Sunday, 7 August 2011

Organic Viticulture in the Rhinegau

Vineyards in Assmannshausen

The Rhinegau is one of the most famous and beautiful wine making areas of the world and is also a centre of competence for organic viticulture and wine making. At Geisenheim there is a grape breeding institute and research centre where organic viticulture is a compulsory subject for all of their 1000 students. In Germany there are 215 wine organic growers, farming 1,400 acres, who are members of ECOVIN, the Federal Association of Organic Viticulture which was founded in 1985. ECOVIN is the largest association of working organic wineries in the world.

Last week a group of 7 organic vineyard owners from the UK went to Rhinegau to visit the Geisenheim research centre and to gain first hand practical experience of organic viticulture in the region.

Much was learnt during the course of the 3 days we spent there and particular thanks must go to Professor Kauer at Geisenheim and vineyard owners and wine makers Michael Albrecht, Peter Asbach-Kretschmar, Axel Schmitt, Johann Schnell and Hans Lang, who made us so welcome during our trip.  Their passion for organic practices was truly inspiring and confirmed our belief that it is the basis for sustainable viticulture in the future.

Professor Kauer at the vineyard of the Research Centre at Geisenheim

Michael Albrecht in his Winery

Of course we also tasted a lot of excellent quality wine including many made from Riesling and Pinot Noir, which are the main grape varieties in the region. However we also enjoyed tastings of Sylvaner, Pinot Gris, Dornfelder and many others.

Wine Tasting with Peter Asbach-Kretschmar and Michael Albrecht

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