Saturday, 11 June 2011

Kiefers' Hoffest

At the beginning of this month, Alexander Ultes - who coordinates marketing and sales at Weingut Kiefer in Eichstetten on the Kaiserstuhl and, like me, blogs now and again - invited me to come along to his winery's annual courtyard fest. Kiefer were also celebrating their 160th anniversary, so the fest promised to be more than just a routine occasion. Jenny and I promptly decided to take him up his offer and took the train there last Saturday - or, that is: Jenny went to Freiburg in the morning to look round the shops; I then met her and another friend there later on in the afternoon from where we took the onward train to Eichstetten.

Our time at Kiefers' was relatively short but enjoyable. Apart from doing a wine tasting, visitors were able to go on a guided tour of the cellar, buy wine in the vinothek, or simply sit down, chat, sip wine, eat and soak in the atmosphere.

But, among other things, we opted for the tractor ride.

Around 20 of us climbed onto an open cart, and then off we went through the village and onwards up into vineyards... Upon arrival at the top of the slope, the vineyard manager proceeded to describe some of the work he and his team do and, in particular, the specific challenges currently faced in 2011, a year which so far has seen a distinct lack of rain. After a complementary glass of rosé, we rattled down the slope again back to the winery. All in all, it was a very informative and enjoyable little excursion.

Obviously, I also caught up with Alex himself and had a chat with him. We'd both been aware of the existence of each other's respective blogs for some time, so it was good to meet in person! Originally hailing from the Pfalz (and Kaiserslautern specifically), Alex only joined Kiefer a year ago. However, simply judging from some of the novel wines on offer at the winery and other examples of attractive labelling and signage, it looks to me as if he's on to a good thing.

Hopefully, we can catch up again in future. For what it's worth, Jenny and I would definitely be keen on attending this lovely little fest again.

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