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FULL — An Oktober Weinfest at the German Embassy – Oct. 7th, 2022

October 7, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm



It’s been a challenging past few years, but at last the chapters of the German Wine Society are able to gather again to share our love of German wine, at the German Embassy where it all began 45 years ago.  Please make plans to join us!

In 1977, the German Wine Society began when 83 graduates of the German Wine Academy were inducted in a ceremony at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.   Ever since then, we have been carrying out our missions of improving knowledge of German wines and enjoying them with those of similar interests.

Much has changed in the world of German wines over the past 45 years.    Germany reunified, and two eastern regions were added to the eleven wine-growing regions in western Germany.   Production of red wines has expanded from only a tenth to a full third of all German wines.   There are many more good dry white wines to enjoy along with the traditional sweet, high-prädikat ones.   And Germany now has two wine classification systems, the newer terroir-based one developed by the VDP and embodied in the 2021 wine law being used alongside the familiar one from the 1971 German Wine Law, with its prädikat levels.   But through all these changes, the members of the German Wine Society have continued to enjoy Germany’s wonderful wines. 

Now it is time to bring our chapters together again, for the first time since our 40th Anniversary celebration in 2017.

Our 45th Anniversary event is an “Oktober Weinfest” in celebration of the fall harvest season and the famed Oktoberfest in Germany.  It will take place on the evening of Friday, October 7, 2022, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Embassy House of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., with admission to the Embassy beginning at 6:00 pm.  For this event, we welcome GWS members from our Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and San Francisco chapters, and Canadian GWS members as well as non-members are also welcome to register and attend.   Below are all the details you will need about the wines, food, registration, payment and getting to the event.  

We are not booking a block of hotel rooms for the 45th anniversary, so that you are free to choose where you would like to stay if coming from out of town (or even locally, if you prefer to stay near to the event and avoid a long drive afterward).   We suggest, if you need a hotel, that you select one convenient to our event in the Dupont Circle, Embassy Row or downtown Washington, D.C. area (hotels are not adjacent to the German Embassy, which is in a residential area).   These websites may be useful in finding a hotel: 



Registration for this event must be received by Sunday, October 2, 2022.  

You can register and pay for events in either of two ways. 

First, you can register on our Washington, D.C. chapter website, https://germanwinesocietydc.org , and make payment by PayPal.   You will need to create a GWS account for the website if you do not already have one as a member of our Capital Chapter, and you will also need to have a PayPal account.  If you are coming as a couple or other group, you can either register and pay for each individual separately, or do it as part of a single transaction and complete the payment on PayPal together.  If you do a single transaction, please also email the Secretary of the GWS Capital Chapter at the address below to provide the names of each individual coming, as we will need a complete list of all attendee names in advance for Embassy security.

Second, if you prefer to register by mail and pay by check for the event, please clip off the registration form attached to this notice, indicate the names of all who will be attending, and mail a check made out to the German Wine Society in the proper amount along with the form to:

Carl Willner
President and Secretary, GWS Capital Chapter
1014 Reserve Champion Drive
Rockville, MD 20850

You can also reach the Secretary by e-mail at carl.willner1@verizon.net

Whether you are registering by mail or online, please be sure to provide the names of all persons for whom you are registering, and pay the appropriate price depending on whether each person is a member of one of the active chapters in the U.S. (with annual dues paid), or a non-member (including Canadian GWS).   There is still time to become a member – just contact the Secretary or other officers of the local chapter most convenient for you (Capital Chapter for the Washington, D.C. area, or the Delaware Valley/Philadelphia or San Francisco chapters).  You can join the GWS Capital Chapter either by using the website and registering to pay annual dues of $35 through PayPal, or by mail using a check, in the same manner as registering for the event.   If you have been a member of the GWS Capital Chapter in the past but are not sure of your current membership status, please email the chapter Secretary at the above e-mail to confirm your status. 

Here’s what we have planned for our 45th Anniversary:

October 7, 6:30 pm (entry to Embassy compound passing through security beginning 6 pm):   Reception and wine dinner at the German Embassy House.  Enter at the main Embassy gate on 4645 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007, and proceed up the stairway alongside the main Embassy building depicted here to the Embassy House on the upper level.   For those who have difficulty ascending the stairs, escorts from the Embassy staff can bring guests through the Embassy building and up an elevator.

You can celebrate the 45th Anniversary of our society where it began!  As we have done for other anniversary events and national conventions, we will offer a tour of the wine regions of Germany, with a representative wine from all 13 regions plus a sekt, for a total of 14 wines from ten different grapes!  This is a tasting opportunity impossible to replicate elsewhere in the United States, as wines from three of these regions are not normally imported and had to be brought directly from Germany for this event.  We will begin with a sekt reception on the patio (weather permitting) and followed by a multi-course seated dinner inside the Embassy House.  For security purposes, the Embassy requires a list of all attendees in advance; no walk-ins are allowed.  Please remember to bring a valid picture ID.    There is no parking available on Embassy grounds, but it should not be difficult at this time of day to find parking on the street nearby if you are driving.   Be alert, however, to DC parking restrictions.  The German Embassy is not near a Metro subway stop, but it is also possible to arrive by Metro bus (D6 to Foxhall Rd.) or by taxi/ride service.

Wines at the Embassy House Reception and Seated Dinner

Patio Reception:

nv Hild Elbling Brut Sekt

Seated Dinner:

First Flight: Trocken Duo from the East

2021 Pawis Riesling Quarzit trocken, Saale-Unstrut

2020 Tim Strasser Rotling trocken, Sachsen

Second Flight: Trocken Duo from the West

2021 Kloster Eberbach Chardonnay trocken, Hessische Bergstrasse

2020 Donnhoff Weissburgunder trocken, Nahe

Third Flight:  Whites Beyond Riesling

2020 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Kalb Silvaner trocken, Franken

2020 Wörner “Steillage Weiss” (blend of Riesling and Müller-Thurgau, trocken), Baden

Fourth Flight: The Trend Toward Reds

2019 Meyer-Näkel Spätburgunder (trocken), Ahr

2021 Beurer Trollinger (trocken), Württemberg

Fifth Flight: A Pair of Spectacular Spätlese

2020 J.J. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese, Mosel

2018 Spreitzer Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese, Rheingau

Sixth Flight: Auslese Grand Finale

2019 Müller-Catoir Haardter Herzog Rieslaner Auslese, Pfalz

2018 K.P. Keller Rieslaner Auslese, Rheinhessen

2004 Ratzenberger Bacharacher Wolfshöhle Riesling Auslese, Mittelrhein

Embassy chef Daniel Labonne will provide a menu of delicious German-style foods in several courses chosen to accompany the wines, plus dessert, as listed below.

Patio Reception:  Smoked Salmon on Soft Pretzel & Cream Cheese Canapes

First Seated Course:  Leek and Potato Soup with Truffle Peeling

Second Seated Course:  Sautéed Branzini Fillet with Creamy Spinach gratin & Lobster Sauce

Third Seated Course:  Pork Medallion Wrapped in Smoked Bacon with Spatzle, Red Cabbage, and Lingonberry & Mustard Sauce

Dessert:  Assortment of Mini Desserts – Opera Cake, Bavarian Cream with raspberry coulis, and Apple Strudel

Coffee and Tea service at end, with bottled water provided at tables

We anticipate being joined by members of the German Embassy staff.  Please take the opportunity to mingle with them and share your interests in German wines and Germany!

The price for this event will be $85 for members, and $115 for non-members.  Members enjoy the benefit of support of this event from the National GWS organization and your dues payments.   There will be a 60-person limit on attendance at this event, including Embassy guests, so reserve soon to avoid disappointment.

Register for this Event click here


During the event, GWS members from all U.S. chapters will vote to elect officers and directors of the national German Wine Society Board.  Any nominations for the national Board from current members in good standing should be submitted to National President Beth Sheligo, at bsheligo@germanwinesociety.org , no later than September 20, 2022 to allow time for ballots to be prepared and circulated before the meeting.  Nominations submitted to the GWS Capital Chapter President and Secretary at carl.willner1@verizon.net will be forwarded to President Sheligo.  Candidates for the Board will be announced before the meeting.  Members can vote on the Board and on by-laws either in person or by providing written proxies to other members attending the meeting (ballots and proxies will be e-mailed separately to members).  Members must be in good standing (current on dues payments) to be eligible to vote in person or by proxy.

For the health and safety of all members and guests, those attending this event are required to show proof of vaccination against covid-19.  This may be done in advance by sending an e-mail to the GWS Capital Chapter Secretary with a legible photo image of a vaccination card, or by producing a vaccination card at the event either physically or by a legible photo image at the time of signing in at the event at the Embassy House.   The GWS Capital Chapter has consistently followed this policy at our in-person events since resuming those events in the summer of 2021, and in respect to our German Embassy hosts as well as due to concern for our members and friends, we are maintaining that policy for this event as well.  Guests who fail to provide proof of vaccination will not be admitted.  Please also have masks available in case they are required when passing through Embassy security, though masks will not be necessary and would be impractical during the reception and dinner.

All GWS members and guests are reminded that alcohol consumption can lead to intoxication.   Members and guests should use public transportation to events, rely on a designated driver, or taste the wines rather than finish them.

The event coordinator for the 45th Anniversary is Carl Willner, Capital Chapter President and Secretary.  Please send any questions to Carl at carl.willner1@verizon.net .

We look forward to seeing you in October for the GWS 45th Anniversary!  

Please check our Capital Chapter website and register soon.


Beth C. Sheligo                                                                         Carl Willner                                  

National President                                                                 Capital Chapter President

German Wine Society                                                           and Secretary, and National Vice-President

                                                                                                         German Wine Society                                                          


If registering by mail, please fill out and cut the reservation form below with your check – do not mail the entire notice.


$85.00 Members / $115.00 Non-Member Guests


Member(s) Names: _________________________________________________________________


Chapter of Membership ____________________________________________________________


Guest(s) Names: _____________________________________________________________________


Total Enclosed: ______________________________________________________________________


Daytime Phone Number: ____________________________________________________________


E-Mail: ________________________________________________________________________________


October 7, 2022
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm


German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, 20007 United States
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