2007 Convention
Peter Sichel

All Society members and guests are reminded that alcohol consumption can lead to intoxication and therefore Society  members and their guests are expected to drink in moderation at Society events. It is advisable to provide designated drivers where available, or  mostly to taste rather than consume alcohol when such drivers are not available.

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Dear German Wine Society Members:

It hurts me that once more I can not attend your celebration since it coincides with Vinexpo, the bi-yearly International Wine Fair in Bordeaux, which starts on 17 June. I am getting too old to fly from Washington to Bordeaux and be on my feet the next day.

I am particularly sorry, since this happens to be the 30th anniversary of a society which I helped to found and lead for a while. What a journey German wines have had on the American markets. When the society started, German Wines were the leaders in imported branded wines with such brands as Black Tower and Blue Nun.  It was indeed a simpler market, with less wine consumption and more reliance on brands, rather than individual wines.

With the success of Chardonnay, initially from California, "Chardonnay" took the lead and the German brands diminished rapidly to be replaced by the brand Chardonnay. However with time we have seen a certain tiredness spread amongst the consumers, who suddenly realize that Chardonnay is really not the answer to most dishes, nor the answer to wine by itself, being too alcoholic and often too assertive because of wood.

Slowly the world has learned that there are plenty of alternatives, and Riesling is slowly conquering a larger and larger segment of the fine white wine market. It is noticeable that the largest two brands of California Riesling ran out of California Riesling and have imported German Riesling to blend with their wines, not only to have adequate supply, but also the "taste" their customers asks for. The same is happening in Washington State, and suddenly the Riesling producers in America have no trouble selling their wines, often running out before the next harvest. This has profited the largest Riesling producer in the world, Germany. With the success of Riesling has come the realization that there are other Grape Varieties growing in that cool climate more adept to the modern life style.
When we started the society there were only 11 Wine regions in Germany and now we have 13, just like the original American States, with the East German regions of Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen having joined their brethren in the West, and making wines of which they can be justly proud. I first experienced this a few years ago when I dined overlooking the city of Dresden and drank a wonderful local wine.

I  hope you will enjoy the variety of wine you will be exposed to during this week end and spread the word about what in my mind are the finest white wines for our modern life style. I hope to make your 35th anniversary, which will almost coincide with my 90th birthday. Prost Peter Sichel






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