ON THE ROAD – Master of Wine does Pfalz DEEP DIVE and Tasting

Hi I’m Konstantin Baum, Master of Wine and … No   I can’t do this anymore. I’ve been 
trapped in the cellar for too long! Now that’s better. Today we’re going to 
do a deep dive into one of Germany’s   Most important wine growing regions 
the Pfalz – Special Edition – so let’s go This video was supported by Pfalzwein 
I’m in the Pfalz today to tell you a   Little bit about the region and pick out four 
wines that I can bring home and taste for you   But first of all, i need to get out my sunglasses 
because I’m not used to those bright lights the   Pfalz is one of the most important regions in 
Germany when it comes to quantity and quality   It is the second biggest wine region with 
23,721 hectares of vineyards two-thirds are   Planted to white varietals because of its size 
it is however also the biggest red wine region   In Germany. on top of that, it is the biggest 
producer of Germany’s flagship variety Riesling   In the world and it is the second-biggest 
producer of Spätbugunder in Germany. The   Most important grape varieties are a bit of a 
mix Riesling, Dornfelder, Grauburgunder, Müller-Thurgau As well as Portugieser and Chardonnay 
as the region offers many different   Terroirs that can be used for different 
varieties. There’s not one typical soil in   The Pfalz. Instead the region has a huge variety 
of different soil types from sandstone, limestone, Clay loam to even basalt the region has a famously 
mild climate being shielded from westerly winds by   The Haardt mountain range. It is one of the sunniest 
and warmest regions in Germany and even fruits   Like figs, oranges and almonds grow here which 
is not the case for most regions in Germany. The   Region’s wine history goes back to Roman times and 
some of the best German producers are based here. However, the region is also producing large 
volumes and it has one of the highest   Yields per hectare. For a while the Pfalz like most 
german wine regions had lost its way and did not   Focus on quality but rather on producing large 
quantities of simple off-dry wines. Over the last   Decades this has changed completely and more and 
more producers really focus on getting the best   Out of their vineyards and produce some of 
the best wines in Germany. The Pfalz is split   Up into two areas: The northern Mittelhaardt 
Deutsche Weinstrasse and the Südliche Weinstraße   The northern half is still the most famous 
with its well-known vineyards and wineries   You can also find some of the oldest artifacts 
of roman winemaking here, south of Neustadt   The so-called Südliche Weinstraße long endured a 
reputation for high yields and not so great wine Making. Today the Südliche Weinstrasse has some of 
the most interesting producers and it also has 600   Vines planted in the vineyard to one inhabitant 
living in the area which is a pretty amazing ratio. As the Pfalz is so big and diverse it’s sometimes 
difficult to say what makes the region special. So my mission for today is to find out what 
makes the Pfalz special, plus I need to find   Some wines to taste – so let’s go! The Pfalz was 
changed for the better by a new generation of  

Young winemakers, who have studied, traveled 
and worked in different places of the world. And brought that knowledge back home to improve 
their family’s winery or set up their own. I’m in   Grosskarlbach in the Mittelhaardt right now to meet 
Dennis Wolf. He studied in Geisenheim and worked   For some of the best wineries such as Keller, Domaine Ostertag and Chave. He’s now taking over his   Family’s unassuming winery to make a name for 
himself and to make Germany’s best Pinot Noir Hey Dennis Hi My name is Dennis and I’m a winemaker here at   Weingut Wolf in Grosskarlbach.
So what makes the Pfalz special? Definitely our Terroir and the climate that’s 
the perfect climate for making Spätburgunder and   Riesling and also sparkling wine. In the Pfalz
you can also find the Deutsche Weinstrasse Which is the oldest german wine route. It was 
established in 1935, it’s 85 kilometers long   And on it you can drive through many wine 
villages. The Pfalz is home to many famous   Vineyards that have a long history and a 
great reputation: Forster Ungeheuer, Wachenheimer Gerümpel and the Kallstadter Saumagen. The Saumagen is named after one of the Pfalz’s most famous 
dishes Saumagen or pig’s stomach is a mix of   Potatoes and pork and some say it actually goes 
really well with the wine coming from this site   The site is a mix of chalk, terrarossa, clay and loess 
and maybe it’s best to look at it from up above So does the vineyard
look just like the dish?  I’ll leave that up to you to decide! 
but now it’s time to pick up the wine   From this vineyard at one of Germany’s most 
distinctive wineries Koehler Ruprecht. Let’s go! Are you coming? I’m Dominik Sona the manager of the 
Koehler Ruprecht estate in Kallstadt.  What makes the Palz special for you? That is a very 
interesting question. The climate is One of the parts which makes it special. It’s one 
of the warmer areas of Germany where you can grow   Of course vineyards peaches figs. Also it’s a huge area so it’s very diverse and   Probably that’s what keeps us together. I know 
we’ve been switching boundaries a couple   Times we were French and then German and Bavarian 
and French and German and um so it’s a Multi-um you know diverse personalities and 
diverse state.    The Pfalz is also famous for its almond trees and in spring they start to flower and they look beautiful. I’m in the   Südliche Weinstrasses the southern part of the 
Pfalz and even though I’m further down south it   Feels quite a bit colder here and that is because 
we are at a higher altitude and there’s also   More wind here because the area is less shielded 
by the Haardt ranges from westerly winds. The reason   Though why I’m right here in this vineyard is 
because I want to talk about organic viticulture. There are quite a few organic wineries in 
the Pfalz and there are more and more coming  

To join their cause. They want to preserve 
the land for future generations and organic   Viticulture helps achieve that. One of the OGs, 
one of the oldest wineries here in this region   To produce wine in an organic way is Ökonomierat Rebholz. They have been working in an organic   Fashion since the second world war. The name of the 
vineyard behind me translates to ”in the sunshine”   But it’s getting a bit too cold out here so I’m 
going to go to the winery to get my bottle now Servus! Hi! We are Hans and Valentin Rebholz from 
the Ökonomierat Rebholz estate here in Siebeldingen.   We are the youngest generation here in our Traditional family estate and we are 
working together with our parents   Here in Siebeldingen. Okay, so in one word 
what does the Pfalz represent to you. Riesling / Diversity What makes the Pfalz special to you? 
I think of course the people because   The Pfalz is really unique for the open 
mind between the winemakers. We taste   Often together the wines and we have a big 
diversity in styles and also big diversity   In varieties and i think this is because of 
the open mind of the different winemakers and   Also because of the big area we work. Some people 
are really close to the Alsace region and some   People are a little bit more in the north and um 
so this is the reason for the big diversity.    The Pfalz borders on France. As a matter of fact during 
its history it was also occupied by the French. Therefore, the food and wine culture in the region 
is heavily influenced by the french neighbors.   Here, in this village of Schweigen-Rechtenbach 
the two countries really melt into each other.   Check this out – right now I’m in Germany. And now I’m in France. Vive la France! And now I’m back in Germany. The Becker 
family from Schweigen owns vineyards in France   And takes those grapes home to their winery 
in Germany and makes German wine out of them,   Which is really a European wine I guess. 
This also allowed them to experiment with   Chardonnay, before it was even legal in Germany 
and now they are one of the best producers of   Chardonnay in the country. So I need to get one 
of those bottles of chardonnay for my tasting. Hi my name is Friedrich Willhelm Becker. I’m 
a seventh generation winemaker in the   Becker family in the south of the Pfalz. Very 
south. We are directly on the border to France   And I’m the winemaker in the family since 2005. 
So in your opinion what makes the Pfalz special? The people for sure we are winemaking region 
and people compared to the rest of Germany   I would say are a little bit more 
laid back a little bit more open-minded. What makes the Pfalz special for winemaking is our 
soils and the microclimate. The weather, the  perfect soil And we are back… That was really nice 
but now let’s taste those beauties. Riesling makes  

Up a quarter of the vineyards in the Pfalz with 
close to 6 000 hectares planted. Pfalz Riesling tends   To be a bit richer than the wines from the Mosel 
and the Rheingau, but they keep their freshness   Very well too. I’m tasting the 2019 Koehler Ruprecht
Saumagen Riesling Spätlese trocken from   This very special site that we just saw. The former 
owner Bernd Philippi really established the winery’s   Reputation for dry rieslings. They’ve always 
done things a little bit different or you could   Say in a traditional way. They harvest by hand use 
ambient yeast for the fermentation. They use neutral oak   Vessels and they leave the wine on the lees for a 
long time. They also still use the Prädikat levels   Like Kabinett and Spätlese for example but they 
don’t label strictly by must weight but rather   By taste and style of the wine. The wine smells of 
ripe apple, pear, a little bit of pineapple as well. But it’s really complex and complete. There’s also 
a little bit of yeastiness in the background. On   The palate it’s really rich and concentrated. The 
acidity is a bit lower than you would expect from   Some other Rieslings. It’s more mellow and rounded. 
This really tells the story of this vineyard that   Is exposed to the south a little warmer in this 
warm climate. So it’s beautiful, very complex, very   Round and rich Riesling. Close to 1,400 hectares 
of vineyards are planted to Weissburgunder   Or Pinot Blanc in the Pfalz, so it’s not one of the 
most important grape varieties in the region, but   It produces some really great results. One of the 
wineries, that really focused on Weissburgunder   Is Ökonomierat Rebholz. Ökonomierat, by the way, is a 
title, that is given to accomplished agronomists   In the region. I’m tasting the 2017 Ökonomierat Rebholz im Sonnenschein. The site is at 160 to 225 meters above   Sea level, it has a southwestern exposure and is on 
chalky soil. They hand harvest the grapes de-stem   Them, leave the juice in contact with the skins 
for 24 hours and press them in the basket press.   But now let’s open this baby. This winery is a 
member of the VDP the Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter, That organizes some or most of the best 
wineries in Germany and it was the first winery   From the Südliche Weinstrasse, that was invited to 
join in the 1990s. The wine has a golden color, it   Smells of pear honeydew melon and a little bit 
smoky as well. On the palate it’s really rich   And unctuous, but it has a great freshness in the 
finish so it’s not overpowering. It finishes lively. Beautiful, this really shows how much potential 
Weissburgunder has in the Pfalz.    Even though Chardonnay is one of the most popular grape 
varieties in the world, its production in Germany   Was only legalized in 1991. Roughly one third of 
the total acreage in Germany can be found in the   Pfalz, but at 819 hectares it’s still very much 
a niche product. Some of the best Chardonnays in   The region can be found in the Südliche Weinstrasse. The grapes for this wine come from Schweigen, some   From the French some from the German side. They 
grow on chalky clay soils, they are hand-harvested   Destemmed and then fermented in 228 liter barriques. 
some of the barriques are made from oak from the   Pfalz and the wine is aged for a long time on the 
lees. They’re actually using a screw cap for this   Wine which is something that I quite like. I mean 
you have to adapt your winemaking a little bit  

But you certainly don’t have any problems with TCA 
or cork taint. The 2018 Friedrich Becker Schweigen Chardonnay   Smells of lemon zest, lemon tarte. There’s also 
a little bit of hazelnut, roasted hazelnut   Flavors coming through. The oak and the fruit 
are really well balanced even though it’s 40 % New barriques. You don’t really feel the oak 
overpowering the fruit at all. On the palate   The wine shows great concentration and depth but 
also beautiful freshness. There’s a little bit of   Coconut and vanilla flavors coming through at the 
back of my palate but it’s all really complex and   Complete. Would I be able to identify this one as 
a Chardonnay from the Pfalz in the blind tasting?   I’m not really sure. I think the profile of 
chardonnay from Germany and from the Pfalz Still needs to be sharpened a little bit but this 
is a complex and complete wine and i think this is   Definitely the way to go for Chardonnay in the 
region.    With one thousand seven hundred hectares planted to Spätburgunder it’s only the second-most widely planted red grape variety in the region  After Dornfelder. But when it comes to quality it 
plays a very important role. Today I’m tasting the   2018 Weingut Wolf Spätburgunder. The grapes for 
this wine come from the Laumersheimer Steinbuckel   Vineyard, were farmed organically and grow 
on clay-loess soil. The wine was fermented   Spontaneously in open barrels and punched down 
by hand. They don’t destem a quarter of the   Grapes so they do a little bit of whole-bunch and 
the wine was then pressed in a historical basket   Press and it’s actually historical – I promise. It’s 
very interesting for me to taste this wine from   This young winemaker that I’ve heard good things 
about but I’ve never tasted the wines before   This smells beautifully it’s quite pristine fruit 
so you have quite a lot of cherry flavors coming   Through there’s also a little bit of strawberry 
and a little bit of spice. There’s also a little   Bit of black tea flavors coming through not a 
lot of oak it’s more on the fruit, more on the   Herbaceous notes. Quite beautiful! On the palate it 
has quite a lot of grip quite a lot of freshness. There’s also juicy fruit flavor coming through. I think this is a very complete wine especially   If you consider that this is the first vintage of 
this winery, so it’s definitely one to watch in the   Future. Very well done! Well, this was an exciting 
tasting and a bit of a different format of a video. My question in the beginning was: What makes the 
Pfalz special and i still don’t know 100%. I mean   The quality of the wine speaks for itself, I think 
it’s great to have a region that has so much depth   And so much complexity offers so many different 
styles because there’s something there for every   Taste and every occasion so if I have to pick 
out one thing that makes the Pfalz really special   Then it has to be the ability to perform on such a 
high level with so many different grape varieties   And wine styles. So thank you for watching, I 
hope you enjoyed this video. If you liked it   Then please like it down here subscribe to 
my channel if you haven’t done so already.   My question of the day is: What are your thoughts 
on the Pfalz – what makes the region special   To you? Let me know down below. I hope I see 
you guys again soon, until then – stay thirsty!