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Renaissance of the Terroir in Germany: Back to the Roots (January 18th, 2019, 7:00p.m.-10:00p.m.)

January 18 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

“Location, Location, Location”

That’s the most important requirement for making a good wine.

This seminar and tasting by our own Annette Schiller will emphasize the utter importance of ‘location’, i.e. terroir, in the German wine landscape. Before the 1970s German vineyard maps showed 35,000 single vineyard sites. These maps go back to the mid -1800s when the Prussian Government did extensive research on soil compositions and geological formations in the vineyards. The oldest wine classification map of the world is that of the Rheingau, by Friedrich Wilhelm Dunkelberg in 1867. The philosophy behind producing top quality wines was clearly terroir driven: good soils plus a good microclimate made for good fruit, and hence good wines.

From the late 19th century until shortly before WW II wines of specific German vineyards, such as Erbacher Marcobrunn, were the most expensive wines world-wide. Prices were higher than for wines from the most expensive Bordeaux first growth châteaux and a Romanée Conti. The wine law of 1971 abolished the traditional, historic terroir thinking, merged vineyard sites, and reduced the number of single vineyards to 5,000.

With a more sophisticated, very educated vintner generation, the idea to produce top quality wines and to bring German wines back into the first row took hold. It was in the late 1980s when the movement to return to history started and the focus shifted to the vineyard sites. Beginning in 2002 the VDP (Association of Premium German Wine Estates) worked to introduce a terroir-driven classification based on historic vineyard maps modeled after the Burgundy classification.

Annette will present 12 wines – and an additional very special one – to showcase the philosophy of terroir-driven wine making in Germany.

Annette Schiller is well known to the GWS community through previous wine tastings and her ombiasy wine tours to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, and Germany. She has visited all of the estates she will present on personal occasions or on one of her tours and has intimate knowledge of these producers and the wines.

The wines:

GUTSWEINE (Estate Wines)

  • 2015 Spätburgunder, Weingut Sinß, Nahe    
  • 2016 Riesling, Weingut Baron Knyphausen, Rheingau

ORTSWEINE (Village Wines)

  • 2012 Riesling, “vom Porphyr”, Weingut Wagner-Stempel, Rheinhessen
  • 2016 Weissburgunder, “Loess”, Weingut Born, Saale-Unstrut
  • 2017 Wicker Riesling, Weingut Joachim Flick, Rheingau    
  • 2017 Erbach Riesling, Weingut Baron von Knyphausen, Rheingau

LAGENWEINE (Single Vineyard Wines)

Erste Lage (Premier Cru)

  • 2014 Erbacher Michelmark, Riesling, Weingut Baron von Knyphausen, Rheingau
  • 2016 Wachenheimer Grümpel, Riesling, Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, Pfalz   
  • 2017 Birkweiler Am Dachsberg, Riesling, Weingut Peter Siener, Pfalz

Grosse Lage (Grand Cru)

  • 2017 Kastanienbusch, Riesling, Weingut Peter Siener, Pfalz   
  • 2016 Gaisböhl, Riesling, Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, Pfalz
  • 2015 Hasenpfad, Silvaner, Winzerhof Stahl, Franken   

Extra Wine

  • 2017 Hochheimer Königin Victoria Berg, (Monopol), Weingut Joachim Flick, Rheingau    

DATE: Friday, January 18th, 2019. Doors open at 7:00 pm; tasting begins at 7:30 pm. Please make reservations by January 15, 2019.

VENUE: Harbour Square Club Room, 500 N St SW, Washington, DC. Marilyn Scarbrough has reserved a few parking spaces, but we cannot guarantee these will be available. The Waterfront Metro Station (Green Line) is nearby.

COST: $40 for members, $47 for non-members.

Register for this Event click here


Cheese and charcuterie will be served.

All Society members and guests are reminded that alcohol consumption can lead to intoxication, and therefore Society members and their guests are expected to drink in moderation at Society events.  It is advisable for GWS members and guests to use public transportation, rely on a designated driver or taxi, or taste the wines rather than fully consume them where such drivers or alternate modes of transit are not available.

If you have any questions, please email Christian Schiller at cschiller@schiller-wine.com or Annette Schiller at aschiller@ombiasypr.com

You can register for this event on our website, germanwinesocietydc.org, and pay online using Paypal.  Alternatively, you can pay by check. Mail your check, made out to the ‘German Wine Society’, along with the completed coupon below listing your name and the names of any other guests, email, and telephone number, and amount paid, to:

Joseph Aguiar

1130 45th Place SE

Washington, DC 20019



January 18
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Harbor Square Party Room
500 N St SW
Washington, DC 20024 United States
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