How Germany could benefit from the impact of global warming on the wine industry

It is believed that the German specialist in wine is a director at Kloster Eberbach, a former Cistercian abbey now famous as a wine producer. This June, the Abbey on the shores of the German Rhine River dipped into its wine archives to present an exclusive tasting event for selected winemakers from across Europe. Over two days, over a dozen industry professionals from France, Spain, Italy, and Europe attended the Abbey to sample 101 different vintages of German Riesling wine, The oldest of which dates back to 1893.
“The idea is to draw attention to German wine and German culture as a whole,” German winemaker and Sommelier Ralf Frenzel explained to DW during an interview just before the event began. The “G20 of wine,” as Frenzel called the event, was a partnership with the Abbey and his publication “Fine.” Frenzel hopes that the event will assist in expanding the German culinary image internationally to encompass more than only beer.
When presenting in different nations, Frenzel says he always has a slide of an animal in lederhosen drinking sauerkraut and beer.
“And then I show another slide that says: 321 one-star Michelin restaurants, 58 two-star restaurants, and 12 three-star restaurants,” the chef states, listing the German restaurants that have been awarded the prestigious award for food and drink.
We’re at a balcony table in the ENTE restaurant in Wiesbaden, Germany, where Frenzel started his career as a sommelier in the 1980s. At the time, declining production standards had put the image of German wines at a historic low. In the past four decades, German Sommeliers and winemakers had put in enormous work to revive the idea, which was top-of-the-line before World War One, when Germany was a popular getaway for the European elite.
From the balcony, Frenzel observes as guests arrive and take their glasses for the very first time. What’s missing? Frenzel points out in dismay that they are German politicians he’s invited. The most he could hope for is the city’s mayor Wiesbaden who comes at lunchtime to give a lengthy listing of all the town’s top tourist sights.
“We get it, awesome city,” one hungry visitor mutters under his breath.
If this event were taking at Paris in the same year, the president of France would be present to open the event by himself officially, Frenzel says. However, in contrast to countries such as France, which place wine prominently in the nation’s culture, Germany needs more confidence in how good its wine is.
“That’s where you really see this German low-cost mentality coming out, and I think that’s such a shame,” He states. “Politicians could do a lot more, especially abroad, in communicating what German quality means — because it’s actually really great!”
The price of consumer products in Germany is still a significant pain for many people, as the soaring energy cost in the last year pushed up costs. Germany is currently experiencing the midst of a recession. It could be why politicians are hesitant to attend what is considered a high-end occasion.
“When we have guests, we need to be able to show them the best,” Frenzel says. Frenzel. “And that shouldn’t be misinterpreted. A good wine abroad costs between $50 [EUR46] and $100. And [here in Germany] we’re serving stuff from the bargain bin.”
The meal is finished. The guests are led out of the restaurant and into the private car caravan waiting for them to go to the Abbey into the mountains in the Rhine Valley.
In two days, the 20-minute drive for the trip to and back from wine tastings offers a relaxing environment for guests to chat and shop. An Austrian winemaker explains to a German one what his business is working on to prepare for climate change. An Italian winemaker and a cellarmaster from Champagne in France joke about how easy it is to oversee German’s ten3,000 hectares (254,518 acres) of vineyards. France and Italy comprised 11%, 10%, and 10% of the world’s surface for grapes in 2022, as per a 2023 report from the International Organization of Vine and Wine, an intergovernmental organization. Germany has wine-growing areas in the Rhine and other regions of Germany, which was responsible for only 1.2 percent, which is similar to Russia in addition to Afghanistan.
However, Germany can do a lot in a small amount. In 2022, the nation was ranked as the world’s ninth-largest wine producer, following South Africa and Portugal. In addition, Germany is the sole EU country to boost the amount of wine produced in the past year due to a dry, warmer, and more humid growing season. According to the country’s weather organization, 2022 was the hottest year since records were first established in Germany in 1881.
On the first day at Kloster Eberbach, The group can taste 40 Rieslings. The tasting ambiance is somber and centered, similar to the atmosphere of an exam. In the hall, winemakers drinkers swirl their glasses, smell their wine, sip, and then pour it into a small glass set on the table after a few minutes of tasting. They note the aromas and tastes and then discuss what they have noticed.
Pears. Herbs. Excellent structure. “I’m getting…barnyard,” one guest mutters happily “horses.”
The group is then taken on an excursion through Eberbach’s vineyards. The managing director Greiner is seated with the guests on a lush, green vine-covered slope. One can barely make out the Rhine River snaking through the valley from a distance. In the space, the photographer points out the stone wall built long ago by monks cultivating the area.
Much has changed since then. The monks have left. The state of Hessen is the owner of the winery. It’s getting warmer. The previous year, German vineyards along the Rhine did not see rain for two and a half months.
“We’d never seen that before,” Greiner informs the group. The group reacts with mixed emotions.
“I believe — and many people in France believe today — that global warming is a good thing [for wine],” one French winemaker said. “The wine has never been better!”
“For now!” Another voice counter.
Greiner is diplomatic and listens before she responds.
“We face new challenges, but the general quality is higher,” the expert says. “But we face new challenges.”
In the tasting room, DW asks Munich-based Lebanese winemaker Marc Hochar of Chateau Musar if he also sees the changing climate as a chance for his business. He’s not so that black and white.
“There’s change, there’s no doubt about it,” He declares, “and it’s impacting some more than others, and some are benefitting.” He cites the increasing quality of German red wines and English sparkling wine. However, this is rare.
“If you go to more southern countries, they’re suffering.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *