Friday, 28 January 2011

Schlossgut Istein

Not much spare time at the moment between translating and negotiating ongoing red tape related to setting up one's own business. Nevertheless, I managed to "fit in" the following recently:

Schlossgut Istein, Riesling trocken 2009, Baden
This is a fresh and breezy sort of Riesling with firm acidity. Limpid in appearance, slimline in body but with some minerally bite and saltiness. Citrus fruit and maybe some peach. Refreshing if not overly complex. Enjoyable nonetheless.

This property has a very good reputation locally, but fell into a slumber a few years ago when the long-time owner was forced to hand over the reins. Now things seem to be looking up again under the ownership of Swiss jewellery and art dealer Herbert Faubel. The wine estate has also entered into a partnership of sorts with the vintner's cooperative in Schliengen. In future, the property's marketing, sales and logistics will be taken care of by the cooperative, with vintner Thomas Abels taking care of what he probably does best: growing the wine.

Faubel also owns Weingut Emil Marget in Hügelheim, and all of Marget's wines will from now on be vinified in Istein. However, the two wineries will continue to operate independently.

Incidentally, managing director Wolfgang Grether left the winery at the end of October 2010 to rejoin the Schliengen cooperative which he had previously managed for some 15 years. He had only left Schliengen to head up Schlossgut Istein at the end of March 2010. Apparently, the new director at Schliengen, Andreas Slabi, didn't quite see eye-to-eye with his new colleagues as regards business strategy and soon handed in his notice. As Slabi's replacement, the cooperative seems to have opted again for Herr Grether's safe pair of hands.

*PS: [28 Jan. 2011, 10 a.m.] By coincidence, I've just read an article literally 20 minutes after writing this post, in which Faubel firmly denies rumours that he is about the sell Schlossgut Istein. He also puts the relationship with the Schliengen cooperative into perspective, insisting that it is less of a cooperation and more of an interim solution after Grether's sudden departure last autumn.

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