Fritz’s Riesling – a Fun German Riesling

I was in Germany recently to learn about the great Riesling winemakers of the
Posted 08th June 2012        

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I was in Germany recently to learn about the great Riesling winemakers of the country. There are so many great German winemakers and the wines they make are incredible – from the dry trocken to the very sweet trockenbeerenauslese (TBA), all can be made from just one grape – Riesling.

One such winemaker is Fritz Hasselbach. He is the winemaker and co-owner of Gunderloch Estate in the Rheinhessen. Although Fritz is the winemaker, he married into the family winery. According to tradition, the winery has been handed down through the female side of the family, so it’s Fritz’s wife, Agnes Hasselbach-Usinger, who brought the winery to Fritz by marriage.

Over lunch, Agnes told us that she had originally wanted to be the winemaker, having grown up amongst the vines with her father but at the time, it was unusual for a woman to take over a family winery. Luckily, Agnes married a winemaker and she inherited the winery. Despite Agnes’s winemaking ambitions being thwarted, she is very much involved in the production of the wines and led us through a tasting of their Rieslings.

They strive to make wines of quality and with vineyards situated on the banks of the River Rhein, including the famous Rothenberg vineyard, they are producing award winning wines year after year.

However, not all of their wines are serious. Fritz decided that he wanted to make an approachable wine that didn’t need aging: one that he calls a “Friday night party wine”. He created Fritz’s Riesling as a light and modern wine, easy to drink but also suitable with a meal. I tried it and found it very friendly, unlike some Rieslings which can be as reserved as the Queen, this one is more like Prince Harry: fun and racy! It is, however, a balanced wine with ripe green fruits and a fresh lime finish. Fritz created this wine to be drunk anytime and I think he’s on to a winner.

As a side note, the label was designed by his children; in keeping with the playful theme of the wine.

Fritz’s Riesling is available from Majestic, RRP £8.99.


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Meet the Author:
Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter