Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Weingut Nicole Graeber
Outstanding Vinothek in Pfalz
Nicole Graeber says that visitors to her corner of the Southern Wine Route will be charmed by its almost Mediterranean flair. And who are we to argue? It's a place where almonds and figs grow, where chestnuts and kiwis thrive, where even lemons can bloom. Toscana tedesca, as they say — "Germany's little Tuscany."
To be fair, Nicole Graeber knows her way around the "real" Tuscany too. Born into the business, with parents Peter and Hannelore running the estate before her, she trained and apprenticed as an oenologist at various wineries in the Chianti region. She later headed to Australia, and then in 2009 assumed control of her family's estate (founded in 1881). She is the fourth generation to hold the reins, and the first woman.
2012 saw the opening of the 80-square-meter vinothek in a classic/traditional style, built with the character of a manor house. It is surrounded by vineyards and the idyllic estate garden. Graber wants her visitors to feel comfortable, to slow down from the daily rush, to enjoy the wine and above all else to take the time to find their own personal favorite.
The estate is known for the fine selection of lightly sparkling and sparkling wines it grows on its 15 hectares. The Pinot Sekt Blanc de Noirs Brut is perhaps the most well known, and it is joined each year on the 1st weekend of advent by the Gelbe Muskateller Doux Sekt — both produced using the méthode traditionelle. Other specialties include: crisp Rieslings that show off their colored sandstone origins; fine Pinot varieties such as Auxerrois, Weißburgunder, Grauburgunder and Chardonnay; aromatic varieties such as Scheurebe and Gewürztraminer; and complex, fruit-driven reds left to age in small batches for 30 months in small Pfalz oak barrique.
Truly a broad assortment, with bottles priced for a range of budgets. The 2015 Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese earned top prize at the "2016 Discoveries of the Year" competition, and the estate has also earned the "State Award of Merit" six times at the state level and, in 2010, even the Grand State Honors Award.
Nicole Graeber offers wine tastings with cellar and vineyard tours on a regular basis, each session lasting between 90 minutes and three hours. Where desired, a spot of cheese from the Alsatian cheese store, or a hearty Pfalz meat sampler or other small delicacy can be prepared as well. She also holds seminars to immerse guests in the world of sensory analysis and how for example that peach aroma gets into the Riesling. Or she'll present eight different chocolates with eight different wines. Does Riesling pair with bittersweet chocolate? Or Silvaner with milk chocolate? One thing is certain: every palate will be tickled. As long as visitors take the time to enjoy.