Philglas & Swiggot we would like to share our most thrilling discoveries with you.
In the past couple of months, we have discovered some fabulous new wines from Germany, and therefore expanded our range considerably. Our ‘Focus on Germany’ highlights the quality of the best German wines we tasted this year, all of which just blew our minds!
Whilst we understand for many consumers German wine is still associated with mass-produced sweetish ‘Liebfraumilch’, a damage in reputation from the 20th century, German wine has since experienced a serious revival, not least due to the young, dynamic winemakers who, having acquired their winemaking skills from working around the globe, brought that knowledge back home to their roots.
Germany is 14th largest wine producer in the world and has 13wine regions, most of which are on the limit of where the ripening of grapes is possible. Therefore, vineyards are often planted on incredibly steep slopes to make the most of southern exposure to the sun.
We would like to encourage you to take the same journey and experience the delight we felt when tasting and discovering our new German range.
Helmut Dönnhoff is regularly noted as one of the top winemakers in Germany, and he stands head and shoulders above his peers in the Nahe region in the southwest of Germany. The trocken (dry) style is fast becoming the style of choice for many consumers, despite the indisputable high quality of the traditional sweet wines of Germany. At Philglas & Swiggot we ship our exclusive allocation of Donnhoff wines each year, which allows us to offer the range in depth.
Wittmann winery is based in Westhofen, the heart of southern Rheinhessen, surrounded by some of the region’s best vineyards. The Wittmans are not exactly newcomers to the area, having made wine here since 1663. Over 350 years of experience of 15 generations are the family's valuable heritage. Perhaps this gives them a sense of responsibility for the soils in their vineyard: they were adopting organic methods already back in 1990, which made them one of the first organic pioneers in the country. A conversion to biodynamism followed in 2004, which does not only renounce chemical and synthetic means as for organic viticulture, it also deals with cosmic forces intensively to better support the dynamics of plant growth and flavour development during the winemaking process. This means reason and mindfulness for the family. Biodiversity of all vineyards is ensured by planting a variety of cover crops, which also nurish vines.
Riesling is by a long way Germany’s most famous grape variety, and often appears to be the one and only reference point for German white wines in consumers’ minds. We have selected our favourite Rieslings for you but there is so much more to discover! If you enjoy white Burgundy, don’t miss out on trying one of the Chardonnays. Weissburgunder is Germany’s answer to Pinot Blanc, and we are particularly delighted and excited by the Gutedel of Weingut Ziereisen which offers tremendous value for money.
Similar to the UK, climate change has transformed German viticulture and today more than a third of all grapes grown are red. With almost 12,000 hectares of Pinot Noir, aka Spätburgunder, Germany is the world’s third-largest producer of the variety. We are convinced that some of these delicious examples seriously rival the wines from Burgundy but at a far more attractive price point!
Day 3 began with a few sore heads from the night before, luckily the beds in the Dr Loosen guest house are extremely comfortable and a freshly cooked breakfast went down a treat. Next stop Jean Stodden Winery and Donnhoff.
I was fortunate enough to be invited on the recent Masters of Riesling trip by renowned German importer 'ABS Agencies' this past June. This trip involved visiting some of the most prestigious German wineries across the country over four wine filled days, sounds fun right.
The 2021 Bordeaux vintage is being hailed as the 'Miracle Vintage' by some winemakers: between late frosts and a cool, damp summer, it was a difficult vintage, and grape yields were significantly reduced compared to recent years.