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It’s now official. Our friend and colleague Gernot Kollmann, who will continue to be consultant-winemaker at Weingut Reinhard and Beate Knebel, is the new director and cellarmaster at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg, a well-known domaine in Enkirch famous for its Jugendstil label, stony Batterieberg vineyard, and long-lived wines-in particular, their dry-tasting Riesling. The new owners have upgraded the cellar and possess at the moment 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of top old-vine parcels, many ungrafted, in Enkircher Steffensberg, Zeppwingert, Batterieberg, and Ellergrub.

In the nineteenth century, the former owner, Georg-Heinrich Immich, detonated with dynamite a slate cliff to create the monopole Batterieberg (demolition hill). The label depicts a cannon blast with the name of this site, which lies within the larger Zeppwingert. Ellergrub is further upstream on the same stretch of steep, terraced hillsides between Enkirch and Starkenburg. These three sites have mainly blue and gray slate. The south-facing Steffensberg, with more red slate, is located in a side valley, behind the village of Enkirch. As with most vineyards on the Mosel pre-1971 German Wine Law, the old maps, including the Prussian tax map of 1897, listed more site specific place-names than today and ranked Steffensberg, Zeppwingert, and Ellergrub among the first-class sites of the Mosel. (The map didn’t make note of Batterieberg at the time.)

The area around Enkirch and Traben-Trarbach, the latter still displaying its former wealth and Jugendstil architecture as the world’s leading trade center for white wines back in the late nineteenth century, has seen a renaissance of late with the emergence of quality growers such as Martin Müllen, Konstantin Weiser (Weingut Weiser-Künstler), and Daniel Vollenweider. All are members of the Klitzekleine Ring (little bitty circle), a play on the more prestigious Mosel VDP’s Grosser Ring (Great Circle), which is famous for its annual wine auctions in Trier. In fact, the next one is this coming Friday, September 25.

The Klitzekleine Ring is a group of ten growers who get together to do tasting events in order to bring more attention to this part of the Mosel as well as to save precious old vines in forgotten vineyards that would otherwise be grubbed up. Their upcoming „Tafelrunde‘ tasting is on Saturday, September 26, in Traben-Trarbach.

Autumn is already here, and my last blog post was in June. Please excuse the long absence during the „Summer of Riesling,‘ I’ve been remiss traveling wine country, hanging out, and drinking Mosel Riesling. By the way, it’s more than just a summer refresher.