On Monday, January 18th 2010 we hosted a wine luncheon with Stephan Pauly from Dr. Pauly Bergweiler wine estate in Germany. Stephan's last name is Pauly, but Pauly in Germany is in comparison to the household name of Smith in the United States. To identify themselves, they added the name Bergweiler to the wine estate name. The wines here are all hand crafted from 15 different single vineyard sites. Everything is picked by hand due to the fact of steep slopes that are comprised of slate soil which makes it difficult for the pickers to keep their footing. To identify a first class German Riesling, one of the great characteristics that you hope to find is the aroma of petrol. This is a very distinct aroma that in blind tastings you can easily determine the varietal of the wine. Stephan tells me the Germans do not like to use the word Petrol, they use the word minerality. The riper the vintage, the more petroleum/ minerality. Stephan informed us they have vineyard sites where the roots can be as deep as 30-40 feet, probably deeper than any other growing areas in the world. One vine needs 120 gallons of water a year so the deeper the roots, the more accessible to water. Stephan also informed us botrytis (noble rot), usually happens every second or third vintage. In Stephan's words, he calls botrytis-raisen juice.
There is a very high demand for the sweet dessert wines in the market of Japan, Russia, and China. It certainly was a pleasure to have the opportunity to sit with Stephan and taste through his delicious line up of wines that were paired with a menu created by our Chef de Cuisine Craig Polignano.
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