Markgräfler Wine and Asparagus Evening

27 May 2023

We ventured across the border to the Markgräflerland, the area of Germany bounded by the Black Forest on the east and the Rhine River on the West. Our outing began with a visit to the well-known Ziereisen winery The winery is a family-run business whose vineyards cover 21 hectares (52 acres). We were met by Edeltraud Ziereisen (Edel), who told us about the winery’s history, which began in 1991 when she and her husband, Hanspeter, dedicated his family’s farm and orchards to grapes. Their first wines were bottled in 1993.

Ziereisen Family Vineyards

Touring The Wine Cellars

Before beginning with the wine tasting, Edel took us down a narrow staircase to see the old wine cellar, with cobblestone floors and massive wooden vats of wine maturing. The event ended with Johann, Edel’s son, taking us over to see the new, very modern, and very large wine cellar a few hundred meters distant.

Tasting The Ziereisen Family Wines

In between the wine cellar visits we tried 10 wines, 5 white (made from chasselas, pinot gris, pinot blanc, and chardonnay grapes) and 5 red (pressed from pinot noir and syrah grapes). Edel told us about the nature of the grape varieties and explained how the location (sun, weather, and minerals in the ground) influences the outcome. Johann competently took over from Edel for the last few wines we tried. The wines we sampled came from their premium and Jaspis assortments. The Jaspis wines are the winery’s most exclusive, all being pressed from the grapes of old vines. We tasted 4 wines from the premium line (retail prices between €15 and €34 per bottle) and 6 from the Jaspis line (retail prices between €70 and €163 per bottle).

The family Ziereisen was very welcoming and very generous in their selection of wines to present. It was an enjoyable and educational prelude to our dinner.

Savoring Seasonal Asparagus Together

Walser’s Landhotel & Restaurant, our next destination, was a short walk from the winery. White asparagus is a seasonal and beloved dish in this part of the world. It is available only from mid-April to mid-June. As the weather was pleasant, we enjoyed our excellent asparagus dinner, which included white asparagus, various hams, potatoes, Hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, and “Kratzte” in the garden of the restaurant.

Asparagus, like corn-on-the-cob, is best when freshly harvested. At this time of the year, the Ziereisens also have crops of asparagus. Edel had left us to deliver the asparagus to Walsers! This is why Johann took over from her.

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