Virtual wine tasting is the thing of the moment. With most tasting rooms still closed, alternatives were needed to keep in touch with customers and the Internet is full of opportunities to join virtual wine tasting sessions with winemakers around the world.
A large range of German wineries have taken to the virtual world as well, where they offer live streaming wine tasting sessions.
The renowned wineries Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld Spanier are no exception. Certainly, that’s no big surprise when you have a great dedication and long track record to tread guests to enticing wine experiences, you don’t sit idle even with your tasting room closed and on-site events cancelled.
In fact, Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld Spanier have been on my list of German wineries to visit for a while for exactly that reputation along with their award-winning wines. Yet, for various reasons I kept postponing a visit.
Then recently, their latest newsletter popped up in my inbox announcing a wine tasting cook-along virtual event. Well, I could not miss that, could I?
About Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld Spanier
Originally, Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld Spanier were two different wineries founded by two distinct wine-making families in Germany’s largest wine growing region Rheinhessen.
Kühling-Gillot was founded in 1970 by Gabi Kühling und Roland Gillot and today is managed by daughter Caroline. The winery stands for a focus on excellent Riesling and Pinot Noir but also produces a range of other interesting wines including a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and a red cuvee. It is also one of the leading examples in biodynamic and sustainable wine production in Germany.
Battenfeld Spanier meanwhile was founded in 1991 by Hans Oliver Spanier right after he finished his training as a winemaker, and from the start the winery focused on biodynamic and sustainable wine production processes. True to the region, there are various excellent Rieslings in the Battenfeld Spanier wine range too along with Pinot Grigio, green Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir.
Both wineries remain in the hands of the founding families to this date but have become more or less a single entity as the now belong to husband-and-wife team Caroline Kühling-Gillot and Hans Oliver Spanier.
Located fairly close to each other in Germany’s largest wine growing region Rheinhessen, Kühling-Gillot and Battenfelt Spanier are both VDP classified and regarded to be among the best wineries in Germany.
The VDP label is a trademark of German wine that stands for excellent quality. There is indeed a firm selection process for wineries being awarded with the different VDP classifications.
The VDP classification is not specified in German wine low but the label is widely recognized as proof of quality, with associated wineries required to adhere to the strict private regulations.
There are four distinct classifications of VDP wines ranging from VDP Grosse Lage (the highest accolade) to VDP Erste Lage, VDP Ortswines and VDP Gutsweine.
For more information, check the VDP website.
Carolin Kühling Gillot and Hans Oliver Spanier are in fact among the leading figures in the Rheinhessen region and have played an important role in the incredible resurgence of the area over the last two decades.
Thanks to initiatives such as Message in a bottle, a get together of Rheinhessen winemakers to drive quality in local wines, in which the couple was heavily involved, today there are quite a number of excellent well-known Rheinhessen wineries. Thus it’s well worth putting the region on your bucket list and planning a tour including other local wineries and restaurants.
In case you are interested, here are two older posts giving you some ideas what to do in the area.
Wine tasting at Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld Spanier
If you are planning an on-site visit to the two wineries, you will end up at the Kühling-Gillot estate where you will find a tasting room and event centre, where a range of different wine events are hosted throughout the year.
Off course, you could simply walk in and taste some of the wines on offer.
However, once it will be safe to return to wine tasting events, it is the winery’s LiquidLife series that’s on my list. The event series brings together renowned chefs and sommeliers – usually coming from some of the best bars in Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna as well as various award-winning restaurants from Germany and sometimes further afield – and off course the excellent wines of Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld Spanier.
Among the different events taking place throughout the year, there are a couple specifically combining food and wine; featuring a seasonal tasting menu.
If you have read my recent post Asparagus season in Germany: How a whole country is going crazy for a vegetable, you will know that I am as crazy about it then my fellow Germans.
Now, what shall I say. The most recent food and wine event taking place at Kühling-Gillot Battenfeld Spanier was an evening with chef Frank Brunswig (host of a German TV cooking show) preparing a seasonal asparagus menu.
Off course, the event did not happen in ‘real life’ since restaurants (and tasting rooms) were still closed in Germany in early May. Instead, the season was live streamed via Kühling-Gillot Batenfeld Spanier’s Facebook account.
About two weeks prior to the event, those interested in joining the live stream (and just about anybody else) could order the three accompanying wines online, conveniently offered as a complete tasting-package.
Ingredients of the menu were listed in the newsletter as well, giving those who were keen to cook along in real time the chance to do so.
Though I skipped the cooking part – but prepared myself a green asparagus risotto to eat just before the session started and off course had the different wines at hand for the live tasting – it was quite fun observing chef Frank Brunswig cooking and explaining and chatting along with Caroline Kühling-Gillot who also introduce the different wines during the evening; every now and then joined by husband Hans Oliver Spanier.
It’s safe to say, seeing how they put this together and the welcoming atmosphere they managed to transmit despite the physical distance, a trip to the Kühling-Gillot Battenfeld Spanier LiquidLife event at their Bodenheim estate is now more than ever a fixture on my list.