2012 Vintage Harvest, Mosel Valley
The 18 months in between was a long and short time. Johannes finished studying, granting him a major in Viticulture and Enology from Geisenheim, and went on to work for a large winery in the Mosel Valley as a general manager.
Meanwhile, I went to manage a small tasting room for a Sonoma-based winery in San Francisco, that eventually sold to another company and I landed at an established importer in the East Bay. Here, I grew an insatiable thirs–ahem– interest for international wines.
It was at work that received the Facebook message from Johannes in February. He was coming back to work for Schug that June (!). No surprises here: we picked up where we left off, spending the year in California. As I began to show Johannes the world of California wines, he became more open to the new world style, but I can still remember the first time our friends shared an older bottle of Duckhorn Cabernet, a still tannic wine with about twice as much alcohol than some of the Rieslings Johannes was used to. I, of course took his honest comments and opinions very personally.
I am proud to say that we both enjoy a variety of different wines, appreciating them for what they are and where they are from.
When the next August came and Johannes’ work visa expired, we did the next practical thing we could think of – move to Germany. And, wow, the Mosel Valley is perhaps the most scenic, beautiful winegrowing regions. I was blown away. Too bad it’s also one of the most difficult.
Over the next year, it was Johannes’ turn to teach me a ton about European wine regions, especially Germany. We took a road trip through France to visit all the winegrowing regions there and tasting, tasting, tasting. We soaked in (yes – figuratively and literally) all the information and sights – ok and wine – we could from tour guides at houses such as Moët & Chandon to family members like Virginie, daughter of renowned biodynamic producer Nicolas Joly.
We returned in time for Riesling harvest at the Mosel. Johannes laughed at me as I slipped over and over again on the dense slate soil. We finished bringing the fruit in on the first day of snow.
Feeling accomplished, we monitored the fermentations from our wines and sipped the last year’s vintage, musing how the 2012s will taste.