Last evening Mr. Klaus Lotz and his lovely wife, Barb, accompanied our group to a wine cooperative near Bonn, Germany called "Mayschofs-Altenahr". 400 grape growers belong to this cooperative which produces many award winning wines.
A gentlemen named Ley, who is also a grape-grower, presented four wines to us and walked us through the wine tasting process. A wonderful lesson in value-added agriculture, and the "culture" of agriculture.
The region has steep inclines where grape harvesting machines cannot be used. Each hectare (2.2 acres) requires 2000 hours of labor to care for and harvest the grapes. Each bunch of grapes is hand "read" and imperfect grapes are separated before the bunches of grapes are sent to the wine making process.
90% of the wine in the area is Burgundy red wine.
This cooperative sells 1 million liters of 80 different kinds of wine each year. One of the best is this one...
It is a 2008 Burgundy with a complex taste, was fermented in German oak barrels and has a 400 year old picture on the label. It costs 14 Euros per bottle.
I sincerely enjoyed sampling the fruits of the cooperative's labor. Some of the best wine I have ever had, and spending an evening learning about the business of wine making amongst good company and very gracious hosts was a joy.