Caspari-Kappel, Riesling trocken “Urschiefer” 2016

House: Caspari-Kappel

Name: Riesling trocken “Urschiefer”

Origin: Mosel, Germany

Vintage: 2016

Price: 86 DKK/11,60 EUR/14,20 USD on (market price: 150 DKK/20,10 EUR/24,80 USD)


Wine making in Germany

Landscape of German wine making has changed a lot in last 30-40 years. Back in the day, Germans prided themselves on the great combination of efficiency and administration. Not a lot of love was given to the wine though. In early 70s, the quality of wine was measured solely by the sugar content which disqualified dry wines from being called a good wine. This led to a trend of cheap, medium dry wines that were exported in loads over board. Luckily, there has always been a group of wine makers that tried to make good dry wines. Otherwise, the landscape of German wine industry would be completely different from how it looks like today.

Mosel river and area around is one of the most popular wine regions of Germany

Nowadays, the situation is different. While there are still some sweet wines being produced, especially in Mosel region, the focus has shifted to quality dry wines. Riesling is the staple of German wine industry and it is the most planted white variety. Besides that, among popular grapes we can find Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir – most popular red variety), Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).

Mosel as a wine region

The Mosel (aka Moselle) River begins in France and flows into Germany where it twists sharply for 150 miles (250 km) and deposits into the Rhine on its way to the North Sea. It is along this winding river gorge that we find the most classic Riesling wines in the world.

So what makes the Mosel Valley so special for this wine and grape? It’s a combination of geology, geography and history (Riesling was first recorded in Germany in 1435) that makes the Mosel wine region unique.

The Mosel Valley is home to more grapes than just Riesling. That said, Riesling does account for over 60% of the vineyard land. Other grapes worth investigating further include Elbling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Kerner and Auxerrois. You’ll find some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay here too, often used in Sekt–German sparkling wine.

Hills all along the Mosel valley are covered in vineyards from bottom to the top

Caspari-Kappel, Riesling trocken “Urschiefer” 2016

In the nose we get tones of freshly cut grass, licorice and green apples. In the mouth we get a little sparkling feeling with slight hint of sweetness. In the taste we get hints of citrus fruit, especially grapefruit and green apples. This wine has light and short finish.



Today I took a short trip to visit a new wine country on my journey, Germany. The flavor profile of this wine is different from what I am used to but it was still a pleasant journey. I was especially surprised by the sparkling feeling – it was very close to Italian frizzante. I will definitely return to taste some more German wines.

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