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  • January 22, 2019
  • Uhlen PDOs

  • by Lars Carlberg

Al Drinkle of Calgary says:

I just read through the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No. 44. How do you feel about the appearances of PDO certification in vineyards that are already subjected to the dual convolution of the German Wine Law and VDP regulations? I'm also curious as to whether you share my concerns for one of the guidelines regarding the Uhlen g.U. certification; namely, that RS levels between 19 and 90 g/l will not be tolerated?

Perhaps this makes sense for the style of wines that Heymann-Löwenstein likes to make, but it seems like an ominous step forward as other g.U. sites are potentially granted. At the very least, it adds confusion to a category that's already sufficiently tangled.

  • I have yet to read the piece on the Uhlen PDOs, but I’m familiar with it. To me, it’s not a good precedent and not just because of the RS restrictions.

    On August 17, 2014, I wrote in “New Wine-Labeling Regulations in Rhineland-Palatinate” the following paragraph:

    This is much different from those, who, like Reinhard Löwenstein of Heymann-Löwentein, have been seeking a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)—geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g.U.)—for delimited areas. This is part of the new EU wine laws. In the case of Löwenstein, he and several other leading growers, including Knebel, with vines in Uhlen, would like to officially designate specific sections of the hillside that have clearly different soil types. The problem with registering a PDO is that few could afford the time and legal assistance attendant on such an appeal. It would then create an exclusive club of registered PDO sites that might or might not be old site names in the land survey register.

    I would also like to bring up the issue of place-names (Gewannnamen). Can a producer with holdings in Uhlen still use an official place-name on the cadastre? To me, it makes more sense to register historical place-names instead (see also “Der Uhlen.”) It’s easier and less restrictive.

  • As a follow-up to my previous reply, I had initially provided in Al’s post a link to Mosel Fine Wines’ article on Uhlen g.U., which I finally read. (It was published on November 12, 2018.) There is, however, an updated version in Issue No. 44. Readers should subscribe and download the latest issue.

    Mosel Fine Wines says in this revised article that a grower with vineyards in Uhlen can still follow the German Wine Law and produce a wine labeled “Winninger Uhlen” and with a Prädikat (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese), whether dry, off-dry, or residually sweet.

    I also feel that a grower should be able to blend from different sectors within Uhlen. This is no different from Jean-Louis Chave blending his various parcels spread across the different soil types in Hermitage.

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