Thursday, April 26, 2018

Very First State Dinner at the Trump White House - for French President Emmanuel Macron and his Wife Brigitte, USA/ France

Picture: Very First State Dinner at the Trump White House for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte (Photo: Der Spiegel)

The Trump White House hosted its very first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Donald Trump was the first president since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s to end his first year in office without hosting a foreign leader on a state visit. The first visit of a ruling monarch for a dinner at the White House was in 1874 with King David Kalakaua of the Sandwich Islands as the honored guest. It wasn’t until President Dwight D. Eisenhower that the modern protocol of the State Dinner was established, with the visit of South Korea’s president in 1954.

The Setting

The colour scheme was cream and gold and the dinner service consisted of china used by the Bill Clinton and George W Bush administrations. A White House statement said: “The first lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the state dining room.”  The china is by-partisan, even if the guest list isn't.

Pictures: The State Dining Room at the White House Set for the State Dinner (Photos: AP/ Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Meal

The dinner consisted of only 3 courses. The meal was prepared by White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford.

The meal started with a goat cheese gateau with tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles, and lettuces from the White House garden.

The main course was a rack of spring lamb and Carolina gold rice jambalaya cooked in the tradition of New Orleans, a city founded by the French.

For dessert: a nectarine tart infused with White House honey and crème fraîche.

The Wines

Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015

The wine is the product of American and French collaboration — a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures. The wine was aged in 40 percent French oak barrels for more than 12 months.

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014

Picture: Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014

This wine uses the motto “French soul–Oregon soil.” The grapes at Domaine Drouhin are harvested and sorted by hand and fermented in French Oak barrels.

Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” NV

Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” has been served in the White House for official and ceremonial events many times over the years. The subtle sweetness and creamy effervescence of the 2014 vintage is the perfect accompaniment for a nectarine tart.

Schramsberg: We are honored that the Schramsberg Cremant Demi-sec will be served this evening at the White House at the State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte. This marks the 36th time Schramsberg has been served at a U.S. state dinner and the 87th time at a U.S. state function since 1972 and the "Toast to Peace" in China.

Schramsberg – A Leading Sparkling Wine Producer Founded by a German

In 1826, in the small town of Pfeddersheim Germany, along the Rhine River, Jacob Schram was born. He came from a winemaking family. When he was sixteen, the young Schram immigrated to New York. He was educated in the trade of barbering, and in 1852 sailed across the Caribbean, crossed-over the Panama Isthmus, and continued up to San Francisco. He spent the next several years barbering, eventually moving his way north, to the Napa Valley.

In 1859 he married Annie Christine Weaver, also from Germany, and they started a family. For several years he continued to barber full time. Never far from his thoughts were his homeland and his roots in the vinelands of Germany. In 1862, Jacob purchased a large piece of land on the mountainsides of the Napa Valley. He was going to be a part of the emerging efforts by many fellow German countrymen in the Napa Valley to make wine; thus Schramsberg was born.

See: American Wines with German Roots

Entertainment

Entertainment was provided by the Washington National Opera from the Kennedy Center.

The Guest List

In a break with tradition, Trump did not invited Democratic members of Congress or journalists to the state dinner. There were around 150 guests in the state dining room – fewer than the hundreds of guests Barack Obama used to entertain in a tented pavilion erected on the south lawn.

Among those joining the main guests of honor were Apple CEO Tim Cook, who brought as his guest former Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, statesman Henry Kissinger, Chief Justice John Roberts, media mogul Rubert Murdoch, managing director of the IMF Christine Lagarde and the president's daughter and son-in-law Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Pictures: State Dinner at the Trump White House for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte (Photos: Der Spiegel)

Comments by Jessica Sidman

Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian: When Trump has dined with world leaders in the past, the food has been more often an accommodation of his tastes than a gesture of diplomacy. At a dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Chinese President Xi Jinping last April, the menu included pan-seared Dover sole, dry-aged prime New York strip steak, and chocolate cake—Trump’s favorites. Was it a power move meant to assert dominance? A reinforcement of “America First” messaging? Or the President simply being selfish?

Usually world leaders go out of their way to appeal to likes and dislikes of their foreign guests, not the other way around. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for example, took Trump for cheeseburgers during a visit to Tokyo last fall. (Tellingly, Trump was not once spotted with chopsticks during that 12-day, five-nation Asia tour.)

Perhaps because it’s an official, formal state dinner, the White House’s French fête showcases an understanding for the politics of food. There’s no steak and chocolate cake just because that’s what Trump likes. (We can’t imagine the President requesting his lamb with cipollini soubise.) Rather, the First Lady and her team have thoughtfully put together a menu that reflects the transatlantic partnership. That goes for the wine, too. The Chardonnay is made from French grapes aged in French oak barrels in Oregon, while a Pinot Noir uses the slogan “French soul, Oregon soil.”
The menu draws from red states.

Pictures: President Trump and President Macron at the White House

Between the buttermilk biscuit crumbles and jambalaya, the dishes clearly have a little bit of a Southern undertone. Coincidence that Trump dominated the vote in that part of the country?
No celebrity chefs this time.

The Obama White House was a magnet for big food-world names. Restaurant industry titans like Rick Bayless, Marcus Samuelsson, Anita Lo, and Mario Batali all collaborated on state dinner menus. This time, White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford won’t be working with any celebrity chefs. It’s hard to imagine many who would jump at the opportunity, especially after the fallout between José Andrés—the unofficial godfather of DC dining—and Trump’s Pennsylvania Avenue hotel.

If the Trumps were going to choose any outside name to consult on the state dinner menu, it likely would have been Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The celebrity toque operates a French-American restaurant in Trump Tower, and also catered there the First Couple’s wedding. Then again, who needs a fancy restaurant chef? Trump calls the White House the “greatest restaurant” in DC.

Side Dinner in Paris and Washington DC

The evening before the state dinner, the Trumps and the Macrons had a private dinner at Mount Vernon on the banks of the Potomac river and visited the tomb of George Washington.

Last July, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump dined with French President Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron at their invitation inside the famous Le Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, with sweeping views of Paris laid out in front of them.

Picture: The Trumps and the Macrons at Mount Vernon and at the Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower on 13 July 2017 (Photos: President Macron and Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)

3-day Program

Upon arrival on Monday, April 23, 2018, the two couples plant a tree, a gift from the Macrons, together on the south lawn. The sapling, a European sessile oak about 4.5ft tall, comes from Belleau Woods, where more than 9,000 American marines died in a first world war battle nearly 100 years ago.

Pictures: Arrival Ceremony at the White House (Pictures: CBSN and AFP)

In the evening, the Macrons took a tour of historic monuments in Washington DC, before going to Mount Vernon, where the Trumps and the Macrons had a private dinner on the banks of the Potomac river and visit the tomb of George Washington.

On Tuesday morning, President Trump and the First Lady hosted a state arrival ceremony on the south lawn including the traditional “review of the troops”. There were meetings and a joint press conference during the day.

President Macron also addressed a joint session of Congress and had a townhall meeting with students at George Washington University on Wednesday.

Picture: Address to the Congress (Photo: Emmanuel Macron/ twitter)

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Upcoming Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: April 2, 2018)

Ombiasy Wine Tours 2018: 3 x France and 3 x Germany - Ombiasy Newsletter December 2017

American Wines with French Roots: The Wines President Obama Served at the State Dinner for President Hollande, USA/France

President Obama Serves a “German” Riesling at State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao

State Dinner at the White House: Chancellor Merkel Dined and Wined with President Obama - The Wines they Drank and the Wines they did not Drink

Wine Event: The Wines served at President's Obama State Dinner of the Indian Prime Minister

The Wines Served at President Obama's State Dinner for Mexican President Calderon













Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Annette Schiller Presented "Abbey Wines" at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), USA

Picture: Annette Schiller and Carl Willner, President of the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter)

Annette Schiller presented - mainly German, but also French, Austrian and Italian - abbey wines at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) on April 20, 2018. 39 interested wine lovers joined Annette and me.

Invitation

Dear German Wine Society Members and Guests: You are in for a very special treat: “Abbey Wines”.

This tasting (and seminar) by our own Annette Schiller will show the decisive impact the monasteries and the monks starting in medieval times had on developing viticultural knowledge in Germany and elsewhere.

Annette Schiller is well known to the GWS community through previous wine tastings and her ombiasy wine tours to Bordeaux, Burgundy and Germany. She has visited almost all of the estates she will present on one or more of her tours and has intimate knowledge of these producers.

Annette will present 12 wines – 8 from Germany, 2 from France, 1 from Austria, 1 from Italy (Alto Aldige) – that are still produced in monasteries. Some monasteries have been secularized and taken over by government entities, some are now in private hands, others are still today run by monks or sisters. The highlight will be the Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot from the Côte d'Or which retails for about US$ 180. In 1336 the monks of Cîteaux – owners of the vineyard site Clos de Vougeot – were the first to notice that different plots gave different wines and therefore laid the earliest foundation of the vineyard classification system.

The monasteries were always a center of intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge. The monasteries had huge holdings on farmland and vineyards - mostly gifts of rich aristocrats who at the end of their lives thought to buy a stairway to heaven. The monks had to work in agriculture to sustain their living. Therefore the monks not only focused on religious studies but also on studying better methods in farming and viticulture. The monks were also instrumental in spreading the art of viticulture to other parts of Europe by establishing daughter monasteries all over Europe. Without their work viticulture would not have developed the way it did and would not have become a part of fine living as we know it today throughout the world.

DATE: Friday, April 20th, Doors open at 7:00 pm; tasting begins at 7:30 pm. Please make reservations by April 16, 2018.

VENUE: Harbour Square Club Room, 500 N St SW, Washington, DC. Marilyn Scarbrough has reserved a few parking spaces, but we cannot guarantee these will be available. The Waterfront Metro Station is nearby.

COST: $40 for members, $47 for non-members.

Cheese and charcuterie will be served. Alcohol consumption can lead to intoxication. GWS members and guests should use public transportation, rely on a designated driver or taxi, or taste the wines rather than finish them.

If you have any questions, please email Christian Schiller at cschiller@schiller-wine.com or Annette Schiller at aschiller@ombiasypr.com

Pictures: Annette Schiller Presenting "Abbey Wines" at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter)

The Wines

We poured 12 wines - 8 from Germany, 2 from France, 1 from Austria, 1 from Italy (Alto Aldige)- that are still produced in monasteries. Some monasteries have been secularized and taken over by government entities, some are now in private hands, others are still today run by monks or sisters.

Pictures: Annette Schiller Presenting "Abbey Wines" at the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter)

2015 Bermatinger Spätburgunder, Markgraf von Baden, Bodensee, Baden

Picture: 2015 Bermatinger Spätburgunder, Markgraf von Baden, Bodensee, Baden

Mighty Schloss Salem, with today 110 hectares of vineyards, was originally an abbey, founded by Cistercian monks in 1134 in the small village of Salmansweiler. The monks named the abbey Salem - the place of peace. Over the years, it became a gigantic monastery complex with large agricultural estates run by the monks. The Cistercian monks came from the Bourgogne and they brought the traditions of winemaking to Lake Constance.

The church lost the Salem Abbey in 1802, when under Napoleon’s secularization, Europe was reorganized. Abbey Salem passed into the hand of the ruler of Baden, the Margrave of Baden, and became Schloss Salem.

The original base of the House of Baden is Schloss Staufenberg in the Ortenau, with 25 hectares of vineyard land. These were the only vineyards of the von Baden family until they received the Lake Constance vineyards as part of Napoleon’s secularization. The von Baden family gave the Federal State of Baden and the wine growing area Baden their names. They were the rulers for about 1000 years.

Salem used to be a wine-producing abbey in the Lake Constance Area in the South of Germany until Napoleon gave it to the ruler of Baden, Markgraf von Baden, about 200 years ago. The Markgraf converted it to a castle and continued to make excellent wines.

Pictures: Visit of Schloss Salem, Kirche Birnau and Weingut Markgraf von Baden - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

2012 Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion, Pinot Noir, Grand Cru, Burgundy, France

Picture: 2015 Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion, Pinot Noir, Grand Cru, Burgundy, France

The highlight of the tasting was the Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot from Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion which retails for about US$ 180. In 1336 the monks of Cîteaux – owners of the vineyard site Clos de Vougeot – were the first to notice that different plots gave different wines and therefore laid the earliest foundation of the vineyard classification system.

The monasteries were always a center of intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge. The monasteries had huge holdings on farmland and vineyards - mostly gifts of rich aristocrats who at the end of their lives thought to buy a stairway to heaven. The monks had to work in agriculture to sustain their living. Therefore the monks not only focused on religious studies but also on studying better methods in farming and viticulture. The monks were also instrumental in spreading the art of viticulture to other parts of Europe by establishing daughter monasteries all over Europe. Without their work viticulture would not have developed the way it did and would not have become a part of fine living as we know it today throughout the world.

Today, the Clos de Vougeot is shared among 83 land owners, one of which is Domaine Armelle et Benrard Rion.


Pictures: Arriving at Château du Clos de Vougeot. See: Visit: Château du Clos de Vougeot – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Domaine Rion is in Vosne Romanée, on the Route National. Domaine Rion was founded in 1880 by Pierre Rion. His son Louis substantially enlarged the domaine. In 1952, the domaine was divided between his 2 sons. The older one, Marcel, stayed in Vosne Romanée. In 1973, Marcel's son Bernard Rion joined Domaine Rion and is now with his wife Armelle the "senior" generation at the domaine.

Since 2006, their daughter Alice has been working at the domaine. The husband of Alice, Louis, joined her in 2010. His focus is the work in the vineyard. Since 2015, Nelly, the oldest of the 3 daughters of Armelle and Bernard, came back to the Domaine and takes care mainly of the marketing.

Pictures: At Domaine Armelle et Bernhard Rion in Vosne ­Romanée, Côte de Nuits, Bourgogne. See: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine Armelle et Bernhard Rion in Vosne ­Romanée, Côte de Nuits - Bourgogne (and Champagne) Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

NV Crémant, Brut, von Hövel, Mosel

Picture: NV Crémant, Brut, von Hövel, Mosel

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, 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), after Napoleon secularized the vineyards of the Saar and Mosel from the churches and monasteries.

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

2017 Grauburgunder, Klosterhof Töplitz, Brandenburg, Saale-Unstrut

Picture: 2017 Grauburgunder, Klosterhof Töplitz, Brandenburg, Saale-Unstrut

Weingut Klosterhof Töplitz is an organic estate in the Berlin Region, founded by Klaus Wolenski, who is a career changer. He is now assisted by his daughter Lara Wolenski-Ross. Weingut Klosterhof Töplitz vineyard area totals 22 hectares.

It was the Cistercians from Lehnin Abbey who brought the wine to Töplitz more than 600 years ago. Then as now it is the sunny location and the water all around, which ensure the optimal microclimate for winemaking. Lehnin Abbey was founded in 1180 by Cistercian monks and secularized during the Protestant Reformation in 1542.

2016 Grüner Veltliner, Stift Klosterneuburg, Wachau, Austria

Picture: 2016 Grüner Veltliner, Stift Klosterneuburg, Wachau, Austria

Weingut Stift Klosterneuberg is the winemaking operation of the historic Augustinian Monastery in the town of Klosterneuberg located in the north-western suburbs of Vienna.

At 900 years old it is one of the oldest and most well-respected wine producers in Austria. The monastery is traditionally associated with viticulture, scholarship and art. It has an extensive library, enormous wine cellars and the famous Verduner Altar (1181) by Nicholaus of Verdun.

Today, the Monastery owns vineyards in Klosterneuberg itself and also in Vienna, both growing predominantly white grapes, while grapes for red wines are grown at Tattendorf in Thermenregion.

2016 Eiscktaler Sylvaner, Kloster Neustift, Alto Aldige, Italy

Picture: 2016 Eiscktaler Sylvaner, Kloster Neustift, Alto Aldige, Italy

The Italian wine comes Weingut Kloster Neustift Novacella, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. Weingut Kloster Neustift has been making wine for more than 850 years. The abbey owns and manages some vineyards of its own but also buys fruit from local growers.

The abbey itself is open to visitors and located in the northernmost region of Italy, Alto Adige, in the Alps, just south of Brenner Pass and Austria. This region is bilingual, but most people speak German as a first language. The property is a working, active abbey established in 1142 and currently contains a boarding school for almost 100 children and an Educational Conference Center. The Augustinian Abbey supports itself and cares for its parishes through the cultivation and sale of herbs and fruit, the Abbazia di Novacella wines and tourism to the Abbey, which encompasses the history-rich monastery and grounds, museum, gift shop and more.

2016 Riesling, Abtei Sankt Hildegard, Rheingau

Picture: 2016 Riesling, Abtei Sankt Hildegard, Rheingau

Abtei St. Hildegard is a community of Benedictine nuns in Rüdesheim, Germany. Founded by Hildegard of Bingen in 1165, it was dissolved in 1804, but restored, with new buildings, in 1904. The currently about 100 nuns produce wine and crafts. The nunnery belongs to the Beuronese Congregation within the Benedictine Confederation.

Pictures: Annette Schiller with Sister Thekla Baumgart of Klosterweingut Sankt Hildegard

2016 Steinberger, Riesling, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau

Picture: 2016 Steinberger, Riesling, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau

Steinberger Riesling trocken of Weingut Kloster Eberbach - Hessische Staatsweingüter is the classic "abbey wine" from Germany.

The Steinberg is a 32.4 hectares (80 acres) wall-enclosed vineyard in walking distance of the Eberbach Abbey in the Rheingau. It is one of the most famous German vineyards.

The favorite site of the monks, they built a 4 meter (13ft) wall around the vineyard to keep out thieves. This and its Cistercian heritage give Steinberg a distinct similarity to the famed Clos De Vougeot in Bourgogne in neigbouring France. The name Steinberg is German for "stony hill" after Stein = stone and Berg = mountain or hill.

The Steinberg is one of handful single vineyard sites in Germany which for reasons of historical significance have dispensation from having to include a village name together with the vineyard's name, so the wines from the Steinberg are simply labelled Steinberger.

The Eberbach Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery, founded in 1136 by Bernard of Clairvaux as the first Cistercian monastery on the eastern bank of the Rhine River. Its Romanesque and Gothic buildings are impressive.

The Abbey, including its vineyards, was secularised under Napoleon in 1803. The new owner was the Duke of Nassau. Then, from 1866, Prussia became the owner of the Abbey and its vineyards. Finally, in 1945 after World War II, the Federal State of Hessen took it over.

Most of the vineyard holdings of the Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach date back to the days, when Cistercian monks founded the Eberbach Abbey. The vineyards of the Eberbach Abbey were, at 300 hectares, the largest in medieval Europe.

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

2016 Riesling, Réserve, Domaine Weinbach, Alsace, France

Picture: 2016 Riesling, Réserve, Domaine Weinbach, Alsace, France

Domaine Weinbach is located just outside the castle-crowned town of Kaysersberg, the birthplace of 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer.

Domaine Weinbach is a former monastery built in 1612 by capucines monks, who made wine already on the Clos. During the French Revolution, the monastery was seized and sold as a national property. In 1898, it was acquired by the Faller brothers. The Faller brothers left it to their son and nephew Théo. He, a prominent figure in Alsace winegrowing, was devoted to Domaine Weinbach all his life and developed, expanded and enhanced it.

After Théo’s death in 1979, the winery was managed by his widow Colette and their two daughters, Laurence and Catherine, who continued the commitment to quality.

Much of the credit of course has to go to her daughters Catharine and Laurence Faller. The latter studied chemical engineering, then took enology courses in Toulouse and Beaune. She even did a stint in California in 1989. In 1993, she returned to Domaine Weinbach and began assuming some of the winemaking duties. By 1996, she was making many of the winemaking decisions, and in 1998 she was given free rein as winemaker.

In 2014, Laurence died at age 47 from a tragic heart attack and in 2015 Colette passed away at age 87 in February 2015.

Catherine Faller, married to a dentist, now runs Domaine Weinbach with her sons Théo and Eddy. Ghislain Berthiot, who worked with Laurence for many years, continues to be in charge of winemaking.

Domaine Weinbach comprises 27 hectares. Although all the bottles of Domaine Weinbach bear the name of the Clos des Capucins, only a small number originate from the Clos itself. The rest come from the Faller's other holdings, including in their Grand Cru sites. Domaine Weinbach wines also come from vineyards they have leased and cultivate themselves.

Schlossberg is probably the most significant site, being the first vineyard in Alsace to have Grand Cru status approved in 1975. Furstentum is a south-southeast facing Grand Cru site, nestled in the Kaysersberg Valley to the northeast of Schlossberg. The vines in Grand Cru Mambourg, like Furstentum, are a recent purchase for the Faller Family. The nearby Altenbourg lieu-dit provides Pinot Gris as well as Gewurztraminer.

Pictures: At Domaine Weinbach in Kaysersberg, Alsace, with Catherine Faller: Tasting and Tour – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Picture: Christian Schiller and the Late Colette Faller at Domaine Weinbach. See: Visiting Colette Faller at Domaine Weinbach in Kaysersberg in Alsace

Picture: Christian Schiller and Catherine Faller in Virginia. See: Domaine Weinbach Wines and Alsatian Food with Winemaker Catherine Faller, Alsace, and Chef Jacques E. Haeringer, Virginia

2015 Saalhäuser Pinot-Blanc, Kloster Pforta, Saale-Unstrut

Picture: 2015 Saalhäuser Pinot-Blanc, Kloster Pforta, Saale-Unstrut

Kloster Pforta is one of 5 big wineries in Germany that are owned by the Government. See: The Role of Government - Government Owned Wineries in Germany http://schiller-wine.blogspot.de/2011/06/role-of-government-government-owned.html

Its origins date back to the Pforta Abbey, founded in 1137 also by Cistercian monks. Pforta Abbey soon had a reputation as the richest abbey in medieval Thüringen, with vineyard holdings in 192 communes, totaling at least 250 hectares. The vineyards were located on slopes above the Saale river.

During the period of reformation, Duke Moritz von Sachsen transformed the abbey into a college. Some of the vineyards were transferred to private growers, who had to share the yield with the Duke von Sachsen.

As a result of the Vienna Congress in 1814, the Kingdom of Sachsen lost Pforta to the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia converted Pforta into a wine estate and wine research institute. After World War II, it became the socialist co-operative VEG Weinbau Naumburg in East-Germany, with 120 hectares of land. After the breakdown of the socialist system in East Germany in 1989, Pforta was in the hands of the privatization organization Treuhand for a couple of years, but not privatized and became the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta of the Federal State of Sachsen-Anhalt.

Pictures: At Weingut Kloster Pforta. See: Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

2016 Riesling, Weingut Liebfrauenstift, Rheinhessen

Picture: 2016 Riesling, Weingut Liebfrauenstift, Rheinhessen

Those who were at the JJPrüm winemaker dinner with "Herr Prüm" Wilhelm Steifensand (former owner of P. J. Valckenberg who recently married Katharina Prüm) at B Too a few weeks ago tasted the 2015 Weingut Liebfraustift Riesling dry. We had this wine again at the "Abbey Wines" tasting of the German Wine Society - Washington DC. Weingut Liebfraustift has become the home of Wilhelm Steifensand and Katharina Prüm, with their adorable baby. When Wilhelm Steifensand sold the P.J.Valckenberg Wine Merchant House, he kept its crwown jewel, Weingut Liebfraustift in Worms.

After the Dutch merchant Peter Joseph Valckenberg had founded the P.J.Valckenberg Wine Merchant House in 1786, 2 decades later in 1808, P. J. Valckenberg moved on to producing wine and established Weingut Liebfrauenstift, by buying the remaining part of the Capuchin Monastery Liebfrauenstift in Worms and most of the vineyards surrounding the Liebfrauenkirche in Worms, in the wake of secularization.

The Capuchin Monastery Liebfrauenstift and the gothic Liebfrauenkirche, which Capucin monks had build in the 1400s, had always been an important stopping point along the pilgrim route to Santiago di Compostela in north-west Spain. Pilgrims are said to have very much liked the wine produced by the monks and compared it to the “milk of Our Dear Lady” - thus Liebfraumilch was born!

Weingut Liebfrauenstift is located in Rheinessen, Germany. Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück is the centerpiece of the estate. In the fifteenth century, Capuchin monks from the Liebfrauenstift monastery started cultivating the famous Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück single vineyard site, which is now the centerpiece of this estate.

Four hundred years later, in 1808, Peter Joseph Valckenberg was able to purchase the monastery and a main portion of the vineyard when it was put up for sale by Napoleon. Current owner, Wilhelm Steifensand, a direct descendant of Peter Joseph Valckenberg, lives with his family in the former monastery and now owns the majority (90%) of Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück, from which all of the estate’s wines are grown. The estate is committed to continuing the grand heritage of this property and returning it to the prominence it once held. Historically, wines from this vineyard were so prized they garnered the same prices as First Growth Bordeaux.

Picture: The Liebfrauenkirche in Worms with Valckenberg's Liebfrauenstift Kirchenstueck. See: Meeting Valckenberg Owner Wilhelm Steifensand and Tasting his Wines

Pictures: Wilhelm Steifensand with Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller at BToo. See: JJ Prüm Winemaker Dinner at BToo in Washington DC/ USA, with Wilhelm Steifensand ("Herr Prüm") and Chef Bart Vandaele

Pictures: Tasting with Amei Prüm at Weingut JJ Prüm. See: Tasting at the Legendary Weingut J.J. Prüm with Amei Prüm – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016

2014 Riesling Goldtröpfchen GG, Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt, Mosel

Picture: 2014 Riesling Goldtröpfchen GG, Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt, Mosel

First documented in 1349, Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt is one of the most traditional estates in the Mosel region. The von Kesselstatt dynasty immigrated to the electorate of Trier in the 14th century.

Following secularization by Napoleon in 1802, the von Kesselstadt family purchased between 1854 and 1889 four monasteries of St. Maximin Abbey and their vineyard holdings.

Since 1983, Annegret Reh-Gartner’s has directed the estate, which her father Günther Reh acquired in 1978.

Today, the estate today cultivates 36 hectares of vineyard land, consecrated exclusively to Riesling. Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt is unique in that its vineyards are equally divided among the three river valleys that form the Mosel appellation: the Mosel River valley itself, and the valleys of its two contributories, the Saar and Ruwer Rivers.

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)

schiller-wine: Related Postings

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Visiting Colette Faller at Domaine Weinbach in Kaysersberg in Alsace

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Meeting Valckenberg Owner Wilhelm Steifensand and Tasting his Wines

Tasting at the Legendary Weingut J.J. Prüm with Amei Prüm – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016

Lunch and Wine Tasting at Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in Morscheid, Mosel with Owner Annegret Reh-Gartner – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)