While studying for my WSET level 1, I had come across Reisling. A white wine which is known to have a crisp taste with a bouquet of flavours and aroma. My class with Magandeep had me tasting Reisling for the first time and I truly fell in love with. Since then, I have tried this German wine quite a few number of times and each time came back wanting more. So when an opportunity arose for me to explore the famous wines of Germany, I couldn’t refuse.
The monks and wine
Now wine in Germany is intricately linked with their monks and monasteries. The initial production of wine started west of the Rhine. But with Charlemagne’s campaign across the Rhine, the areas east of the Rhine also started with viniculture. The pioneers of this explosion of vineyards were the monks. The monastery of Eberbach was one of the first to start in the Rheingau valley in mid 12th century. Many of these monks had migrated over from Pinot region in France and brought their grape, Pinot Noir with them. Through the centuries the Eberbach monastery increased its influence and ruled the roost. But with the wars of the 17th and 18th century combined with the secularization of early 19th century, there was a gradual decrease in their prosperity. But its wine still endures to this day as we take you around this medieval European monastery.
There is a sense of going back in history as we strolled through the timeless Roman arches of the monastery. The Cistercians had a very simple lifestyle and it is evident from the strong wooden arches with bare furnishings. The church is central to the workings of a monastery and the Roman architecture will make you fall in love with its simplicity. The dining hall of the lay brothers is where all the action used to take place. The wooden wine presses of the 17-19th century are still visible. Although the monks were known for their austerity, but the Baroque period saw the monks showcasing their worldly wealth. The Baroque residence was one of the most elegantly decorated rooms in all of medieval Europe. The richly decorated ceiling takes your breath away.
Enough of the medieval Europe mumbo jumbo, let’s move onto the wines now. The strolling wine tour provides for a trip through the magnificence of the monastery along with a selection of wines. We tried out the Kloster Eberbach 2013 and Crescentia Pinot Noir 2012. Well medieval European castles and wines make for one heady concoction and this is one combination I would like to repeat again. The tour goes on for around one and a half hours and sets you back by €23.
Germany’s wines are something that you must try while visiting Germany. Although beer may be a drink which is consumed mostly, but the history linked to wines is something definitely worth exploring.