Weltklasse - World Class
German Wine Teams up with the World Cup Soccer Games:
9 June – 9 July 2006
Of the 12 World Cup sites and stadiums in Germany, Stuttgart and its Gottlieb Daimler Stadium are the only ones situated in the midst of vineyards. Kaiserslautern is not far from the Pfalz; Frankfurt is within an hours drive from the Rheingau, Rheinhessen, northern Pfalz, Hessische Bergstrasse and Franken; and Leipzig is near the Saale-Unstrut wine region in the east.
Stuttgart’s stadium has capacity for 45,284 in covered seating and standing room for 4,187 – not quite 50,000 persons total. It will host six games (see below), including the “minor finale” for third place overall on Saturday night, 8 July.
Stuttgart lies in a basin surrounded by vine-clad and forested slopes on three sides and the Neckar River to the north. The city’s name literally means “stud farm or garden”; the stadium is named after the Stuttart-based mechanical engineer Gottlieb Daimler (1834–1900), who pioneered improvements to the internal-combustion (gasoline) engine that led to the development of the automobile industry during the second half of the 19th century. In 1899, the Daimler Motor Co. built its first automobile, after some 44 years after its first motorcycle (1855). A special-model auto designed for the sales distributor Emil Jellinek at the turn of the century was ultimately named after his daughter Mercedes – which evolved into one of Gemany’s top brands to this day. The three-pointed star (logo of Mercedes-Benz, now DaimlerChrysler) derives from the original inventors’ (Daimler and Maybach) quest to design gasoline engines suitable for powering devices for use on land, on water and in the air.
Stuttgart and Wine
The first documented mention of vineyards in the heart of Stuttgart dates from 1108, in a deed of gift: a monk, Ulrich, ceded an inner-city vineyard to the monastery in Blaubeuren (near Ulm). As elsewhere, many of Stuttgart’s oldest vineyards were owned by monasteries and vineyard names reflect an affiliation with the church. The vineyard site closest to the WM (World Cup) stadium, for example, is Mönchberg (monks’ hill), a 45-hectare (111-acre) site situated between the suburbs of Bad Cannstatt and Untertürkheim on the eastern bank of the Neckar River. Historians say the site name derives from former owners, the Benedictine monastery in Zwiefalten (1089–1802), located near Reutlingen (south of Stuttgart). A document in the city archives from 1138 mentions that the vineyards on these slopes were already among the finest in the Stuttgart area (recorded by the monk Berthold). Today, “Mönch Berthold” is a highly rated red wine cuvée produced by Untertürkheim’s cooperative winery, Weinmanufaktur Untertürkheim, one of the owners of the Mönchberg vineyard.
Within the Mönchberg site is a prime, 10-ha (25-acre) parcel named Gips (literally, gypsum or plaster), solely owned by the Aldinger family (www.weingut-aldinger.de). Its name derives from the gypsum factory (now defunct) once on the site.
The vineyards of Stuttgart and its suburbs are situated on gently sloping to steep and/or terraced, cone-shaped hills with various exposures (mostly southern and western). The sites located directly adjacent to the Neckar River in northern Bad Cannstatt (Zuckerle, Halde) are planted in shell-limestone soils. Weathered soils consisting of keuper, gypsum, marl, and various types of clay (sometimes mixed with sand and loam) predominate in sites further south (including Mönchberg).
As throughout the Württemberg region, red grape varieties predominate in the Stuttgart area, led by the region’s favorite, Trollinger. Other reds include Lemberger, often blended with Trollinger; the pinots Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier); St. Laurent, Merlot, and newer varietals, such as Dornfelder, Heroldrebe and Regent. Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner, Silvaner and the pinots Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) are the main white grapes, supplemented by small quantities of Traminer and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Stuttgart area is home to the city’s estate, Weingut der Stadt Stuttgart (www.stuttgart.de), with 17 ha (42 acres) of vines in the sites Cannstatter Zuckerle, Cannstatter Halde and Stuttgarter Mönchhalde; 7 cooperative wineries (in Württemberg, known as a Weingärtnergenossenschaft = “wine garden” cooperative); and numerous private estates. The city itself has 40 ha (99 acres) of vines and greater Stuttgart (including suburbs) takes in some 400 ha (988 acres) of vineyards. As such, Stuttgart is the largest metropolitan wine center of Germany, and its vineyard area is nearly equal in size to that of the entire Sachsen region (411 ha/1,016 acres).
World Cup soccer games are scheduled in Stuttgart as follows:
- Tuesday, 13 June: France vs. Switzerland
- Friday, 16 June: Holland vs. Ivory Coast
- Monday, 19 June: Spain vs. Tunesia
- Thursday, 22 June: Croatia vs. Australia
- Sunday, 25 June: round before the quarter finals
- Saturday, 8 July: the “minor finale” for third place
German Wines Have Exclusivity in World Cup Stadiums
It’s too soon to tell whether the German national soccer team willl reach the finals in the forthcoming World Cup games – but hopes are high. German wines, on the other hand, have already made it, for they are the only wines that will be served at the catering outlets of the stadiums during all 64 games. In 2006, the German Wine Institute negotiated rights with FIFA to be the exclusive wine supplier during the games. At this writing, calculations project that at least 100,000 bottles of wine will be needed for the more than 400,000 visitors that are expected at the catering outlets during the World Cup games.
The institute organized a blind tasting of some 500 wines from all 13 German wine-growing regions to enable representatives and sommeliers of FIFA and iSe-Hospitality AG to make the final selection. Thirty-eight wines will be available. Armin Göring, managing director of the German Wine Institute, emphasizes that “the German wine industry is proud to ‘be on the ball’ at the world’s largest sports event. We hope the games will be just as exciting as our wines.”