Sitting in the gorgeous little garden filled with the last rays of sunshine, you could easily believe you are somewhere in Italy or the south of France. But this little gem is actually located in the village of Schwabenheim right in the middle of Rheinhessen, Germany’s largest wine growing region just about forty minutes outside of Frankfurt.
Here we recently enjoyed a wine pairing menu presented by Immerheier Wein. First and foremost a winery – winemaker Denis Immerheiser is included on the list of the 250 best winemakers in Germany – the Immerheiser family has established a thriving service around accommodation and wining and dining that naturally extends from their core business making wine.
Although the concept where wineries offer guest accommodation and dining options either directly at a winery or running a nearby hotel and restaurant is not new, it is one that is currently strongly growing across the German wine regions. And it is hugely popular with guests; differently to a couple of years ago when you could book winery accommodation quite spontaneously, these days you need to plan well in advance.
Immerheiser Wein is one of the Germany wineries that historically offer wine-related stays; looking back of now nearly thirty years of welcoming guests to their restaurant and later on adding rooms to the mix. And they certainly know how to do it!
The well established gourmet restaurant Zum Alten Weinkeller (the old wine cellar) has won several regional awards and features on many local and national restaurant guides. On the a la carte menu are dishes based on locally sourced ingredients changing according to the season.
On warmer days, guests can sit in the lovely terracotta garden (exactly, the one that gives you the southern vibes I mentioned earlier).
Only a two minutes walk away from the main winery complex, located directly on the main street in the oldest building in the little town – dating back to 1569 – you will find Landgasthof Engel, the bistro-style restaurant also part of the Immerheiser winery. The menu here is based on traditional local every-day food that changes according to the season too. Here as well you can sit in a beautiful little courtyard on warmer days.
There is also a small tasting room and wine shop adjacent to the Landgasthof. Here you will find some 400 different wines from around the world, and off course all the wines from the Immerheiser winery.
And lots of beautiful gadgets around wine and other home decoration stuff. To tell the truth, I could have bought half of the articles on offer (and most of the wine too).
Hotel rooms are located in a number of different building around the winery headquarter. All rooms are decorated with a high attention to detail, spotting a minimalistic clean design following the different room categories: rustic country chic, cottage style rooms in the guesthouse and Provence rooms.
We choose the Provence room which is decorated in a typical Provence style. Indeed, on stepping into our room it featured the very typical southern feeling of lightness and sunshine.
The colour scheme of white, light gray and a hue of blue/lilac is really adding the right feeling to the Provence theme, and the wrought iron bed and rustic wooden cabinet only enhanced that feeling. It certainly did not hurt either that it was an absolutely gorgeous day and the light was floating through the window.
The bathroom was spacious with a lovely designer sink and a large rain shower.
Our stay offered the kind of authentic experience I really fancy, without all the luxurious and shiny add-ons that you will find in 5-star locations. Don’t get me wrong, I do fancy those too. However, I truly love these simple country escapes with a touch of family-frindly atmosphere that allow you to truly disconnect and unwind for a short stay.
But back to the wine pairing menu – which was indeed the main reason for the visit.
These events are a long-term tradition at the Immerheiser winery, hosted in the gourmet restaurant. Many of the different themes throughout the year will see menus accompanied by wines from the Rheinhessen region along with international wines – the idea behind this is to compare how local wines pair with the food compared to the international ones which usually will come from a specific region making the theme of the evening.
Moderated by Georg-Ludwig Immerheiser, the senior patron of the Immerheiser winery, in an easy and fun way, the tasting menus are a great opportunity to learn about the different characteristics of wines from different regions and how different wines still can pair well with the same food.
The Vino & Pasta evening was bit different though, as we were tasting exclusively wines from Italy. Thus no comparison with local wines on this occasion. Instead, each course was paired with two wines from Italy – one white and one red. I found this was a particularly interesting concept which I had not tried before nor had I actually come across a similar offer yet. It nicely proved both white and red wines can pair very well with the same food and I can only recommend to to go for the experience.
The evening kicked off with the perhaps most Italian of Italian apperitivi – an Aperol Spritz.
The first course was black-and-white noodles with seafood and prawnspaired with a Bianchetto Sauvignon Blan Sacchetto from the Veneto region and an Aliotto Tenute Lunellei from Tuscany.
Next came ravioli with truffles and mushrooms, tomatoes and black olives accompanied by a Vermentino from Liguria and a bold red Santagostino from Sicily.
The third pasta course was a Tofette di Gragnano served with lamb and accompanied by an Arneise from Piedmont and a Montessu from Sardigna.
The evening ended with a delicious lemon parfait served with a traditional Italian ricotta cream.
The next morning, a classic German breakfast was served at the table; including fresh bread, homemade jams and fruit yoghurt, ham and cheese and a boiled egg.
All in all, we very much enjoyed our short stay at the Immerhauser Winery and Restaurant; and we particularly loved the concept of the Vino & Pasta tasting menu. For sure, we will be back for another evening of wining and dining in future.
Immerheiser Wein & Zum alten Weinkeller
Schulstrasse 6-10 – 55270 Schwabenheim