Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wine and Opera in Dresden: Mozart at Semper Opera and the Best Wines of Sachsen at Wine Bar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt, with Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Pictures: Wine and Opera in Dresden - Mozart at Semper Opera and the Best Wines of Sachsen at Winebar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt, with Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka

During the 2017 Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours, we stayed 2 nights in Dresden in Sachsen. On the first night, we went to the world renowned Semper Opera and saw ”The Abduction from the Seraglio” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, followed by drinks with a light dinner in a cosy little place next to the Frauenkirche. On the second night, we drove to Dresden-Neustadt and spent the evening at one of the leading wine bars in Dresden, Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt. Jens Pietzonka was our host.

Semper Oper Dresden: ”The Abduction from the Seraglio” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

We took a stroll from our hotel to the Semperopera through the historic part of Dresden. We soaked in the magnificent architecture and views along the “Brühl Terraces” on the banks of the Elbe river.

Pictures: An Opera Evening in Dresden

Sachsen Wine Tasting and Small Bites at Wine Bar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt

Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka introduced us to the wines of Saxony.

Jens Pietzonka is one of Germany's top sommeliers. Jens Pietzonka’s career path took him to a number of famous Michelin star restaurants in Germany. He was “Sommelier of the Year” in 2014 (Falstaff Magazine).

Pictures: An Evening with the Wines of Saxony at Weinzentrale in Dresden

The Wines of Sachsen (Saxony)

Sachsen, located in the former GDR, is the easternmost German wine region and extends some 35 miles north and south of Dresden along the Elbe River. Most of the region’s vines are planted on terraces along the River Elbe, and being at such a gradient, a lot of the work is done by hand. For 8 centuries, vintners here have mostly planted Müller-Thurgau and Riesling, earning a well-deserved reputation for excellent dry whites.

Picture: Germany's Wine Regions

Meissen porcelain, known locally as “white gold,” is one of the things Sachsen is best known for, being the first place in Europe to make china in the early 18th century.

Pictures: Meissen

Annette Schiller: This region tickles all your senses with its unique voluptuous baroque architecture, a rich history, its wealth of art, and love of all the good things in life.

What it is not so well-known for is its wine. Bordering Poland and the Czech Republic, Sachsen is one of Germany’s small wine regions (360 hectares) and disappeared from the wine map during the communist period.

During the communist times from 1945 until reunification in 1989, wine production was nationalized, and winemaking took place in huge VEB (volkseigener Betrieb / company owned by the people) wineries. The output, the bottle count was imposed on the VEB by the State, and therefore quality could not play a major role. After the iron curtain came down, family wineries were founded, and the winemakers pursued quality with a vengeance.

Pictures: In the Vineyards of Sachsen - Radebeul and Pillnitz

The three main grape varieties are Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and Weissburgunder but many others are grown in smaller quantities, including Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder, Roter Traminer, Kerner, Dornfelder, Goldriesling, Scheurebe and a rarity, Dunkelfelder. The wines are mostly dry (trocken). Most of the wine produced in Sachsen is consumed in the region.

See: Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany

Jens Pietzonka's Selection

Jens selected 6 wines from 5 top producers for us. Three of them - Schuh, Kretschko and Bönsch - are small, young, up-and-coming producers. Te other two producers - Drei Herren and Martin Schwarz - are also relatively new, but a bit better known outside of Sachsen. We visited Weingut Drei Herren on the 2016 Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours and Weingut Martin Schwarz 2017 Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours.

Picture: Jens Pietzonka's Selection

2016 Weingut Schuh, Traminer, Sachsen
2016 Weingut Schuh, Grauburgunder, Sachsen

Weingut Schuh is owned and run by Mathias Schuh and his sister Katharina since 2016. Dresdner Straße 314, 01640 Coswig OT Sörnewitz

Pictures: 2016 Weingut Schuh, Traminer, Sachsen

2015 Weingut A.R. Kretschko. Müller Thurgau, Sachsen

After studying between 2001 and 2005 at Geisenheime University and working between 2005 and 2012 at Weingut Schloss Wackerbarth, Andreas Kretschko decided to create his own winery in Radeberg. 1 hectare.

Pictures: 2015 Weingut A.R. Kretschko. Müller Thurgau, Sachsen

2015 Weingut Stefan Bönsch, Riesling, Sachsen

Only 6000 bottles. Stefan Bönsch produces wine under his own name since 2013.

Pictures: 2015 Weingut Stefan Bönsch, Riesling, Sachsen

2015 Weingut Drei Herren, Riesling, Sachsen

Picture: 2015 Weingut Drei Herren, Riesling, Sachsen

Weingut Drei Herren

Weingut Drei Herren was officially inaugurated in 2005. In 2002 art historian Prof. Dr. Rainer Beck purchased the estate and step by step he built up the wine estate. He always had a passion for wine; after all he can trace back his roots on his father’s side to a family with viticulture tradition.

Picture: Rainer Beck, Antje Wiedemann and Claus Höhne

There were three founding partners – hence the name: Drei Herren (Three Gentlemen). The second one was Claus Höhne, a winemaker from Radebeul who is still the vineyard manager and winemaker and a third gentleman who dropped out. In 2005 Antje Wiedemann, the saxon wine queen and later German wine princess, joined the team and the team decided to keep the name of the estate although now the ownership consists of two men and one women. Some justification came with her last name: it ends with “mann”, which means “gentleman”.

Picture: Restaurant Manager/ Sommelier Dirk Brauerand Chef A. Kühne 

Since the beginning great care was given to the quality of the wines and every year the portfolio gets high remarks in the German wine critic circles.

See:
Lunch with Wine Pairing at Weingut Drei Herren in Radebeul, Sachsen, with Restaurant Manager/ Sommelier Dirk Brauer - Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Pictures: At Weingut Drei Herren

2015 Weingut Martin Schwarz, Chardonnay, Sachsen

Pictures: 2015 Weingut Martin Schwarz, Chardonnay, Sachsen

Weingut Martin Schwarz


Martin Schwarz belongs to the group of young, ambitious, up-and coming winemakers in Sachsen. Back in the days when sipping a 1975 Château Margaux on a park bench while skipping Latin classes at school he got hooked to the world of wine, and decided to make wine his profession. He interned at the VDP winery Dr. Heger in Baden to get some practical experiences under his belt. In 1996 he graduated from the famous Geisenheim Oenological University in the Rheingau. A prominent winery in Sachsen was looking for a cellar master and Martin took on that challenge. For 16 years he worked as winemaker at the VDP winery Schloss Proschwitz before he started out on his own in 2013. Today he owns 5 acres in one the best vineyards sites on the steep slopes of the Elbe river. His wines show a very individual character and convince with their complexity and finesse.

See:
Chardonnay: Germany versus Chablis - Salon Tasting at Schiller's Home, USA
Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Pictures: Visit of Weingut Martin Schwarz in 2017

Postings: Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Wine Tasting Lunch at Weingut Frölich-Hake in Naumburg-Rossbach, Saale-Unstrut, Germany, with Sandra Hake – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region: Tour and Wine Tasting with Marcus Pawis – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Weingut Uwe Lützkendorf, with Uwe Lützkendorf, in Bad Kösen, Saale-Unstrut – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany

Wine and Music: "Martin Luther Lunch" at the Historic Vincenz Richter Restaurant, Weingut Vincenz Richter, in Meissen with Senior Boss Gottfried Herrlich and the Music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine and Opera in Dresden: Mozart at Semper Opera and the Best Wines of Sachsen at Wine Bar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt, with Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka

Visit: Weingut Martin Schwarz in Meissen

Visit, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Zur Schwane in Volkach, Franken with Winemaker Christian Kallisch

Vinyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Fürstlich Castell'sches Domänenamt, with General Manager/ Winemaker Björn Probst

Michelin-star Level Winepairing Dinner at Winzerhof Stahl, Franken, Prepared by Winemaker/ Chef Christian Stahl

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Juliusspital in Würzburg,Franken

Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour, Lunch and Tasting at Weingut Fürst Hohenlohe Öhringen in Öhringen–Verrenberg,Württemberg with Winemaker Joachim Brand

Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder in Schozach, Württemberg, with Kilian Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Wchstetter in Pfaffenhofen, Württemberg, with Rainer Wachtstetter

Lunch at Restaurant Schloss Monrepos Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, with Chef Ben Benasr (1 Sar Michelin)

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Herzog von Württemberg at Schloss Monrepos in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, with Andrea Ritz, Wine Queen of Württemberg