Monday, April 3, 2017
Family-style Wine-pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann, with Owners/ Winemakers Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann was founded in 1953, in the post World War II era. Johann Maximilian Lang, son of the founder, converted the winery to organic viticulture and became member of the Ecovin Association for Organic Viticulture in 2012. Dry wines have a long tradition at the estate and account for 90% of the portfolio. Recently. Weingut Hans Lang -Kaufmann was sold. Eva Raps, the former Managing Director of the VDP, the association of about 200 German elite winemakers, and her partner in life, Urban Kaufmann, a cheese producer from Switzerland, are the new owners.
Riesling Gala 2015 at Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau, Germany
We toured the winery and enjoyed a wine-pairing lunch, cooked by Eva Raps. Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps, with assistant winemaker Eckart Waitz, were our hosts. When we visited the winery, there was major construction work going on.
Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps
For years, Swiss entrepreneur Urban Kaufmann traveled through some of Europe’s best wine regions in search of the ideal place where he could realize his dream of owning a wine estate. During his search, he met with Eva Raps, the longtime managing director of the VDP, who brought him to Hans Lang in the Rheingau. After 40 years as a passionate winemaker, the experienced Rheingau vintner was looking for a successor with the right instinct to carry on his life’s work. And thus, a remarkable project came into being: an excellent portfolio of vineyards, the search for something new, a soaring fantasy, and a craftsman’s brilliance go hand in hand with the long-standing values of the Rheingau.
About Weingut Hans Lang
This house has always had holdings in top Rheingau vineyard sites. They are the basis for everything that is produced in the estate’s cellar. “Our sites are the focal point of our future work,” says Urban Kaufmann, who took over the estate with Eva Raps in 2014. “For me, being able to produce Riesling wines in the heart of the Rheingau is a dream come true,” admits the novice vintner. He was previously the managing director of one of Appenzell’s most renowned cheese dairies.
Apart from being congenial culinary partners, wine and cheese have much in common as the site-specific aromas and flavors of their terroirs unfold during development. “Whether it’s a perfect Appenzeller or a perfect Wisselbrunnen Grosses Gewächs, both require the same degree of hard work and ambition.”
A Feeling for Riesling and Pinot
Kaufmann’s partner, Eva Raps, is no stranger to the German wine scene. For many years, she was the managing director of the Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP, or Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates), a position she pursued with great commitment. As for her new job she says: “For me, it’s wonderful to finally be able to implement the quality philosophy of the VDP at a wine estate of my own. Fortunately, we have just the right sites in our portfolio to do so.”
While the new Hattenheim team are devotees of the Rheingau’s classic grape, Riesling, they are also Pinot enthusiasts: Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, and especially Pinot Noir, the variety with which the estate has attracted considerable attention in Germany for over twenty years.
The decision to run a wine estate meant a change in careers for Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps and an opportunity to implement their ideas. Yet, both appreciate the importance of continuity, not least to maintain the estate’s traditional principles and high standards. Therefore, Hans Lang will provide advice and support to help the newcomers successfully make the transition. Uniting his invaluable experience as a cellar master with the impetus of the new owners ensures that this family-operated estate will continue to produce top-notch, handcrafted wines.
Hans Lang has always been open to new ideas, be it the production of dry Rieslings, his pioneer work in the German Barrique Forum or his uncompromising pursuit of quality. By the early 1990s, he had already banished mash pumps from his cellar and had reverted to labor-intensive harvesting by hand to continually improve wine quality.
Picture: Christian Schiller at Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann with Johann Maximilian Lang
Weingut Hans Lang, Hattenheim in the Rheingau: Eva Raps, Managing Director of VDP, and Urban Kaufmann, Swiss Cheese Producer, Take Over, Germany
A Wine Feast in the Rheingau, Germany: The Grand Wine Convention 2010
Long a proponent of ecologically friendly viticulture, Hans Lang has consistently strived to come even closer to nature by cultivating his grapes organically in recent years. Today, the estate numbers among the few members in the Rheingau branch of EcoVin. “Already we can clearly see a refinement in our wines, but we’re certain that this is only the beginning,” says Eva Raps. “The benefits of organic viticulture will become even more apparent in the future. We’ll definitely be able to further improve the aromatic finesse of the wines from Wisselbrunnen, which is doubtlessly our finest site in Hattenheim.”
Wen went through an extraordinary range of wines during the lunch, both from the new and the old team of Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann, both white and read and still and sparkling.
2015 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann rheingau riesling VDP.Gutswein
2015 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann kabinett rheingau riesling VDP.Gutswein
2015 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann tell
2015 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann hattenheim riesling VDP.Ortswein
Robert Parker/ Stephan Reinhard (88): Friedrich Schiller's Tell is godfather of Urban Kaufmann's 2014 Rheingau Riesling trocken Tell (AP 2015), a selection from top parcels in Hattenheim. The wine with the red circle and the white crosslines on the golden label opens with an intense, ripe, elegant and nicely mineral bouquet that indicates a certain depth. Full-bodied, round and fruit intense, this is a well balanced and juicy Riesling with a mice mineral acidity and grippy finish. Since the wine is not bone dry, it goes very well on its own, although it is made to be enjoyed at the table.
2014 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann wisselbrunnen rheingau riesling VDP.Grosse Lage
2012 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann wisselbrunnen rheingau riesling VDP.Grosse Lage
2002 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann hattenheimer schützenhaus spätlese vdp lagenwein
2016 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann uno burgunder
2012 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann spätburgunder
2011 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann spätburgunder johann maximilian
2014 Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann rheingau pinot noir
NV Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann riesling brut sekt
Thank you very much Eva for a delicious lunch. And from the bottom of my heart best wishes for the future.
The visit of Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann was the last event of the Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir. This posting is the final write-up on the 2016 tour. In the meantime, the construction work has been finished. I am adding a more recent picture of Weingut Hans Lang - Kaufmann below.
Postings: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir
Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir
Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger – Germany-North 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch and Tour: Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Bourgogne in Riesling Land: Tasting at Chat Sauvage in Johannisberg, Rheingau, with Winemaker Michael Städter – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
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Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany
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Tasting with Martin Tesch at Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim, Nahe: Riesling and Rock 'N' Roll - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang in Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps