Friday, April 24, 2015

Lunch and Wine Tasting at Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in Morscheid, Mosel with Owner Annegret Reh-Gartner – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Picture: Wine Tasting at Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in Morscheid

Following the morning event at Weingut von Hövel with owner and winemaker Maximilian von Kunow, we drove over to Morscheid to have lunch cum wine tasting with Annegret Reh-Gartner, the owner of the prestigious Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt.

Annegret Reh-Gartner is married to Gerhard Gartner, who was a top chef in Aachen, Germany. His restaurant Gala was a 2 star Michelin restaurant for over 10 years. After taking his final curtain call on the gourmet stage, he devoted himself to his second passion – wine.

Picture: Christian Schiller and  Chef Gerhard Gartner

The lunch cum tasting with Annegret Reh-Gartner was the final event in the Mosel area and we moved on the Nahe Valley, where we had events at Weingut Dönnhoff, Schlossgut Diel and Weingut Kruger-Rumpf.

Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

First documented in 1349, Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt is one of the most traditional estates in the Mosel region. The von Kesselstatt dynasty immigrated to the electorate of Trier in the 14th century.

Following secularization by Napoleon in 1802, the von Kesselstadt family purchased between 1854 and 1889 four monasteries of St. Maximin Abbey and their vineyard holdings.

Pictures: Arriving at Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in Morscheid, Mosel

Since 1983, Annegret Reh-Gartner’s has directed the estate, which her father Günther Reh acquired in 1978.

Today, the estate today cultivates 36 hectares of vineyard land, consecrated exclusively to Riesling. Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt is unique in that its vineyards are equally divided among the three river valleys that form the Mosel appellation: the Mosel River valley itself, and the valleys of its two contributories, the Saar and Ruwer Rivers.

From 1746 until 1999, estate headquarters were in Palais Kesselstatt in Trier, one of the most beautiful baroque palaces north of the Alps. It was built between 1740 and 1746 by Johann Valentin Thomann, a student of Balthasar Neumann. Palais Kesselstatt, with its historical vaulted cellars and idyllic courtyard, was lovingly renovated by Günther Reh. Today, it is the site of the estate’s wine pub, Weinstube Kesselstatt.

In 1987, after extensive reconstruction and building, the estate moved its winemaking facilities to Schloss Marienlay in the Ruwer Valley (where we had lunch with Annegret Reh-Gartner and Gerhard Gartner), which has also has served as the estate’s headquarters since 1999.

Achieving high quality has always been the focal point of Annegret Reh-Gartner’s endeavors, just as her wines have always been subject to high standards. The conscious decision to reduce the size of the estate to 36 hectares was an important step, for it enabled the estate to work more selectively in its vineyards and further improve quality.

In the cellar, Annegret Reh-Gartner’s approach is to interfere as little as possible at the winemaking stage, underscoring the individuality of the terroir of each valley. Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt is one of the region’s first estates to successfully offer Grosse Gewächse wines, the new category of ultra-premium dry wines.

Pictures: Wine Tasting at Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in Morscheid

The Vineyards

Mosel: Josephshof in Graach with 8 ha (20 acres) of vines (acquired by the von Kesselstatt family in 1858) and Domklausenhof in Piesport with 8 ha (20 acres) of vines (acquired in 1858).

Saar: Abteihof in Oberemmel with 21 ha (52 acres) of vines in (acquired in 1889).

Ruwer: St. Irminenhof in Kasel with 8.5 ha (21 acres) of vines (acquired in 1854).

The Wines Annegret Reh-Gartner Poured

Annegret poured a most-interesting selection of wines for us, ranging from Trocken, including a GG (the ultra-premium dry wines of the VDP members) to a delicious 2002 Scharzhofberger Auslese.


2013 Graacher Riesling Trocken
2012 Wehlen Sonnenuhr Riesling GG Trocken

Harmoniously dry to fruity

2013 Josephshöfer Riesling Kabinett
2013 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett
2013 Piesport Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett

Fruity-sweet of 2 different vintages – ripeness is beautiful

2013 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese
2008 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese

A great wine of a great vintage

2002 Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese Long Goldcapsule #10


Following the wine tasting, we had lunch, with more Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt wines.


Thank you very much Annegret and Gerhard for a wonderful tasting and lunch.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Coming-up: Wine & Art Tour to Saale-Unstrut - Saxony - Franken - Württemberg: Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (June 11 - June 20, 2015)

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Weingut Pawis (Saale Unstrut): Estate Tour and Wine Tasting with Kerstin Pawis – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Winzerhof Gussek in the Saale Unstrut Region: Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker André Gussek – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Tour and Tasting at the Historic Weingut Juliusspital in Würzburg, Franken – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Weingut Bickel-Stumpf in Franken: Vineyard Walk and Wine Tasting with Reimund Stumpf, Matthias Stumpf and Melanie Stumpf-Kröger - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Kiedrich: Visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine and of Weingut Robert Weil - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Tour and Wine Tasting - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Wining in the Steinberg Vineyard – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Visit: Winzerhof Thörle in Saulheim, Rheinhessen – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Kühling-Gillot in Bodenheim: Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld-Spanier Wines – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Künstler – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

One of the Bio-dynamic Stars in Germany: Weingut Peter Jakob Kühn in Östrich, Winkel – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

In the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Clemens Busch – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Selbach-Oster in Zeltingen, Mosel, with Johannes Selbach – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Von Hövel in Konz, Saar Valley, Mosel, with Owner and Winemaker Max von Kunow - Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Art Exhibition and Wine Tasting with Susan Levin and Annette Schiller, Washington DC, USA

Picture: Susan Levin and Annette Schiller

Thank You

Thank you all for coming to this past weekends Art and Wine Event. It was a pleasure for us to meet new people and to partake in the Wine, Art, Food and exceptional company. Art and Wine really do compliment each other! The way in which we met may seem so unusual and random to most, but we connected immediately and we are so glad we did. We will keep you informed about upcoming events and we hope to hear from you or to see you again very soon. Please keep a lookout for more information about us and our future solo and/or joint events.

Hope to see you soon…

Annette and Susan

Pictures: Susan Levin and Annette Schiller Welcoming their Guests

The Event

Please join us on April 18th from 4pm - 6pm for a Wine-Tasting & Art Exhibit at the North Bethesda, Maryland home of Susan Levin where we will taste a selection of our favorite wines while we enjoy viewing the Abstract Expressionist paintings & Digital Art of Susan Levin and a Wine Tasting led by Annette Schiller of Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours.

There is no charge to attend the event. But we do ask that you bring a bottle of your favorite Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir wine.

Pictures: Art and Wine

Art: Susan Levin

As a painter and digital photographer, I work hard to create pieces that evoke emotion and conversation. While my paintings and photographs are an expression of my moods, they are also an abstract interpretation of real life experiences. I interpret my dreams and often paint what I dream and I embellish my photos with the use of the computer.

Creating new work is a form of playing and designing what is often clearly before my eyes and sometimes what is simply perceived through the lens. It is that combination of being acutely aware and having the ability to clarify what is right before me that makes me passionate about art and love what I do.

For more information: Susan Levin Art: 

Picture: Susan Levin and Annette Schiller

Wine: Annette Schiller

We offer:

Expert, all-inclusive tours to wine regions in France and Germany. In Germany we are the pioneers of the concept to visit all 13 German wine regions with international wine friends.

Custom tailored tours to wine regions in France, Germany, and other wine regions around the world.
Planning and implementation of wine pairing dinners in the Washington DC area and Germany for wineries / châteaux.

Educational presentations on the wines of France and Germany (with and without accompanying tastings).

Conceptualization and organization of promotional events for the food and beverage industry.

Wine Tours in 2015

France: Bourgogne (May) and Bordeaux (September)
Germany: Germany-East (June), Germany-South (September) and Germany-North (September)

For more information: Ombiasy PR & Wine Tours:

Picture: Susan Levin and Annette Schiller

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Weingut Wittmann now with Dr. Loosen Imports in the USA

Picture: Annette Schiller, ombiasy WineTours, and Christian Schiller with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Prowein 2015, see:  Prowein 2015 in Düsseldorf, Germany – Schiller’s Impressions

A few months ago, Loosen Bros. USA announced that German star producer Weingut Wittmann from the Rheinhessen region had joined the portfolio of Dr. Loosen Imports.

Dr. Loosen Imports Adds Weingut Wittmann

Announcement by Loosen Bros. USA: Loosen Bros. USA is delighted to announce the addition of yet another great producer to the Dr. Loosen Imports portfolio.

Weingut Wittmann is a biodynamic family estate in Germany’s Rheinhessen region. They are pioneers in developing the dynamic, full-bodied, and well-balanced style of dry wines for which the Rheinhessen region has become known.

Winemaker Philipp Wittmann is Germany’s 2014 Winemaker of the Year. (For that honor he joined Ernst Loosen, Wilhelm Haag, Carl von Schubert, and Wilhelm Weil, all part of our portfolio.)

The Wittmann family has developed a deep bond with the land they cultivate. They have been growing grapes and producing wine since 1663. In 1990 they became completely organic, and in 2004, biodynamic.

The estate is known for balanced wines that have tension, depth and intensity, but at the same time are fresh and elegant. Philipp Wittmann looks for natural balance in the vineyards, in order to slow the ripening process and harvest grapes that have fully developed flavors, but are not overripe.

Loosen Bros. USA

Loosen Bros. USA is owned and managed by Ernst Loosen. Day to day management is in the hands of Kirke Wille, based in Oregon. The portfolio has grown quite a bit over the years and includes now:

Picture: Loosen Bros. CEO Kirk Wille and Riesling Guru Stuart Pigott

Dr. Loosen - Located in the heart of the Mosel valley, Dr. Loosen is consistently ranked among the top 10 wine estates in Germany and among the best Riesling producers in the world.

J.L. Wolf - Owned by Ernst Loosen, Villa Wolf is located in the Pfalz region along the Rhine in Southern Germany. Here, Ernst makes drier Rieslings, as well as wines from other grape varieties.

J. Christopher - Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, J. Christopher specializes in hand-crafted Pinot Noir made in the traditional style of Burgundy.

Robert Weil - One of Germany’s most elite producers, Weingut Robert Weil produces vividly intense, distinguished Rieslings from its first-rate vineyard sites in the Rheingau. Robert Weil is also among the perennial top 10 wine estates of Germany, along with Dr. Loosen.

C. von Schubert/Maximin Grunhaus (Ruwer) - A legendary producer from the tiny Ruwer valley in the Mosel region, the Maximin Grünhaus estate dates back to the 10th century. Fifth-generation owner, Carl von Schubert makes stellar wines from his monopole vineyards.

Fritz Haag (Mosel) - A historic estate in the Middle Mosel that is consistently ranked among the finest producers in the world. The wines are revered for their focused purity and intense expression of the slate soils of their Brauneberg (“Brown mountain”) vineyards.

Nicola Potel - The well-known and highly respected Burgundy winemaker, Nicolas Potel, has founded a new estate (Domaine de Bellene), as well as this new négociant house, Maison Roche de Bellene. He produces wines of extraordinary quality from excellent vineyards throughout the region.

Weingut Gantenbein - Widely considered to be one of the finest wine estates of Switzerland, Weingut Gantenbein makes very small quantities of stunning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir — a rare and unforgettable glory.

Pictures: Ernst Loosen, Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller at Weingut Dr. Ernst Loosen in Bernkastel-Kues, see:  German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

Weingut Wittmann

For several centuries the Wittmanns have been wine farmers in the town of Westhofen, in the southern part of Rheinhessen. Today, Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann (who herself is a gifted winemaker who also owns and runs her own winery in the Mosel valley) and Philipp’s parents Günter and Elisabeth Wittmann divide the tasks running the 25 hectare estate.

Philipp Wittmann: The Wittmanns and their ancestors have been wine-growers in the old market town of Westhofen, in southern Rheinhessen, where the first documented of viticulture in the family dates from 1663. Today’s estate developed from this long tradition over the course of centuries. The length of an estate’s viticultural tradition really says nothing about the quality of an estate’s wines. Perhaps, though, it does say something about the bond one has with the piece of land that one cultivates. Since 1990, we have cultivated our vineyards according to controlled ecological guidelines, and since 2004, biodynamically. By doing so, our soil will remain healthy for future generations, too


Rheinhessen is the largest viticultural region in Germany. Every fourth bottle of German wine comes from Rheinhessen. About one third of Rheinhessen’s agricultural area is cultivated with vines, more than 26000 hectares. The high-yielder Mueller-Thurgau accounts for about 1/5 of the vineyards, and Silvaner and Dornfelder both for 1/10. Overall, Riesling is on the backburner. Unlike in other German wine regions, where monoculture of the vine is the norm, here the many rolling hills are host to a wide variety of crops grown alongside the grape. Rheinhessen also has the rather dubious honor of being considered the birthplace of Liebfraumilch.

At the same time, Rheinhessen is at this time among Germany’s most interesting wine regions. A lot is happening there. There is an amazing group of young, ambitious and dynamic winemakers, led by star winemakers like Klaus Peter Keller, Philipp Wittmann and H.O. Spanier, who want to produce and indeed do produce outstanding wine and not wines in large quantities.

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Weingut Wittmann, see:  Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Weingut Wittman Vineyards

Riesling is the dominant grape of choice but also the Pinot varietals (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris) and Silvaner have a long tradition in Westhofen. Philipp makes many wines, but the estate is famous for its 4 Grosse Lage sites and the Grosses Gewächs wines it produces there: Morstein, Kirchspie, Brunnenhäuschen and Aulerde. Morstein GG is seen as Phillip Wittmann’s his greatest wine but each of them is special in their own way.

Phillip Wittmann: Aulerde is our warmest site. Westhofen's southern to southeastern vineyard slopes rise from the glacial valley of the Rhine to the rim of a high plateau. The Aulerde vineyard lies at the foot of the protective eastern and southeastern slopes of the Kirchspiel site. The vines here are facing slightly south. The upper layers of a small portion of Aulerde are heavy clayish marl with only a very small amount of limestone. The subsoil contains clayish or gravelly sand (it is only here that we grow our Riesling vines). However, most of the site consists of meter-high layers of loess.

The Kirchspiel site opens toward the Rhine like an amphitheater. Its southern and southeastern exposure protects the vines from cold westerly winds – and accounts for the excellent microclimate of the vineyard. The soil structure is similar to that of the Morstein site, marked by clayish marl interspersed with limestone. Limestone is the predominant component of the subsoil, too.

The Brunnenhäuschen site is situated east of Morstein and above the Steingrube site. Due to its altitude, grapes ripen slowly and harvesting usually takes place after a very long growing season. The finest portion of Brunnenhäuschen is in the old parcel known as “Abtserde.” We cultivate half a hectare (1.2 acres) of Riesling here. This site is marked by clayish marl that is rich in limestone. Due to a high iron oxide content, parts of the soil are reddish in color, also referred to as “terra rossa.” The subsoil is interspersed with large limestone rocks.

Morstein is situated on the south-facing slope that stretches from Gundersheim to Westhofen. The subsoil consists of massive limestone rocks. The first documented mention of the site dates from 1282. Today, we own about 4 ha (10 acres) in the best (southeastern exposure) parcel of this vineyard. The upper layer of soil is primarily heavy clayish marl interspersed with limestone. The subsoil is also heavy and marked by layers of limestone that help circulate water. This ensures that the vines are well supplied with nutrients and minerals, and accounts for the mineral character of our Morstein wines.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Prowein 2015 in Düsseldorf, Germany – Schiller’s Impressions

The Doctor Made a House Call - A Tasting with Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, at MacArthur Beverages in Washington DC, USA

Visiting Wilhelm Weil at his Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich, Germany

A Riesling Guru and a Killer Guitarist cum Cult Winemaker: Ernst Loosen and Jay Somers and their J. Christopher Winery in Newberg, Oregon

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, USA

Picture: Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Following a long evening at the Gala Dinner of the Rieslingfeier 2015 (see below) und ahead of driving back home to Washington DC, we had lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar.

Pictures: Heading Home

The Momofuku Ssäm Bar belongs to the empire of David Chang. Every year between 2009 and 2013, it was on the prestigious San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Also on the San Pellegrino list was Momofuku Ko (in 2011, 2012 and 2013), which currently has 2 stars in the New York Michelin Guide. While the Momofuku Ssäm Bar does not take reservations (except for large groups and special meals), you need to make a reservation for the Momofuku Ko (12 seats). Reservations can only be made online starting at 10 am 10 days before your dinner. The seats are gone within a few seconds. By contrast, at Momofuku Ssäm, we just walked in and there were plenty of seats to choose from.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants (2014) - San Pellegrino

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, USA

Momofuko and David Chang

Momofuku is a group of restaurants owned by Virginia-borne (in 1977) and Virginia-raised Korean-American chef and entrepreneur David Chang. Momofuku could be translated from Japanese as "lucky peach", though Chef David Chang has written that the name is "an indirect nod" to Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese inventor of instant ramen.

David Chang grew up in Alexandria (VA). After attended Trinity College, where he majored in religious studies, David Chang pursued a variety of jobs, both in Japan and the US, including teaching English in Japan, holding finance positions in New York City, working in a small soba shop in Japan and working at Café Boulud in New York City. He also attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City, before opening his first restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village in 2004 (at age 27).

Pictures: Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Vanity Fair: That place, whose optimized versions of ramen and pork buns electrified the burgeoning food blogosphere of the mid-aughts, has since begotten nine further New York City establishments (if you count his fast-proliferating Milk Bar dessert shops), five more Chang-branded places in Toronto, and a restaurant in Sydney, not to mention a Wonka-esque culinary lab in Brooklyn. Chang is also a guiding force behind Lucky Peach, a gorgeous, high-production-value literary food quarterly published under the aegis of Dave Eggers’s McSweeney’s imprint. Chang impressed himself upon the food world as a profane, gonzo, emotionally volatile enfant terrible. But now, at the age of 36, he is après-enfant and pas si terrible, a dialed-down and more reflective man—if still as complicated and self-flagellatory as ever.

Lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Picture: Liver Mousse - maraschino, green papaya, toast US$ 11

Picture: Rotisserie Duck Over Rice - duck scallion, ssäm sauce, crispy shallot US$ 15

Picture: O.G. Momofuku Ssäm or Bowl - pork shoulder, black beans, kimichi, poached egg US$ 14

Picture: Köhler-Ruprecht Riesling Kabinett Trocken


Rieslingfeier is an annual two-day event in New York City that celebrates German Riesling. The cornerstone event is the Rieslingfeier Gala Dinner.

Inspired by Daniel Johnnes’ famous Burgundy fête “La Paulée,” it is very likely the greatest German wine "BYOB" dinner in the world, with both winemakers and guests bringing special bottles from their cellars to share.

Picture: Christian Schiller, Annette Schiller and Sommelier Paul Grieco (Terroir, Summer of Riesling) at the 2015 Rieslingfeier in New York City, USA

Side events, specialized seminars and retail tastings round out the yearly Rieslingfeier program. Rieslingfeier is orchestrated by Stephen Bitterolf of the vom Boden wine importing company.

This year, Rieslingfeier took place on the Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31. 11 winemakers attended, all belonging to the elite of German winemakers, including world stars like Klaus Peter Keller, Egon Müller and Johannes Leitz.

This posting is part of a series covering the 2015 Rieslingfeier; it focuses on the Gala Dinner.

Here is a list of all postings:

Coming-up: Rieslingfeier 2015 in New York City, USA
A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA
The 11 Winemakers: Rieslingfeier 2015 in New York City, USA
Riesling Crawl in New York City – Or, Where to Buy German Wine in Manhattan: Schiller's Favorite Wine Stores, USA
The Gala Dinner of the Rieslingfeier 2015 in New York City, USA
Lunch at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, USA