A Whole New Doing in Wine
Herbert Blahnik got his job through the Green Week. Thirty-two years ago, he was strolling through the fair as a visitor and happened to get stuck at the booth of Weinhaus Funk - and its wine. "Since then, I've only drunk this wine." Nine years later, he started working for the winery as a sales representative in Berlin and the northern and eastern German regions.
Wine tasting at home
Weinhaus Funk is a small family business from a village near Bad Dürkheim. Much of the selling is done through trade shows - or direct sales, which means Mr. Blahnik comes to his home for tastings. He regularly presents the latest vintages to his regular customers. But he also visits new clientele for wine tastings, when ten to 20 people gather. His tips for such an event: "Even though I sometimes bring 25 wines - one person shouldn't drink more than five or six wines in one evening, otherwise you won't taste anything."
Important are water, bread or cheese to neutralize, salty pastries rather not. Those who have found their favorites can order the wine to their home. Incidentally, Mr. Blahnik's favorite wines are the Kanzler Spätlese trocken ("a pleasure wine for the evening"), the Acolon Rotwein feinherb ("goes with any occasion") and the Syrah ("a pleasure wine").
Elan and a love of experimentation
Thomas Höfer runs the "Weingut Schlossmühle Dr. Höfer," a family-run winery south of Mainz that produces 40 wines and sparkling wines and sees itself as a "winery you can touch" - with overnight stays, wine tastings, seminars and a seasonal restaurant. Höfer brought more than 30 wines to the Green Week. "For us, this is very important: Here at the fair, we find out early in the year what guests want," he says. Burgundy wines such as Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are very much in vogue, he says, along with the classic Riesling.
He also observes that dry wines are still in demand, "but with a tendency toward semi-dry, rather rounded flavors." Höfer thinks it's great that a new generation of winemakers is just coming up. "It's a whole different doing in wine," he says. "Much more athletic, they bring verve and a willingness to experiment. Sure, I'm learning from that, too."
Organic wine for more than 15 years
Axel Seck and his wife Claudia converted their Seck winery to organic wines in 2007 and are among the demonstration farms of the BÖL (Federal Program for Organic Agriculture). In viticulture, organic means that no herbicides (weed killers) are used, no systemic pesticides are used against diseases such as mildew or rot, and no nitrogen mineral fertilizers are used. There are also some special features in the production process. "It's more involved than conventional viticulture and riskier in difficult years, and yields are lower," says Axel Seck. "But I believe organic is the better way to produce food in the long run. But it's up to everyone to decide for themselves whether they'll accept a little less profit for it."
Non-alcoholic wine on trend
As a trend, Seck notes that non-alcoholic wines are increasingly in demand. Incidentally, you can't taste a difference between organic and conventional wine, he stresses: "Here as there, there's either good wine or bad wine."
Almost 70 percent of German wines come from Rhineland-Palatinate. Wine lovers can get a taste of the wines in Hall 22a.