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Sweet Germany over £10

Find out who won the regional trophy for over £10. And the winner is...

Karl Pfaffmann, Walsheimer Riesling, Pfalz Beerenauslese 2009

A Third German trophy and a third familiar face: the Pfaffmanns – father and son Helmut and Markus – won a trophy for their Walsheimer Silberberg Beerenauslese in 2007.

The Pfaffmann estate is in the southern Pfalz, an area that lies close to the French border in Alsace, so close in fact, that some Pfalz winemakers actually commute to France to tend their vines.

The southern Pfalz lacks the cachet of the more famous collection of vineyards around Deidesheim, but which has proved that its sandy loam and loess soils can make both excellent whites and increasingly good reds.

In favoured years, they can also put their hands to noble sweet wines, as was amply demonstrated by this gorgeous Beerenauslese.

Walsheim, with its gently rolling hills, used to be an area of mixed farming: vines, cereals and livestock.

The estate was created in the mid fifties when Helmut’s father Karl began to bottle his wines. In the revolutionary year of 1968, the transformation was completed when the Pfaffmanns packed off the cows and dedicated themselves wholly to wine.

Markus Pfaffmann is typical of the present generation of German winemakers in that he was despatched to the wine school at Geisenheim to learn theory as well as practice.

The Pfaffmanns now have vineyards in Walsheim, Knörringen and Nussdorf. Whites account for two thirds of the wine, and Riesling represents under a quarter of their production, as the stress in the southern Pfalz is on the ‘Burgunders’: Pinots Gris, Blanc and Noir.

The Pfaffmanns have about 50 hectares of vines, making them one of the largest producers in the region.

€21.90 for 37.5cls ex-cellars. Not available in the UK or the US. www.weingut-karl-pfaffmann.de +49 6341 61856

Written by Giles MacDonogh

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