Heikki Remes, a wineman from Finland, is working as a teacher in Community College in Kuopio and other smaller surrounding towns. He has worked as a part-time teacher over twenty years promoting wine knowledge to people interested about food and wines. Heikki sees that wine culture belongs to everyone and actually people are interested dispite of their background or location. For a teacher it is also necessity to update his know-how and development of wine industry.
Through Cimo Erasmus+ mobility project Heikki Remes carried out a wine trip to German wine areas during ten days in the beginning of November. He visited 15 wineries in Franken, Rheinhessen and Rheingau. Through study trip Heikki improved, deepened knowledge and got new angle for the education work, as well as broader respect and latest information to spread to students.
Heikki Remes has visited and met many wine makers during his many wine trips earlier and now in Germany. He knows what kind of information Finnish people need when seeking and wanting to broaden their know-how with the wines. As an output from the mobility period Heikki Remes will generate articles for newspapers and blogs, material for educational courses and a book of German wines combined with Finnish/Nordic Food.
Below are some highlights that gave new information and experience during the wine trip, and that strengtened the need for the mobility project.
Schloss Johannisberg, one of the oldest vineyards in the viticultural history in Germany, lies on the riverbank of Rhein on the hill Taurus. The first documents are over 1200 years old. It is no wonder that Schloss Johannisberg is an iconic name and place when talking about wine culture and wines in Germany.
Brotherhood of Rheinhessen at their meeting in Alzey. They carry on the long history of wine culture that associates people through the wines.
Stefan Braunewell in Essenhein in Rheinhessen visualizes the meaning of terroir, that dictates the growth of the vines and their output.
Franken lies some 65 km east of the Rhine, in Bavaria, with most of its vineyards planted on the hilly slopes lining the Main River and its tributaries. Franken is known for it’s traditional Bocksbeutel, shape of wine bottles. Nowadays Franken has raised conspicuousness and valuation of Silvaner grape, that once was the most important grape in Germany. In Weingut Bürgerspital zum Hl. Geist in Würzburg one can taste qualified Silvaner, also in the newly shaped Bocksbeutel.
Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is one of the highly appreciated wines in Gemany. Towards the general belief this red wine is so popular and has so good quality level that at the moment Germany is the world's third largest producer of Pinot Noir.
Esther and Philipp Wedekind are young wine makers in Weingut Wedekind, in Niesrtein-Schwabsburg in Rheinhessen. They are addicted to organic wine growing, and they are one of the rare winemakers of Piwi-wines. Their Cabernet blanc represents new grape variety, that is resistant for fungus. Fungus resistant grape varieties allow to produce wines which are not only sustainable due to the possibility to dispense with plant protection products to the greatest extend but also to create excellent wines with pleasant aroma.
Riesling is the king of the grapes in Germany. Schloss Johannisberg is dedicated to Riesling grape, nearly 300 years. Johannisberger Rieslings have their roots on the soil of the hill Taurus, achieving their elegant and mineral profiles. During the vinification rieslings accuires their diversity from dry to sweet.
About wine legislation:
German wine legislation is complicated, generalising primarily based on suger levels. There has been over ten years a new VDP cassification, primarily for quality wine producers. It is not part of the official German wine law, but it takes into account terroir and quality. VDP classification is spreading voluntarily also with other wineries, and giving so better possibilities to evaluate wines.
About food and wines:
It is the combination on food and wine that makes the marriage perfect. Such as cabbage and barley casserole with bratwurst and schreube wine. Mostly it is a question of prefenrence with the taste.
Heikki Remes, wineman, says that he found the end of the rainbow while walking in the vineyards!
Heikki Remes warmly recommends and encourages Erasmus+ mobility program to other persons. It opens your eyes to other practicies and strengthens your self-confidence.
With wine greetings Heikki Remes, wineman from Finland
Pictures: Heikki Remes