Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Hövel, Saar, with Owner/ Winemaker Maximilian von Kunow - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Hövel, Saar, with Owner/ Winemaker Maximilian von Kunow

Our last stop in the Mosel Region was at Weingut von Hövel in Oberemmel, Saar, Mosel. Owner and Winemaker Max von Kunow as our host. We toured the impressive cellar and sat down for a tasting with Max.

Weingut von Hövel is widely available through Schatzi Wines. The write-up below is essentially taken from the web site of Schatzi Wines.

Pictures: Welcome

Weingut von Hövel

Konz could be seen as a quaint, sleepy valley village in the Saar, surrounded by rolling vineyard hills, pastures and small houses with one modest church steeple–though it is anything but old-fashioned when Max von Kunow is around.  Since assuming the estate in 2010, Max has nearly doubled von Hövel’s vineyard holdings, converted the estate to organic practices (including an intensive compost program) and he is in the process of transforming not only the viticulture, but also the style of the wines.  Max’s father, Eberhard, preferred swift pressing of the grapes; Max is now working with some skin maceration, especially for the drier range, and a slower, gentler crush for the fruity range.  In fact, a dry range really did not exist at this estate until Max arrived because his father did not prefer them.  The wines destined to be fruity are less opulent than in vintages past; they are more crystalline and crunchy.  In keeping with the organics practiced in the vineyards and the longer hang time prior to harvest, Max encourages indigenous yeast fermentations for all of his wines.

That’s a lot of change for such an iconic Saar estate in a short period of time, but Max is like a Tasmanian devil, wanting everything to evolve as quickly as possible.  He seems up to the challenge!  “Saar wines could be the best riesling on planet earth,” Max will tell you directly without any hint of irony or sarcasm.  He is serious and he’s also a schatzi.

Pictures: Weingut von Hövel in Oberemmel, Mosel

History

The 21-hectare von Hövel estate operates out of a manor house that was completed in the 12th century, where it initially served as an abbey retreat for the famous wine monastery of St. Maximin in Trier. Located in Konz-Oberemmel in a side valley of the Saar, which is known as Konzer Tälchen (“little valley” of Konz), the old cellar is today as it was over 800 years ago. The winery was inducted into what is now the von Kunow family in 1806 when it was purchased by Emmerich Grach—son of a well-to-do chandler and the great-great grandfather to Max von Kunow—the estate’s current proprietor.

Grach was an assistant and deputy mayor of Trier, an influential businessman, and a well-known Weingutsbesitzer, or wine estate owner.  In 1803 he purchased Maximinerhof in Oberemmel and renamed it Weingut Grach, alongside several other well-known estates in the region after Napoleon secularized the vineyards of the Saar and Mosel from the churches and monasteries. Grach’s son Johann Georg became owner of Maximinerhofgut, which later went to his grandson-in-law Forstmeister Balduin von Hövel, a head forester from Prussia and good friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Picture: Impressive Corkscrew Collection of Max von Kunow's Father, Eberhard von Kunow

Max von Kunow

Von Hövel’s great-grandson is Eberhard von Kunow, whose parents bought the estate in the 1950s, at which point the winery began operating under the von Hövel family name.  Eberhard von Kunow, Max’s father, owned and operated the von Hövel estate from 1973 until 2010 when Max (the 7th generation) took over the estate with an impressive debut vintage. While Eberhard produced fruity-styled Prädikat wines, Max slowly began to increase the dry range of riesling in hope to round out a classic Saar portfolio; he seeks to produce gastronomy-driven wines.

After finishing secondary school in 1997, Max took an apprenticeship with Kruger-Rumpf in the Nahe region where he decided to follow in his family’s footsteps and pursue a career in winemaking. The following year he worked for Lucashof in Forst (Pfalz), spent time working in Burgundy and returned to Germany where he interned at the Salway estate in Baden; Max completed four apprenticeships before beginning his winemaking studies in 2002. For two years he studied oenology in Veitschöchheim and afterward went on to pursue an International Wine Business degree at Geisenheim. During his time at Geisenheim, Max worked for his family’s estate as well as for Karthäuserhof and Fürst Löwenstein.  He graduated from Geisenheim in 2007 where he worked as an export manager for the Wirsching estate in Iphofen (Franken) and in 2008, moved to Luxembourg where he consulted for 34 private winemakers.  He returned to the family estate in 2010, when his father suffered an unfortunate stroke, jumped right in and as it turned out, achieved great success with his inaugural vintage; he was recognized by Gault-Millau as producing one of the top three Kabinetts (Oberemmeler Hütte) and the top Feinherb Riesling from the Scharzhofberg, both from the 2010 vintage. He took ownership of the estate the following year and has since nearly doubled their holdings.

Pictures: Max von Kunow, Weingut von Hövel, Owner and Winemaker

Vineyards

The wines of Weingut von Hövel say “Mosel” on their labels. Yet, the Weingut von Hövel wines do not come from the Mosel Valley, but from the Saar Valley. Before 2007, the region was called Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, but changed to a name - Mosel - considered more consumer-friendly. The Mosel wine region is Germany's third largest in terms of production but is the leading region in terms of international prestige. The area is known for the steep slopes of the region's vineyards overlooking the river.

Weingut Von Hövel has ownership in the following vineyards; all planted 100% to Riesling:

Oberemmeler Hütte – (5.8 hectare) a monopole of the estate – very light soil, weathered slate, it produces some of the most delicate, subtle, yet steely Rieslings in Germany.

Scharzhofberg – (2.8 hextare) deeper, heavier soil, strong weathered grey slate with high proportion of rocks and gravel (70%), it produces more masculine wines.

Oberemmeler Rosenberg – the estate owns over 2 hectares of the “filet” piece also known as the Rosenkamm, which has many old vine scattered throughout.

Kanzemer Hörecker – (0.6 hectare) monopole – one of the smallest yet greatest vineyards in the Saar, grey green slate with a proportion clay and red soil.

The estate also owns small portions of the heavy soiled Oberemmeler Karlsberg.

Pictures: Vineyard Visit with Max von Kunow

Winemaking

Farming organically was a necessary transition for Max and he has taken it seriously. In addition to completely eliminating the use of herbicides, he propagates regional plants and herbs, prepares his own compost and spreads local straw, marc and raw fertilizer throughout his vineyards. As is the goal of most mindful growers, Max lets the grapes hang as long as possible to ensure they reach—and in some cases exceed—physiological ripeness, or as Max refers to it, “mineral ripeness”; the Saar is the coolest and most windy region in Germany and often requires a longer hang-time than in warmer regions of the world.  He avoids botrytis for the dry range but sometimes includes it for the Prädikat bottlings.

Pictures: Visit of the 800 Years Old Cellar of Weingut von Hövel with Max von Kunow, Owner and Winemaker

When the grapes enter the cellar, Max separates the fruit that he feels is destined for skin maceration (anywhere between 18-36 hours) from the rest in which undergoes gentle crushing before entering the press. Wines are fermented in either stainless steel tanks or neutral wooden 1000 liter Mosel fuder casks. All of the wines ferment spontaneously.

Pictures: Tasting Weingut von Hövel Wines with Max von Kunow, Owner and Winemaker

Tasting


2016 Weingut von Hövel Saar Riesling tocken
2016 Weingut von Hövel Saar Riesling


2016 Weingut von Hövel Saar Riesling Kabinett
2016 Weingut von Hövel Monopollage Hütte Riesling Kabinett
2016 Weingut von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett


NV Weingut von Hövel Crémant


Schatzi Wines Weingut von Hövel Selection

Here are the Weingut von Hövel wines that Schatzi Wines is currently offering in the US.

Saar Riesling

2016 Saar Riesling Trocken
2016 Sarr Riesling Feinherb
2016 Saar Riesling Kabinett

Oberemmeler Riesling

2016 Oberemmeler Riesling Feinherb

Hütte Riesling

2015 Hütte Riesling Kabinett “Monopol Lage”
2015 Hütte Riesling Spätlese “Monopol Lage”

Scharzhofberg Riesling

2015 Scharzhofberg Riesling Kabinett
2015 Scharzhofberg Riesling Spätlese
2010 Scharzhofberg Riesling Auslese

Picture: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours, Max von Kunow, Johannes Hasselbach (Weingut Gunderloch), Alwin Jurtschitsch (Weingut Jurtschitsch) and Christian Schiller at BToo in Washington DC, USA. Max studied with Alwin and Alwin's wife, Stephanie Jurtschitsch, who is Johannes' sister.

See also:
Weingut von Hoevel – The New Generation: Max von Kunow in Washington DC, US

Bye-bye

Thanks Max for a great tour and tasting at Weingut von Hövel.

Picture: Bye-bye

Postings: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung in Hattenheim, Rheingau: Cellar Tour, Art Tour, Tasting and Vineyard Tour with Winemaker Tim Lilienström - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Lunch, Tour of the Abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau: Tour and Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Ratzenberger, Mittelrhein, with Jochen Ratzenberger - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in Winningen, Mosel, with Reinhard Löwenstein - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Technical Director Albert Schamaun – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Jean Stodden, Ahr, with Alexander Stodden - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting with Markus Molitor at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting and Vineyard Visit at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel, with Gernot Kollmann - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany

Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany

Tasting and Vineyard Walk with Oliver Haag, Weingut Fritz Haag – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Dinner at Restaurant Schanz, 2 Stars Michelin, Piesport, Mosel – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Cellar Visit, Vineyard Walk and Tasting at Weingut Maximin Grünhaus in Mertersdorf, Ruwer, with Owner Dr. Carl von Schubert – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit and tasting at Weingut von Hövel (VDP) in Oberemmel, Saar, Mosel, with Max von Kunow

Tasting at Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber (VDP) in Monzingen, Nahe, with Frank Schönleber

Wine-pairing Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe, with Petra Hexamer and the wines of Weingut Hexamer.

Dinner with Wine Pairing the Restaurant of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Münster-Sarmsheim, Nahe, with Corenlia, Stefan and Georg Rumpf

Tasting at Weingut J.B. Becker, in Walluf, Rheingau, with Hajo Becker

Monday, January 15, 2018

Germany’s Top 19 Winemakers - Der Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2017/2018

Picture: Der Feinschmecker WeinGuide Deutschland 2017/ 18

Der Feinschmecker, the leading German wine and food journal, presented its new ranking of the German wine scene. The Feinschmecker awarded 19 winemakers in Germany 5 F's, its top ranking. This is down by 3 producers compared with the last WeinGuide. There was no addition. Kreuzberg, JJ Prüm and Egon Müller were removed. The latter two are no longer in the Feinschmecker WeinGuide at all, for whatever reasons. Kreuzberg got 4 F's.

For previous years see:
Germany’s Top 22 Winemakers - Der Feinschmecker 2016/2017
Germany’s Top 20 Winemakers - Der Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2015
Germany’s Top 19 Winemakers - Der Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2014
Germany's Top 18 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2013
Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2012
Germany's Top 16 Winemakers - Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2011
Germany's 15 Top Winemakers - The Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2010

Pictures: Eichelmann Deutschlands Weine 2018, Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2018, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2018, Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung with Stuart Pigotts Favorites (Photo: Philipp Wittmann) 

Top 19 Winemakers

Here are those winemakers that got the maximum number of 5 F's, grouped by wine region.

Picture: Top 19 Winemakers - Der Feinschmecker WeinGuide 2017/2018

AHR

Meyer-Näkel

Pictures: Vineyard Walk and Tasting at Weingut Meyer-Näkel in Dernau, Ahr, with Dörte Näkel – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Jean Stodden

Pictures: Tasting with Alexander Stodden, Weingut Jean Stodden, Ahr. See: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Jean Stodden, Ahr, with Alexander Stodden - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

BADEN

None

FRANKEN

Rudolf Fürst

Pictures:Paul Fürst, Annette Schiller, Sebastian Fürst and Christian Schiller at Weingut Rudolf Fürst. See: Tasting and Tour with the Pinot Noir Legend Paul Fürst, Weingut Rudolf Fürst in Bürgstadt, Franken – Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Picture: Joel B. Payne and Sebastian Fürst at the Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Award Ceremony. See: Germany’s Best Winemakers and Wines – Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Awards: The Award Ceremony in Mainz, Germany

Pictures: Winemaker Dinner with Sebastian Fürst, Weingut Fürst, Franken, at Schaumahl, Offenbach/ Frankfurt, 16 Points Gault Millau, Germany

Horst Sauer

Pictures: Vinyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

HESSISCHE BERGSTRASSE

None

MITTELRHEIN

None

MOSEL

Fritz Haag

Pictures: At Weingut Fritz Haag, with Oliver Haag. See: Tasting and Vineyard Walk with Oliver Haag, Weingut Fritz Haag – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
 Kartäuserhof

Picture: Christian Schiller with Christoph Tyrell, Karthäuserhof, in Mainz, Germany. For more, see: The Karthäuserhof in the Mosel Valley: An Eventful History – From Grenoble in France to New York City in the US

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

Pictures At Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstadt in Morscheid, Mosel with the late Owner Annegret Reh-Gartner and her Husband Gerhard Gartner, a former 2-star Michelin Chef. See: Lunch and Wine Tasting at Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in Morscheid, Mosel with Owner Annegret Reh-Gartner – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Dr. Loosen

Pictures: Ernst Loosen and Annette and Christian Schiller in Washington DC. See: The Dry and Ultra-premium Dry GG and GG Reserve Rieslings of Weingut Dr. Loosen – Ernie Loosen in Washington DC

Pictures: Ernst Loosen, Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller at Weingut Dr. Loosen. See: Wine Tasting at Weingut Dr. Loosen in Bernkastel-Kues, Mosel – Germany-North by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Picture: The German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy (2013) at Weingut Dr. Loosen. See: German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

Sankt Urbans-Hof

Picture: Nik and Daniela Weis and Annette and Christian Schiller at Prowein 2014

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen, Mosel, with Nik Weis – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Schloss Lieser - Thomas Haag

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser with Owner/ Winemaker Thomas Haag – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016

Picture: Thomas Haag, Weingut Schloss Lieser, and Christian Schiller in Mainz. See: Thomas Haag, Weingut Schloss Lieser, Germany’s Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015

Picture: Annette Schiller, Thomas Haag with his Son (Weingut Schloss Lieser) and Stephen Bitterolf at the 2017 Rieslingfeier in NYC. See: The Annual "Slaughterhouse" Riesling Feast in New York: Rieslingfeier 2017, USA

Maximin Grünhaus

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Carl von Schubert, Maximin Grünhaus, at the 2016 Rieslingfeier in New York City. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

Picture: Christian Schiller and Carl von Schubert in Washington DC. See:  Carl von Schubert from the Maximin Gruenhaus Estate Returned a Favor: With his Wines in Washington DC (and in Seattle), USA

Pictures: Cellar Visit, Vineyard Walk and Tasting at Weingut Maximin Grünhaus in Mertersdorf, Ruwer, with Owner Dr. Carl von Schubert – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

NAHE

Dönnhoff

Picture: Christian Schiller with Helmut Dönnhoff, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff

Picture: Annette Schiller, Helmut Dönnhoff and daughter Christina Dönnhoff (Weingut Dönnhoff) and Didier Cuevelier (Chateau Leoville Poyferre) at Weingut Dr. Robert Weil

Pictures: Dönnhoff Hermann, Oberhausen (Nahe) - An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

Emrich-Schönleber

Picture: Christian Schiller and Werner Schönleber, Weingut Emrich-Schönleber at the 2013 Riesling Gala at Kloster Eberbach, Germany

Pictures: At Weingut Emrich-Schönleber See: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Schäfer-Fröhlich

Picture: Christian Schiller and Tim Fröhlich in Wiesbaden

Pictures: Schäfer-Fröhlich, Bockenau (Nahe) - At Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

PFALZ

Knipser

Picture: Stephan Knipser, Sebastian Fürst and Christian Schiller at the Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Award Ceremony. See: Germany’s Best Winemakers and Wines – Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Awards: The Award Ceremony in Mainz, Germany

RHEINGAU

Künstler

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Gunter Kuenstler at Schloss Johnnisberg. Weingut Kuenstler was founded by my the late Franz Kuenstler. We were both founding members of the Weinfreundeskreis Hochheim: The Wines of Franz Kuenstler from Hochheim, Rheingau, Germany

Pictures: At Weingut Künstler in Hochheim am Main, Rheingau, with Stefan Traub. See:Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Künstler – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Robert Weil

Pictures: Christian and Annette Schiller with Wilhelm Weil at Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich

Pictures: Kiedrich: Visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine and of Weingut Robert Weil - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

RHEINHESSEN

Klaus Keller

Picture: Annette Schiller, Julia and Klaus Peter Keller at the 2015 Rieslingfeier in New York, see: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA

Wittmann

Pictures: Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann, Weingut Wittmann, with Annette and Christian Schiller at Prowein 2015 in Düsseldorf

Pictures: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Saale-Unstrut

None

Sachsen

None

Württemberg

None

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