The trip had been planned three weeks ago...but 2 Saturdays running....bad weather.Nothing worse that driving through a vineyard area with the drizzle and mist spoiling your view.
Finally...a beautiful 'Indian Summer' day....and along with my wife, her brother and his wife , we set off for Rheinland-Pfalz.
I was planning to visit some 'lesser known' properties...and the first stop was in Grünstadt-Asselheim at Weingut Matthias Gaul.
A charming courtyard...and a warm welcome from Werner Gaul. The current vintage for their Spätburgunder Schloss is 2006....so it was purchased along with a bottle of the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrique.
Next stop was Wageck-Pfaffmann in Bissersheim..the flag was flying...but no Spätburgunder available...all sold out at the moment.
I had called the next property Weingut Jakob Pfleger a few days in advance and Roland Pfleger told me to call his mobile if he wasn't around. He was not around...and his mobile did not react.
Next on the list...Joachim Hollerith in Hambach....son Jonathan was in the vineyard....harvest in full swing...call later he said.
What now?....change of plan....and we set off to the south arriving at Bürrweiler just after midday at the property of Weingut Messmer.
The lady who served us knew nothing about the wines...and only when I asked for some 2007 did she inquire...and the journey was made worthwhile.
The vineyard workers from Poland had just finished their lunch...and...red-faced...they made their way back to the hard labour.
2007 Spätburgunder Schlossgarten & 2007 St. Laurent found their way into the back of the car.
I had made a list of 6 lunch-stops...it would depend where we were. At 1pm we were near Neustadt...and the Bistro-Restaurant Mundus Vini had been praised in Feinschmecker.
I ordered the Tapas Variation...which was quite good...the other 3 decided on some Tagliatella with Shrimps. The pasta was re-warmed...and the shrimps tasted of fridge.
The Bistro had a selection of wines you could buy. They had a bottle of Hollerith Maximus 2005.
I called Hollerith again...but Jonathan said they would be in the vineyards until 3 pm...and that would have put us behind schedule. I asked him about the Maximus...he said...buy it...we don't have it anymore!
Another one hits the back seat.
It was now 2pm.
Next destination Hensel in Bad Dürkheim
After 45 years without one...I have got used to using my Sat-Nav in the new car when searching for difficult to find properties. With a delay of 30 minutes!!!...we arrived at Hensel. We said to the young man who greeted us that the Navigation System couldn't find the address..and he told us that Porsche Cayenne didn't have the address in their system. The property owner had a Mercedes...same problem...not is his system either (not really the same though...he knows where his property is).
The 2008 Merlot Höhenflug, 2008 Cuvée Höhenflug and 2008 Spätburgunder Höhenflug were purchased.
After lunch I had phoned Roland Pfleger again and said we would be there in Herxheim am Berg at 3pm but by the time we arrived it was 3.30...luckily he was at home. A warm welcome and a smile of a man who knows what's good for him...his wines.
He asked how I knew about him and I mentioned a recenty article in Weinwelt. I was interested in the 'R'. 'I can let you have one bottle of the 2007 and one bottle of the 2008...and if you want some 2009 you can order it now'
Fair enough...deal done...and three bottles of the 2009 ordered....this time next year they should be in my cellar. He said I should try the 'basic' Pinot Noir 2007 and a couple of bottles made their way into the boot.
Almost 4 pm...and the visit on the way back to Keller in Rheinhessen was no longer possible....
The day ended with us parking the car at home and walking round the corner to a local eatery. The food was better than at midday....and I could finally drink a couple of glasses of wine.