What is Der Klitzekleine Ring?

4/9/11 -


An impossible to pronounce term? A ludicrously overplayed piece by Mozart? A clumsy oaf? No, it’s none of those things! It’s actually the kind of project we love here at Chambers Street Wines, a small group of growers (eleven to be precise) that have banded together to preserve steep hillside vineyards in one of Germany’s most historic districts, the Mosel.  The playful name translates roughly to “The Itsy-Bitsy Group” and it’s a friendly poke-in-the-rib of other, more well-known grower associations that can sometimes be seen as taking themselves too seriously.  While our protagonists in this case can certainly not be accused of that, they do take their work quite seriously, and we’re grateful they do.

All the members of the “Ring” work meticulously by hand in a single dilapidated vineyard plot, essentially nursing the ailing vines back to health.  From 2006 on the group focused on a steep section of the Enkircher Ellergrub vineyard. They work the harvest together and each fall one grower is selected to vinify that year’s Riesling. In 2008 it was one of our favorites, Konstantin Weiser of Weiser-Kuenstler in Traben-Trarbach.

The name chosen for the wine is another tongue-in-cheek title, as “Bergrettung” also refers to the German and Austrian ‘mountain rescue’ team that helps hikers and skiers in peril. In this case, of course, it’s the mountain itself that needs to be rescued, and the Kiltzekleine Ring is here to help! Fortunately, the group’s efforts have been a success and this rejuvenated plot has been sold to a conscientious grower, making 2008 the final Bergrettung from the Ellergrub. Starting in 2009 they took on a section of the Trabener Zollturm, so hopefully their success will be repeated.

As for the wine itself? It’s got the classic purity of fruit and excellent length that we’ve come to expect from Weiser-Kuenstler, and it’s a delicious lesson in terroir to taste this alongside the Spatlese from W-K’s own plot in the Enkircher Ellergrub. When so many wines today are created as industrial products or treated as a commodity to be traded on the market, it’s a privilege to offer a wine that only exists because of a group’s commitment to their region’s 2000-year old tradition and heritage. You’ll notice below that we’ve decided to include some of our other favorite wines from Weiser-Kuenstler below for your perusal. Drink Mosel wine and help save these classic vineyards! -jfr

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered