Antoine, Tell and Lennon – Three big men on one big table…
Since a few years the German VDP offers the initiative of twin wineries where German wineries look for an Israeli partner and vice versa. On this evening one of these exotic couples organized a get-together in Colognes wellknown Sterns Weinloft.
Around me a bunch of experts…. I listen closely and make notes. So many fascinating stories form Urban Kaufman (winemaker in Germanies Rheingau) and Ze’ev Dunie (winemaker in Israels Jerusalem Mountains), spiced up by oriental delicacies. I just love those dates filled with horseradish and walnuts!
The German twin:
A few years ago Urban, a swiss who used to make cheese, bought the traditional VDP winery Hans Lang in Germanies Rheingau. He lives and works ther now with his partner Eva Raps. Together they developed the new range of wines.
The modern labels and the red caps with the little cross are eye-catchers. I especially like their „tell“. Named after the big Swiss Wilhelm Tell this Riesling is made out of four different tanks and comes with low acidity.
As a contrast we get a taste of a late harvest Riesling made from Urban’s predecessor Hans Lang in 2002. Certainly a highlight for me!! I think I have never had a 14 year old rielsing before. Crazy how all the grapes are from the same winery and still the wines can taste so differently I think to myself…
Ze’ev Dunie used to make movies. But life made led him to being an independant winemaker in the Jerusalem mountains. He grows organically but without certificate. And not kosher.
„I don’t design wine, the grapes do this on their own.“ says Ze’ev. Every year he starts with a new and blanc sheet of paper. He never knows how the wine is going to develop. Especially in 2015 he was confused on how the wine developed. Gaining so much more sugar just within a few days suddenly and unexpected. That had never happened before. „I am still learning from the nature of my winery…“
His wines all have big names like Antoine from Antoine de Saint Exupery as well as Lennon the Beatle-legend… And what can I say: Antoine was good, but to me Lennon send me in a totally different place! Away from cold and rainy cologne into a sunny place. Not towards Israel directly I have to admit, as I never had the pleasure to go there so far, but I really hope to do that soon!
And how did your winery get its name I ask him. „There is a little seahorse swimming in the big ocean of wineries…“ Ze’ev smiles and tells me there is actually no story to tell. That’s totally ok with me! I think we already heard so many great stories tonight. I lean back, drink another sip of my Lennon and feel lucky to be able to attend such a nice get-together! Big thanks to all that were involved! Twin-wineries. What a great experience!