Our Assistant Winemaker, Monica, has returned from Germany where she completed vintage at Reh Kendermann Winery in Rheinhessen. Rheinhessen is the largest winegrowing region in Germany, and whilst they produce the country’s flagship variety, Riesling, Monica also worked with other varietals including Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Scheurebe, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Dornfelder (a red hybrid developed specifically for the German climate).
Having very different growing conditions to what we’re used to in Australia, German vineyards are constantly striving to achieve ripeness before the pressure of disease sets in. The Riesling vines stand proud and tall, with little canopy protecting the naked bunches, to ensure maximum sunlight exposure. Quite different to our Pines Block where we manage the canopy to protect the bunches from sunburn, especially on the western side. Most German producers make a range of wines from sweet to dry. Monica was intrigued to learn that a wine with less than 7g/L of residual sugar was considered dry! As the fruit has very high natural acidity, even a little bit of sweetness helps to round out the palate on wines, without losing the minerality and drive of a German Riesling. Monica’s love for Riesling has only increased during her time in Germany and her only complaint is that we don’t have enough of it at Mount Majura!
Monica also visited a number of other regions and smaller producers in Germany, tasting as she went. We all benefited from a special bottle she brought back and shared at our staff tasting yesterday!