For the tenth year in a row, the reigning french wine queen visited the abt degen wine valley. On tuesday, carolin meyer took a whole day to get to know the winegrowing region. Artur steinmann, president of the french winegrowers’ association, was also present, and emphasized the unique selling point: "the visit is a fixed part of the annual calendar. In no other area the wine queen spends so much time at the sticks as in the abt-degen wine valley."
Zeil’s mayor, thomas stadelmann, who has been chairman of the abt degen wine valley for seven years, was pleased that this winegrowers’ association has now entered people’s minds and compared it to a small child who could just crawl at the beginning but has now learned to walk.
Traditional work in the vineyard
During the eight-hour round trip, wine queen carolin meyer, who was traveling with abt-degen wine valley princess anna-lena werb and sander wine princess anna-lena gottschalk, among others, had a lot to marvel at. For example, at the peter gotz winery in zell am ebersberg. The sideline winemaker, who cultivates just two hectares, attaches great importance to the authentic and original.
Gotz therefore cultivates part of his vineyards using the "old french method". Just like 50 to 100 years ago, there are twice as many vines next to each other here than in modern viticulture. The lawn in the corridors is mowed with the scythe, otherwise there is no tilling of the soil. The plant sticks are made of corten steel, which over time are covered with a protective layer, the characteristic patina. In contrast to galvanized stakes, this prevents zinc from leaching into the soil.
Twice to three times as much work has to be invested in such a historic vineyard, and the harvest is also smaller. With tastes like "wine as I know it from the old days", peter gotz’s customers, however, praise his ambitious project. Winegrowing president artur steinmann knew accordingly of only 150 old vineyards that still exist in lower franconia. These are very valuable and could be used as a gene pool for the future.
The best proof that young people are also interested in viticulture is provided by the rippstein family from sand. Stefan and angela rippstein have seven hectares of land here and work as winemakers full time with their children nadine and patrick, who will one day take over the business. Inherited from his late father bernhard rippstein, stefan rippstein once had a part-time winery with three quarters of an acre, which in the course of time has been expanded to its current size. Even grandma elfriede still helps out in the business. The decision was difficult, but stefan rippstein made in 2014 nail with heads and gave up his crisis-proof job at an authority, in order to be able to devote himself fully to the winery.
Young talent with a degree
The 23-year-old daughter nadine studied viticulture and, as an oenologist, is also fully involved in the business. Shortly before the final completion is a newly built sales room with storage space and plenty of room for wine tasting and intensive consultation with customers. Much of the work was done by the winery itself, and original door handles can be found on all the doors of the building. These also consist of genuine grapevine socks, which together with the wooden furnishings create a very special atmosphere of well-being.
Wine queen carolin meyer was able to experience a somewhat different operation in ebelsbach. Martin fischer and his wife run their sparkling wine cellar as a sideline business in an old tunnel, which was intended to house the war-important kugelfischer factory from eltmann shortly before the end of the second world war. 10,000 to 15,000 bottles are produced here every year from french wine with the addition of a wine-sugar-sulfur mixture. Most of the winegrowers from the surrounding area deliver their grape juice here and can collect it again as franconian sparkling wine after nine months of ripening and a time-intensive process. The special signboard of the winery is the gold sparkling wine. Selected rivaner wines are traditionally fermented here and refined with 23 carat gold leaf, which is suitable for human consumption.
In oberschwappach, the delegation was able to visit a winery that was founded almost 100 years ago. Originally run as a sideline by their ancestors, today hans hetzel and his son andreas and the whole family take care of four hectares of the most diverse grape varieties. A formerly operated pigsty was converted into a hedge farm in 1990, which enjoys great popularity to this day. The traditional "hofschoppenfest" also attracts visitors from near and far to the knetzgau district.
Who once heard of a "real" if you want to be served like a princess, you can experience this in the heckenwirtschaft of karl homer in steinbach. Although the winemaker only farms a scant hectare of land, he has made a good name for himself over the decades. His granddaughter is anna-lena werb, the abt degen wine valley princess, who always helps out when her time permits. Their parents also lend a helping hand and are especially busy when the annual hoffest attracts many guests.
Experience "wine is your main job
Wine queen carolin meyer attested to a good job by all the winegrowers. "I was totally comfortable, had a lot of fun and also learned new things", said the viticulture technician, who lives in greuth in the district of kitzingen and also enjoys the "wine" experience has made wine her main occupation. Artur steinmann attested to the high potential of the abt degen wine valley and thomas stadelmann that one can be happy that such committed winegrowers are making a lasting mark on the region.