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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
8 Nov 2007

Now the following announcement by Wines of Germany may not come as a great surprise to you…


Ground-breaking research into the expression of terroir in Riesling wines was presented by Andrea Bauer to a specially invited group of Riesling-loving trade, press and winemakers at the second annual Riesling Fellowship held at the German Embass yin London last night. The research revealed that the soil, aspect and climate of various German vineyard sites has a discernible effect on the aroma and taste profiles of Riesling wines, thus proving beyond doubt the existence of the notion of terroir.


Mrs Bauer, who has been working on the Phd research project with Professor Ulrich Fischer of the DLR Rheinpfalz for over three years, has examined the correlation between pedological, climatic, sensorial and chemical variables in Riesling vineyards and the grapes and wines that they produce. She said: "Although we still do not know exactly how the soil and climate of vineyards affect the chemical composition and flavour of grapes, the fact that they do have a discernible effect is now indisputable. Our research will help winegrowers worldwide choose the best clones and viticultural and vinicultural techniques to extract the best from their vineyards."


The 'Riesling Fellowship' is an annual event organised by Wines of Germany at the German Ambassador's posh Belgrave Square residence to celebrate and recognise individuals who have been instrumental in championing Riesling at an international level. At this year's event were the following vintners:

·          Steffen Christmann, Weingut A Christmann, Pfalz

·          Helmut Dönnhoff, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff, Nahe

·          Klaus Peter Keller, Weingut Keller, Rheinhessen

·          Johannes Leitz, Weingut Josef Leitz, Rheingau

·          Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, Mosel

·          Sandra Sauer, Weingut Horst Sauer, Franken

·          Johannes Selbach, Weingut Selbach-Oster, Mosel

·          Philipp Wittmann, Weingut Wittmann, Rheinhessen

·          Marc Beyer, Maison Léon Beyer, Alsace

·          Nicola Simonsohn, Felton Road, New Zealand

·          Kevin Mitchell, Kilikanoon, Australia

·          Christelle Moris, Vins d'Alsace Kuehn, Alsace

·          Martin Nigl, Weingut Nigl, Austria

Quite a starry cast list.


Eckhard Lübkemeier of the German Embassy pointed out that the atmosphere at this year's event was particularly celebratory as German Riesling sales worldwide are booming with record prices throughout 2006 and excellent prospects for the 2007 vintage.


With my houseguest one David Schildknecht, I attended the tasting at the beginning of the event at which the wines highlighted here stood out, but we had regretfully to leave before dinner (with food carefully matched to various Rieslings) in order to attend a tasting of vintages of Ch Lafleur in magnum back to 1986 held in anticipation of Christie's sale of Lafleur straight from the château on Nov 15 next week. Watch out for my tasting notes on Monday.