Monthly Archives: May 2015

Franconian Silvaner

  Franconian Silvaner Germany is the land of Riesling. With over 23,000 hectares of it growing Germany is the worlds largest producer of it. There is no doubt about the relationship between Germany and Riesling. But there is another grape that needs some attention too. One that is a bit of a hidden gem but has long history in and around Germany.  One that takes well to the cool climates of Franconia (or Franken in German), where it is most commonly found and one that hipsters are taking a little more seriously. That grape is Silvaner. Although you may know it as Sylvaner in Alsace France. There it is considered a “noble grape” and grows almost exclusively in the region. The grape has a history in Germany. At one time Silvaner was the one of the most planted grapes grown there. Now, with just over 5000 hectares, it has fallen far behind behind Riesling, Muller Thurgau and Grauburgunder! In 2009, Silvaner celebrated its 350th birthday, but according to Jancis, Julia and José’s book, Wine Grapes, Silvaner is likely from Austria, and it has been suggested that the grape is a result of a spontaneous crossing that took place over 500 years ago. Its […]

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German Wine Renaissance

For some wine drinkers, German wines represent sweet wines. Bring out a tall flute bottle and most people turn the glass around and tell me they don’t like sweet wines. “I’d prefer a California Chardonnay,” they say. However, in my opinion, Germany produces some of the finest wines in the world. There was a time that the wines from the Rhine, Germany’s largest growing region, were on par with the classed growth wines of Bordeaux. But things like prohibition, sandwiched between two world wars, really put a hold on wine production. And Germany’s major export market, the USA, dried up. The grape growers needed to make money so they started producing cheap sweet wines, so the world began to know Germany for Liebfraumilch. Wines like Blue Nun and Black Tower were what was on store shelves and the reputation for this style of wines were made. But there has been a change happening over the last 15 years in Germany. The level of winemaking and the commitment to quality has increased. And with Geisenheim, one of the leading universities for winemaking and grape growing, innovation in the vineyard and in the cellars has helped to bring German wines to the […]

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Writings about my passion for wine, and the people, places, and stories connected to it.