By James Atkinson

Germany's credentials in producing top quality Pinot Noir were confirmed recently at acclaimed Sydney restaurant Jonah's, in a dinner organised in partnership with wine importer Decante This.

The dinner last month was the result of a chance meeting last year in Alsace, France between Jonah's head sommelier Christian Baeppler and Decante This founder Leigh Dryden.

Dryden has since begun importing the wines of two boutique south-western Germany wineries: Zeireisen in Efringen-Kirchen and Dr Heger, located a bit further south at Ihringen. 

One of Dryden's main customers is German-born Baeppler, who said that in a recent tasting of 50 top Pinot Noirs from around the world, critics including Jancis Robinson rated two of the Ziereisen Spatburgunder in the top ten.

L-R: Hanspeter and Edel Ziereisen with Leigh Dryden in Germany

"Probably not many of you know that Germany is the third largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world after France and America," Baeppler said.

"In terms of production it is twice as big as Australia and New Zealand put together."

Matched to German-influenced cuisine, the wines also included Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Sylvaner and Riesling.

There was also a Ziereisen Syrah, which Baeppler acknowledged was an atypical variety for Germany – but may not be in the future.

"The world is slowly warming up and especially in the southern part of Germany there are a lot of international varieties introduced, things like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah," he said.

"This Syrah is very very nice, it comes from a single vineyard again, planted about nine years ago, so very young vines. It is grown right next to Pinot Noir, so they actually come in off the same vineyard and they share similar characteristics." 

For more information on the wines from Dr Heger and Ziereisen, email Leigh Dryden.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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