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timbered facade winery Borell-Diehl, Palatinate

Discovery tour Palatinate Part 1

November 21st, 2018 | Landgänge

We had planned a hiking week in the Palatinate vineyards for long. Unfortunately, in 2018 we could not realize it. At the invitation of the Palatinate wine marketing association Pfalzwein e. V., we had the chance to experience a Crash Course Palatinate at the beginning of November: Six wine shops, 13 winegrowers and an “Autumn Fireplace Talk” in the evening – the Palatinate from South to North in just one day!

Discovery tour Palatinate Part 1

Attention: This post contains advertising for the Palatinate and Palatinate wineries… for risks and side effects please ask the winemaker of your choice…

I would never have believed that you can get a (mini) overview of Germany’s second largest winegrowing region in such a short time. Thanks again to Pfalzwein e.V. for the excellent and ingenious organization of the tour. The Palatinate is known for some of the best Riesling vineyards in Germany, it runs from Rheinhessen to the French border in Alsace. The heart of the Palatinate viticulture is the so-called Mittelhaardt, south of it runs the picturesque “Southern Wine Route”. And my dearest captain and I were in the midst of it with fantastic autumn weather…

10 am Hotel Kollektur

With our relatively long journey we arrived in the evening before the tour. The historic Hotel Kollektur in Zellertal is an ideal starting point for any tour – not only in the Palatinate, but also to Rheinhessen. The building from 1752 was completely renovated in 2002. The old, baroque walls have been carefully transformed into a modern country hotel with 15 rooms and a beautiful Mediterranean-style restaurant. The “WeinWirtschaft” offers regional specialties and represents the Slow Food idea. Incidentally, the first “Palatinate Saumagen”[famous Palatinate dish of stuffed pig’s stomach] of my life tasted very, very good to me…

11 am Voegelis WineNest

Our first stop takes us all the way to the south of the Palatinate to Landau-Wollmesheim. A very modern, large winery in the midst of a beautiful vine landscape is expecting us. From the terrace of Weingut Vögeli and through the large panoramic windows you have a fantastic all-round view on the hills – from the Madenburg on the Kleine Kalmit up to the Hambach Castle. From the outside, the architecture cannot quite fit the cuddly name “Voegelis WeinNest”. But, as edgy and jagged as the building looks from the outside, it looks so airy, light and modern from the inside.

“The building is just like us: straight ahead and no frills. That’s exactly what we imagined and implemented after an 18-month construction period. We did everything right, “explains the likeable Christel Voegeli. She and her husband have realized a dream. In 2014/2015, the new winery with production hall, barrel and bottle warehouse, distillery, wine store with large sun terrace and rooms for wine presentations on more than 5,000 square meters was built.

At “Voegelis WeinNest” wine restaurant, up to 50 guests can enjoy the magnificent views of the vineyards accompanied by fine wines and freshly prepared dishes. The sun terrace offers 50 additional seats with a unique view of the vine, forest and castle landscape. An ideal place for events of any kind. It’s no wonder that the location is already booked up for events until 2020. “For overnight stays in one of our five guest rooms, we still have vacancies for the next hiking season, especially during the week. Of course, all rooms have their own balcony, “beams Christel Voegeli and and we already have the booking request in our mind’s eye…

2018 was an exceptional vintage. Christel Voegeli tells us that there was only one rainy night during the grape harvest from late August to beginning October. So it was a healthy harvest to the last day. Exactly extraordinary. As extraordinary as the landscape in which the estate is located.

1.30 pm Winery Borell-Diehl

Our tour continues along the Southern Wine Route to Hainfeld to the winery Borell-Diehl. If construction in existing contexts and connecting old buildings with modern elements has succeeded somewhere, then here. We lived many years in a listed thatched cottage, and I know what I’m talking about. The handling of old walls, authorities and the acceptance “in the village” can be very difficult. In the case of the Borell-Diehl family this has been a first-class success.

The headquarters consists of two half-timbered houses from the years 1619 and 1738. Of course, the buildings are listed buildings and fit harmoniously into the baroque townscape. In close cooperation with the monument authority, buildings from the 50s and 60s were demolished in 2014/2015 and a cubic building designed for the tasting room and the sales warehouse. This new wine shop with its purist construction forms is a wonderful contrast to the baroque houses in the area. A proof that modern architecture in the historic center must not be a contradiction.

The tasting at Borell-Diehl continued with tastings of three wineries with two wines each. Who can count, knows what that means. In addition to the highly decorated wines of their own winery, the two young winegrowers Fritz & Ulli, who have real stories to tell, also presented themselves here. Their Spaetburgunder called “Mambo” they announced during the tasting as: “Mambo! Swahili means something like “Ey, mate! What’s up?” Fritz continued: “We have a light, juicy pinot in the glass with cassis, subtle forest aromas and a hint of Tanzanian vanilla. If you want to sniff…” – and here Georg Borell-Diehl interrupts very confidently with the objection: “Then I smell cork first and foremost.” May happen. However, the adventurous, likable young winemakers were not shocked at all: “It’s just a natural product.” And a new bottle already was opened and the wine was served. “Mambo!”

Of course the story about the Tanzanian inspired wine was not over yet, but that is the stuff for a very own post on my blog – soon…

2 pm Lounge "Weinkontor"

For lunch we proceed to Edenkoben. The expedition Palatinate goes on. In the cooperative Weinkontor Edenkoben eG around 80 winemaker families have been working together for more than 90 years. They manage about 100 hectares of vineyards and ensure first-class grapes. Best wines and sparkling wines are refined in the cellars.

Since mid-July 2018, the new “Lounge “Weinkontor” has been opened. The semi-circular building with the large outdoor terrace is modern, bright and chic. Here you feel good. We ask ourselves, why this is so different in the north of Germany, why, for example, gastronomy in the Luneburg Heath, another beautiful hiking area of Germany, must be so dusted. In any case, the Palatinate has a mile-wide advantage over the north!

The managing director Uwe Krapp explains the architectural and gastronomic concept of the Lounge “Weinkontor”. The modern construction blends harmoniously into the landscape and under the majestic crown of an over 200-year-old Lebanon cedar. He is proud of the location and this special tree, so the tree even made into the logo of the lounge. The menu includes Palatinate specialties and changing seasonal dishes. No wonder that autumnally we were allowed to enjoy succulent onion pies and other first-class finger food. Not to speak of the wines…

Successfully, as North Germans, we are a little bit overwhelmed by the abundance of impressions and also by the abundance of already tasted wines. It is increasingly difficult to taste differences and features and focus one’s taste buds again and again. After all, we are not professionals. But there are still three more stations on the adventure journey Palatinate in front of us and what we have seen and tasted so far, was fantastic. Most of all, however, the friendliness and warmth of the Palatinate itself impressed us!

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