Ask a sommelier to pick a favourite grape variety and German Riesling will normally be high on their list. So what better chance than to discover the best of what Wines of Germany has to offer than at its Get it On tasting next week, with a selection of hand picked wines chosen by trade experts. Here Nicky Forrest, managing director of Wines of Germany UK, explains what you can expect.
The Get it On tasting promises to be a true celebration of Wines from Germany as it will also feature the Top 50 wines selected by trade experts earlier in the year.
What is the concept of Get it On tasting?
The Wines of Germany Get it On competition is open to wineries looking to get their wine on to UK wine lists and shelves, culminating in a tasting showcase of German wine producers currently seeking UK representation. Since its launch in 2014, the Get it On campaign has resulted in a further 27 producers finding listings in the UK market, representing 26% of the total number of producers who took part.
All registered wine producers this year were entered into a blind wine tasting at the end of September with a panel of German wine specialists and ambassadors. These included Anne Krebiehl MW, Matt Walls, Helena Nicklin, Christina Schneider, Roger Jones, and Beth Willard. Here the judges selected their top wineries to be showcased at the tasting in November.
What are you hoping to achieve and show UK buyers?
The final tasting will be held at the Darren Baker Gallery in London on November 8 and is open to all buyers within the UK wine trade interested in discovering something new from Germany. Attendees will have the chance to taste a diverse range of wines from all over Germany (Riesling, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Scheurebe, Gewürztraminer, Silvaner, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc) demonstrating the breadth of styles coming from the country at the moment.
Attendees will be supplied with all of the producers details should they be interested in discussing the possibility of listing any of the wines in the UK which is our ultimate aim. To get more top quality German wines listed in the UK.
How did you decide the lineup of wines? What criteria did you use?
The tasting will include a selection of wines from the two campaigns run by Wines of Germany: Get it On; and the Top 50.
For this year’s Get it On competition, over 90 registered wine producers each submitted one wine into a blind wine tasting with our panel of German wine experts who chose their favourites based on quality, typicity and suitability of the style to the UK market. The successful wineries were then invited to submit an additional wine to give attendees a sense of what the winery is all about.
Also available to taste will be a selection of wines from the Wines of Germany Top 50 campaign held earlier this year. Here a panel of German wine specialists blind tasted over 150 German wines and selected their Top 50, 20 of which are currently seeking representation in the UK market.
What do you think the wines best demonstrate from Germany?
The wines on show demonstrate the sheer diversity of styles coming from Germany at the moment. From Pinot Gris to Pinot Noir and from Riesling to Lemberger. All of the wines are outstanding in quality and many are from very modern, forward thinking winemakers. Of the 44 Get it On producers taking part, 34 belong to the group of young, innovative producers known as Generation Riesling; all under 35, internationally oriented and ambitious.
What sort of styles of wine being made in Germany are best suited for the UK market and on-trade in particular?
The UK is one of Germany’s leading export markets and continues to be an important player for German wine globally. Retailers are now extending their ranges to include other varietals as well as Riesling and Pinot Noir from Germany.
It is now unusual for a top restaurant not to have a German Pinot Noir on its list and importers are taking Germany seriously with many of them extending their lists to broaden their offering with varietals including Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Now is a very exciting time for German wine which brings with it new challenges, but our goal remains to get the trade listing more German wine and consumers tasting them and seeing how incredible they are.
How do you think German wine is perceived by buyers in the premium on-trade. How do you get more listings?
We know from experience that the trade loves German wine and we’ve yet to speak to a sommelier who doesn’t cite German Riesling or Pinot Noir amongst their favourites. Activities such as Get it On and the 31 Days of German Riesling, our big summer promotion with restaurants and retailers, ensure German wine is front of mind with the trade when considering new wines to add to their list.
This year’s winner of the 31 Days of German Riesling, The Tate Group, is already talking about further training for staff and the introduction of new wines to the list in the Rex Whistler and Tate Modern restaurants.
Finally, if you are going to the tasting and have limited time what are the quick wins?
The tasting booklet will be clearly signposted by region so if there is a particularly style of wine you’re looking for, perhaps a Mosel Riesling or a Pinot Noir from the Pfalz , then you can see at a glance what to taste.
The Top 50 selection will be broken down by grape variety, again making it easy for visitors to navigate the tasting.
- The Get it On tasting runs from 11am to 5pm at the Darren Baker Gallery, 81 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PP. To register email firstname.lastname@example.org.