JWU Student Blogs

Germany- First Day of Class

We got to spend our first two days in Koblenz tour, relaxing, walking around, and hanging out. Today was our official first day of class. Our school is located inside the hotel that we are staying along with the lecture room on the 4th floor.


This was the basic set up of our table: three wine glasses, a spit cup, a bottle of water, and a water glass.

Peter, our tutor and who is in charge of the program, started off the first lecture covering the basics of wine. Followed by Jurgen Hemmes, level 4 sommelier, talked about his personal life about wine and the fundamentals and wine making process.


Jurgen was quite entertaining with brightening the atmosphere time to time.

We tasted six wines during the lecture including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Silvaner, Gewurztraminer, and Scheurebe. Each wine were from different regions and different countries throughout the world. My personal favorite was Scheurebe from Kiefer; it had a very crisp and refreshing flavor to it which can be drank as an everyday wine.

imageI thought this was kind of cool to share. The shape of the bottle has almost no affect in wine, yet a lot of the people don’t prefer this due to the storage issue. One more tip, if the bottle is clear that means the wine is meant to drink young.

Later in the evening, we took a field trip to Ratzenberger Estate located in the Mittelrhein region of Germany. It is owned by the Ratzenberger family. They own 14 hectares of vineyard producing 100,000 bottles each year!!! The Ratzenberger is well known for their Riesling, which I will be talking about in a moment.

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This is the downstairs in the basement of the building. All the process of making wine is done in the basement. The basement is kept very cool and humid to provide perfect environment for making and storing wines!

imageWe went out to the back and saw this GORGEOUS view!!!!! Everyone couldn’t stop but to take millions of pictures!

imageLet’s talk about our tasting!! The tastings were 9 rieslings, from dry to sweet with different vintages.

imageEveryone’s absolute favorite, Badcharacher Schloss Stahlech Riesling Spatlese 1983. Jochen, the owner, was nice enough to open two of these wonderful wines with us!! The wine had a gold-light amber color and mineral, quince, wet stone, and freshness on the nose. When I tasted the wine, I was mind blown! I thought I was drinking a glass of rich golden apricot honey!!! It was the best wine I’ve tasted so far.


imageIt was a great start with great people and great wines! I’m looking forward to the rest of the adventure that I will be experiencing! :)