We’ve been gathering pace with our German wine sales over the last year. These trends happen from time to time and can catch you by surprise, and it’s always interesting to have a little dig around to find out why…
A drinkable drink…
There’s a contemporary wave of wine styles coming out of Germany these days. It’s a style that is slotting straight into the preferred style of our customers. Fresh, expressive and balanced. It’s almost the antithesis of its reputation from days gone by. However Virgin Wines customers are cottoning on and tapping in to one of today’s best sources of fresh and vibrant wines. The Losen-Bockstanz Riesling on Slate Qba Wittlicher Lay 2015 has been a massive hit for us since landing earlier in the year. Looking through the customer reviews it soon becomes evident why – ‘light’, ‘fragrant’, ‘fruity’. However the most common description of all is ‘drinkable’, which bizarrely is a characteristic too often lost in winemaking! Today’s German winemakers are getting the focus just right. Making something that is quite simply pleasant to drink and attuned to the modern palate.
The youth of today!
It’s actually the winemaker of the aforementioned Riesling who demonstrates well another new string to the bow of German winemaking – youth. Thomas Losen of Losen-Bockstanz is one of a whole host of new young winemakers. The modernising techniques he uses in the winery are making wines much more suited for today’s wine consumer. Lots of this new wave have gathered invaluable experience in wineries around the world and are now implementing their newfound expertise to compliment tried-and-tested tradition. It’s working nicely, with all three of Thomas’ wines in the VW range scoring 4 stars and well above.
There’s little German wine can’t do
One attraction of Germany to the ambitious and creative youth is its versatility. It’s true that it’s the spiritual home of Riesling, and the majority of its production is Riesling, but it’s a big country with very varied geography that can host a whole number of grape varieties, and climates that can produce a range of styles. Rheinhessen is a great example of that. It has a river (the Rhine), rolling hills and mountains and a huge diversity of soil types. The region produces a huge number of different grape varieties, from Riesling and Spätburgunder to Muller-Thurgau, Kerner and Dornfelder.
Ironically, the feature of Rheinhessen within the VW range is a Riesling! But it’s one that absolutely displays the modern approach in wine style and design that is coming out of Germany more and more these days. The Hiestand Asia de Cuba Riesling 2015 is another that’s hit the ground running for us, selling out of our first delivery in weeks. But we’re glad to say it’s back in and gradually gathering 5-star ratings.
This trend is a fire that we’re going to continue to stoke. Not least because we love the wines ourselves. But there’s a hunger there for more and we’d be doing our loyal customers a huge disservice by not feeding it.