Wine Producer Spotlight - Fritz Wassmer
Fritz Wassmer is recognised among the top winemakers in Baden, Germany since the release of their internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir. The family has been involved in viticulutre and agriculture for generations in the village of Schlatt and this is where he was first introduced to work in the vineyards. The winery was founded in 1998 and has grown to produce Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Auxerrois, and Frühburgunder. In recent years he has added plots with Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and (very rare in Germany) Viognier.
We were lucky enough to have a quick chat with Tobias Maier, Founder/Wine Maker of Fritz Wassmer, and discuss all things wine, some delicious food pairing suggestions for their wines, and about the winemaking process in Baden, Germany. Enjoy!
1. What started you on your winemaking career?
I started to make my passion into my profession in 1998. My family was involved for generations in agriculture and viticulture in and around the small village Schlatt in Baden. Therefore, I always had a strong relation to terroir and microclimatic conditions. After a long period of gathering experience in wine regions all over the world I found my own winery, always with the goal to find the optimal surrounding for the respective needs of each grape variety.
2. Can you tell us about winemaking in Baden and what makes a good vintage?
In my vineyards we have a lot of different influences at the individual spots. You can find different types of soil in a comparatively small area as well as diverse climatic conditions. As a wine maker you have to consider exactly all these special efforts. Every vintage brings its additional challenges. You must react to all these efforts with the right activities at the right time. I am sure that every vintage can be a good one if you give it the opportunity to develop its character and if you are able to accompany its development from the grapevine to the cellar, 365 days a year in the optimal way.
3. What difficulties have you had to overcome with climate change and are you doing anything to lessen your environmental footprint?
We have a lot of challenges according to climate change. Years with dryness, extreme heat, and heavy precipitation or hail are difficulties we must deal with. We take, and continue to take, numerous steps to lessen our environmental footprint.
We try to avoid unnecessary interference with nature and promote a responsible use of our natural resources. Wherever possible, we try to use lightweight bottles to save energy in production, transport, and disposal. We are working with environmentally friendly packaging material and do not use unnecessary plastic.
4. Do you have a favourite grape variety to work with and why?
My favourite grape is the Pinot Noir that we call Spätburgunder in Germany. In my opinion it is the most versatile and finest red grape and demands a lot from the winemaker. If you handle it well, you get the most expressive wine that reflects all influences like the mentioned terroir and microclimatic conditions.
5. Finally, what is your favourite food and wine pairing from your range?
A nice steak with princess beans and fried potatoes accompanied by our Pinot Noir CCL.
Voted best in show at the Decanter 2021 awards! An elegant, fruity German Chardonnay and comparable to a good quality white Burgundy. Definitely one of the best German chardonnays out there! Lots of oak with hints of peaches, pear, and clove with a long and powerful finish. Pairs great with pork, fish, and vegetarian dishes.
ABV: 14% | €55.00
A full-bodied, juicy, and well-balanced Spatburgunder which is less sweet than its other counterparts from the same region. Smokey and somewhat spicy with juicy red fruits such as strawberries and raspberries on the palate and smooth, matured tannins. One to pair with summer meals or works perfectly well on its own!
ABV: 13% | €20.00
A very light and refreshing German Pinot Blanc and a great entry point into the style of wine. Perfect for a warm summer's day! Rich pear and apple flavours with some hints of melon and pineapple and a whisper of nuts in the finish. Holds a medium to high acidity. Best paired with lighter foods or seafood or served as an aperitif.
ABV: 12.5% | €19.00
A big and complex German Pinot. Lots of smoke, vanilla, and red fruit on the nose, with hints of leather and herbal notes. Compact and highly dense on the palate with lots of tannins. Finishes with a good amount of acidity without protruding and sweet with some spice (clove and cinnamon).
ABV: 13.5% | €60.16
You can find our full range of Fritz Wassmer’s fantastic wines at Irish Drink Shop. And if you still can’t find that perfect wine, then be sure to check out our monthly wine offers and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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