So I'm off to Germany tomorrow (today, whatever as appropriate) to preview the 2009 vintage and do a bit of touring, Deutsch-sprechin'... that sort of thing. For you German wine geeks, here's the plan.
Sunday and Monday I'm at the Mainzer Weinbörse: This is basically a VDP-fest with the top producers all present. A good way to blaze through a wide collection of the 2009s and get a good sense of the vintage. Stamina required. Last year they served tarte flambés at the food station and that helped with the basic exhaustion of it all. That said, it's a very well organized event.
Tuesday morning then I'll head south to the Rheinhessen; there I'll visit with Philipp Wittman and his wife Eva Clüsserath will be there too, though I'll be visiting her estate in the Mosel later in the week, so there you go. Then it's off to Keller where I'll preview the 2009s, drinking as much G-Max from magnum as possible. Dinner with Klaus-Peter which is always fun - he has a crazy Burgundy cellar.
Wednesday I'm up EARLY to the Nahe: 9:30am at Schäfer-Fröhlich. I think it's about a 2-hour drive from Keller to Schäfer-Fröhlich - this is going to be a long day. 1pm Emrich-Schönleber; 3pm Dönnhoff; evening tasting and likely Dinner with Caroline Diel. Writing this it occurs to me that there are a lot of hyphenated names rich with umlauts in the Nahe.
Thursday again a long day; heading up the Saar, which I love, love, love. Really want to spend some time here, understanding the Saar. I'll begin with Roman at Van Volxem at 10am. Then off to the old Bert Simon estate, which is the new Dr. Siemens estate - Schildknecht recommended this one. Says the wines are very solid; Rudi always said this is some of the best terroir in the Saar. 5pm at Von Othegraven, then driving down to Immich-Batterieberg for a tasting of old vintages and such. I might actually be staying at the estate that evening; maybe it's a castle, who knows.
Friday, some Mosel super stars: 9am at Willi Schaefer. Psyched for that one. Noon at Clüsserath, 3pm with my BOY Thomas Haag at Schloss Lieser, then a 5pm appointment with the Swiss wild-child Daniel Vollenweider who I'm excited to meet.
Saturday is a bit of a calmer day; a noonish tasting in Trier with Stefan Steinmetz, then heading down to see AJ Adam at 4pm; then back up to the Saar to hang with Florian Lauer and saturate myself fully with these glorious Saar Rieslings.
Sunday a drive back to Frankfurt, a flight back to New York and a cab to Brooklyn.