Next Generation Germany – Lunch + Tasting Toronto May 21, 2015

FullSizeRender-3 copy 2Wines from Germany are represented again on wine lists of top restaurants and they have gained success in national and international wine competitions.

What has happened?

Next Generation Germany” – These are new generation wines, feature a reinvented taste and grape composition yet are made by traditional wine producing establishments – even some of the labels have been redesigned with a modern twist.

This next wave of winegrowers, winemakers, and managing directors are well educated, internationally oriented, and are an ambitious younger generation under the age of 35.

Canadian Wine Journalist David Lawrason led the Toronto trade tasting last week, along with German Wine Queen Janina Hahn. They discussed some of the under-35 style influencers, and explored new varieties and styles.

Also discussed some of the 2012 VDP Classification changes:

  • Hierarchy will more closely mirror the Burgundian model of Grand Cru and Premier Cru
  • Grosse Lage replaces Erste Lage as designation for top category
  • Grosse Lage wines: best dry wines and traditional Prädikat wine from the top sites
  • Regional terms for dry wines will continue to be used − Grosses Gewächs and Erstes Gewächs
  • Klassifizierte Lage: wine from good sites will be reviewed with the aim of reducing the number of vineyards
  • The introduction of the name Erste Lage for these classified sites will be optional on a region by region basis
  • The terms Grosse Lage and Erste Lage will fall under the new category of Langenwein

2012 VDP Appellations of Origin

  • Grosse Lage
  • Erste Lage
  • Ortsweine
  • Gutsweine

Trends discussed:

  • More use of large oak uprights vs. stainless steel
  • Choice of closures: screwcap vs. cork
  • Increase in use of indigenous yeasts vs. cultured yeasts
  • Increasing use of Burgundian techniques: batonage and barrique

We tasted seven Rieslings and five Spätburgunders (Pinot noir) which were paired deliciously with traditional German fare like pickled herring, smoked port belly sauerbraten and limburger.

This new initiative appears to be very successful because the wines tasted were consistently very good and more in line with what we now expect of wines that should work well in combination with food.

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Weingut Hedesheimer Hof 2013 Riesling Dry

Weingut Kunstler 2013 Riesling Dry

Burklin-Wolf 2012 Altenburg Riesling Dry

Kruger Rumpf 2012 Riesling Dry

Kruger Rumpf 2007 Riesling Dry

Max Ferd Richter 2013 Riesling Spatlese

CH Berres 2012 Riesling Auslese

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Weingut Langenwalter 2012 Spätburgunder

Winzergenossenschaft Konigsschaffhausen

2012 Spätburgunder

Thorle 2012 Spätburgunder

Weingut Salwey 2012 Spätburgunder

Weingut Salwey 2004 Spätburgunder

 

What I learned about Rieslings –

For me simply sniffing a Riesling is a great pleasure – with hints of apple, citrus, peach and apricot.

Riesling is the most widely planted white grape variety in Germany, with 22,387 ha, with the main regions being, Pfalz, Mosel, Rheinhessen and Rheingau – this is 60% of all the Riesling in the world. The Riesling grape variety depends on the type of soil it grows in – heavy clay soils promote a citrus fruit aroma, red sandstone ensures flavours of apricot and slate soils create a concise mineral note, which is at time similar to flint. It’s good to know that Rieslings age beautifully.

 

What I learned about Spätburgunders –

Germany has an historic heritage of Spätburgunder (pinot noir) production, stretching back over 700 years, when Cistercian monks first took their grapes with them from Burgundy. Germany’s ascendency to emerging world class Spätburgunders largely dates from the late 1980s when the winemakers came back to fermenting skins with the must (take colour from the skins by alcohol not by heat). In this respect, German Spätburgunder is ‘newer’ than parts of the new world. Germany has the third largest plantings of Pinot Noir in the world after France, and USA. Spätburgunder is the most widely planted black grape variety in Germany, with 11,769 ha, with the main regions being Baden, Pfalz, Rheinhessen and Wurttemberg.

Spätburgunder has become more popular than ever and the great ones that have been hoarded in Germany by top restaurants and is rapidly gaining prominence in abroad for good reason. Spätburgunders have been compared to Pinot Noirs from Burgundy.

Review of Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic

By Robert Roland + Liz Palmer

Casa De Campo, one of the Caribbean’s legendary resorts boasts six restaurants and three award-winning golf courses – one being the top golf course in the world, the Teeth of The Dog. That’s just the beginning and the Casa story tells the tale of constant evolution and corporate contribution.

Casa de Campo translated means “homes from cropland” and the real beginning started in the late 1960’s with the success of the Gulf + Western sugar mill operation at La Romana.

Alvaro Carta operated the largest producing mill in the world at the time, and was interested in investing profits into impoverished parts of the island. Alvaro Carta decided to bring in designer Pete Dye in to design a hotel and golf course. Originally the plans were drawn up for an area just outside Santo Domingo but Dye focused on an area near the La Romano Sugar Mill.

Dye started building an Executive Course for the employees of the Sugar Mill and in walking the Caribbean coastline realized that a course along the shore was something special. This course was hand-built by over 300 Dominicans. Coral rock was chipped by sledgehammer and soil was carted in by wagon.

The course was originally called Cajielies which refers to the cashew trees in the mountains, the name was changed to “Teeth of The Dog” when Dye heard locals refer to the sharp coral rock, which looked like canine teeth, as “ diente del perro” (teeth of the dog in Spanish). Teeth of The Dog officially opened in 1971 with seven of the most spectacular holes in golf along the shore of the Caribbean. We toured this and this is something to be seen.

By 1974 the Casa De Campo resort opened as an executive retreat for Gulf + Western Employees and a private airport was built at the resort to accommodate CEO’s and other executives who arrived by private jet.

Over the next ten years Casa has evolved into a resort for many reasons. Prince Maharajah Jabar Singh helped start organized polo, breeding and training. Tennis was added. Altos de Chavon, a village showcasing Dominican art and culture was completed and features many cafes, restaurants and a 5000-seat Grecian style amphitheatre inaugurated by a Frank Sinatra HBO televised special on August 20, 1982.

In the mid-1980’s the property was sold to the Central Romana Corporation and Carta’s dream started to take off in a whole new dimension which is still expanding to this day.

In many ways the story of Casa de Campo in 2015 is being rewritten again.

Casa de Campo’s resort community is spread out over 7,000 immaculately manicured acres which includes: the main hotel, guest rooms, world-class spa, riding stables, polo, tennis, an immaculate private beach, marina, Altos de Chavon – a cultural village with amphitheatre, seven restaurants and several neighbourhoods of privately own villas with many pampering amenities. Casa de Campo’s has its own real estate brokerage onsite and helipad. This sheer size is class and understated, in fact you actually get a golf cart to manoeuvre around the property when you check- in.

Accommodations are everything one would expect of from a world-class hotel and Casa de Campo did not disappoint. We stayed at one of the elite guest rooms, which was conveniently a two-minute golf cart ride to the main building and face out onto one of the greens.

Amenities include a 42-inch flat screen television, marble vanities, iPod/iPhone docking stations, an espresso coffee machine with L’Occitane products found in the bathrooms.

Hidden away in the tropical foliage of Casa de Campo is Casa de Campo Spa – it’s a true sanctuary for renewal. Everything at the spa speaks to the body, spirit and mind being one and being in total alignment. It is delivered by exceptional practitioners, in world-class facilities and one client described the spa as “an incredible spa experience that truly lifted my soul”. There are seven spa suites, each with a private shower with a Zen garden. With a local twist, indigenous ingredients are used such as Dominican Coffee exfoliation, Fruity-Herbal Body Wrap and Choco Body Mask. A true indulgence!

There are seven restaurants in and around Casa de Campo to indulge in. The three main dining experiences are La Caña by Il Circo (Steak, seafood with a good selection of wine) overlooking the pool and spa area, Lago Grill, a full-service restaurant with alfresco dining, and Beach Club by Le Cirque, an elegant beach front dining experience featuring Le Cirque-trained chefs.

Other popular restaurants include La Piazzetta, a gourmet Italian dining experience at Altos de Chavon, La Casita at the marina, where seafood and tapas are the draw and Chinois with breathtaking views at the marina views serves up pan-Asian flavors, Cantonese specialties, Japanese sushi, sashimi and other Oriental dishes.

Our top two were the Beach Club by Le Cirque with two outstanding signature dishes: Lobster Salad and Grouper, and La Piazzetta both for their top service, wine list and over all dining experiences.

At Casa de Campo we found an excellent equestrian center which staff is on hand for lessons in English or Western-style riding and jumping. For ages seven and up, three ponies rides are available on Anita, Juanito or Miguelito. We did a trail ride around the polo fields and saw some teams at practice.

World-class polo has come to the Caribbean – There are three polo fields: one practice field and two for matches.
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Casa de Campo is best known for its three Pete Dye-designed golf courses, namely The Links, The Dye Fore and considered by many to be the top 18-hole course in the Caribbean and one of the top in the world, Teeth of the Dog. This course has seven holes along the brilliantly colored Caribbean Sea. One of the golf pros told us “most of the world’s great oceanside courses play along high cliffs, the Teeth of the Dog is ocean level and you’ll feel the spray of the waves on a couple of holes”.

Other “Sporting Life” activities

Water sports such as boating, fishing river sailing, ocean sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and Scuba

Tennis at La Terraza Tennis Center with 13 Har-Tru Courts

Jim McLean Golf School

Bicycle rentals

Fitness Center with Cybex equipment, treadmills, stationery bikes, free weights with an area dedicated to improving golf performance

Shooting Center with more than 200 stations for sporting clays as well as three trap and skeet layouts

A 150-slip Marina & Yacht Club facility with upscale shopping

Supervised children’s programs

 

Power Patrons:

Bill Clinton – Former US President

Elizabeth Taylor – Actress

Luciano Pavarotti – Famous Tenor

Carolina Herrera – Fashion Designer

Shakira – Singer

Gloria & Emilio Estefan – Musical Icons

Marc Anthony – Singer

Enrigue Iglesias – Singer

Jimmy Carter – Former US President

Puff Daddy – Famous Rap Singer

George HW Bush – Former US President

Greg Norman – Professional Golfer and Course Designer

Jean Chretien – Prime Minister of Canada

Nick Faldo – Professional Golfer & Course Designer

Karim Ostreicher – Princess of Austria

Mikhail Gorbachev – Former Leader of the Soviet Union

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married at Casa de Campo.

At Casa De Campo you have the very best of everything… fabulous accommodations, gourmet dining, world-class sporting adventures, pampering spa treatments and personalized guest services. You might even bump into an international celebrity or dine under the stars besides one of the world’s financial moguls or politicos.

Casa de Campo

1-800-877-3643 or (305) 856-5405

www.casadecampo.com.do

Twitter: @casadecampo

Facebook: Casa de Campo Resort

Champagne is served…. A List of Champagnes Served in First + Business Class

first class champagneIf your 2015 travel plans include flights in First Class or Business Class on the following carriers, be sure to ask for that pre-departure flute of these fine pours:

Air France – Serves Taittinger in First Class and Champagne Deutz Brut Classic NV in Business Class

Aer Lingus – serves Jean Pernet Tradition Brut Champagne in Business Class

American Airlines – Champagne Demilly de Baere Carte d’Or Brut is found in First Class International and Gosset Brut is found in Business International 

British Airways – First Class passengers sip Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle, Henriot Vintage Brut 2007, and Balfour Brut Rose. Club World passengers receive pours of Taittinger Brut Reserve

Cathay Pacific – Those upfront get to taste Krug Grand Cuvée and Business Class pours Billecart-Salmon Brut

Delta – Jacquart Brut Mosaïque is served up in Business Elite cabin

Emirates – First Class passengers sip Dom Pérignon and Business Class passengers are poured Moët & Chandon

Eva Air – This Taiwanese airline serves up Dom Pérignon to its Royal Laurel or Business Class passengers

Hainan Airlines – This Chinese airline won awards with their G.H. Mumm Brut NV poured in both First Class and Business Class

Japan Airlines – Serves 2002 Salon in First Class

KLM – Serves Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top

LAN – Premium Business enjoys LAN edition Louis Roederer Brut Premier, and occasionally Henriot Brut Reims

Lufthansa – Krug is served in First Class

Qantas – First Class serves up Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Blanc De Blancs and Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill, while Business Class to sip Billecart-Salmon Brut or Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve

Singapore Airlines – First Class has the option of two labels: Dom Pérignon and Krug Grande Cuvée. Business Class enjoys Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve or Bollinger

Swiss – Serves Duval-Leroy Brut NV in Business Class

United – First Class passengers are served Castelnau Blanc de Blancs and Business First can sip Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve

 

Note: Varies by route or destination

Jay-Z Purchases ‘Ace of Spades’ Champagne

Jay-Z has long been a fan of Armand de Brignac Champagne, which retails from $300 to $200,000 for a 30-litre bottle. The hip-hop mogul has now taken his love of this Champagne to the next level by purchasing the label from Sovereign Brands for an undisclosed amount.

‘We are proud to announce that Sovereign Brands, a New York-based wine and spirits company, has sold its interest in the Armand de Brignac Champagne brand to a new company led by the globally-renowned Shawn “Jay Z” Carter’,
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The purchase of Armand de Brignac Champagne adds to his growing empire, which includes: 40/40 clubs, GOLD fragrance line, Roc Nation record label, and Roc Nation Sports management company.

It’s Official: Prelude “Grands Crus” Taittinger is now served on Singapore Airlines, Business Class

Business Class customers on Singapore Airlines can now enjoy the exquisite taste of Prelude “Grands Crus” from the house of Taittinger.

Produced by one of the few remaining family-owned champagne houses, Prelude “Grands Crus” is made with the first pressings of an equal portion of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, selected from Grand Cru vineyards.

“We’re pleased to be offering Taittinger Prelude “Grands Crus” to our Business Class customers. Prelude “Grands Crus” is made solely from the best Grand Cru vineyards in the Taittinger family’s own estate and is then aged for more than five years in their cellars. For elegance in the glass and exclusivity in the air, this is something really special,” said Singapore Airlines Wine Panel member Oz Clarke.

“Our new Business Class offering is testament to the lengths we go to for our customers to enjoy champagne from one of the best vineyards in the world. This outstanding champagne is a joyous blend of finesse and complexity, which will certainly delight the most discerning palates,” said Senior Vice President Product & Services, Mr Tan Pee Teck.

Over 194,000 bottles of champagne are consumed on Singapore Airlines flights annually. Currently, Singapore Airlines is the only airline that serves two other prestige cuvées, Dom Perignon and Krug Grand Cuvée.