Thursday, 1 December 2011

The vineyards of Berlin, London, Paris...

At 52,310 degrees North, Berlin is more northerly than either the vineyards of Meissen or the Ahr Valley. It is even further North than Chateau Slotovino (51.34 N) or even Astley Vineyard, Stourport (Worcestershire) which was at one time England's most northerly vineyard (52.21 N).

All this may be hugely uninteresting were it not for the fact a) that both Meissen and the Ahr Valley make the claim that they are Germany's most northerly vineyard and b) that there are indeed vineyards in Berlin. In 6 districts, there are said to be 10 producers. 11 if you count the patch of vines outside the office of one of the Laender (Pfalz?)

right in the middle of town within sight of the Reichstag. Indeed, the producers had to have a conference recently at Myers Hotel, Prenzlauer Berg.

There is said to be a 700 year history of winegrowing in Berlin and Brandenburg. As well as Prenzlauer Berg where the soil is sandy, Kreuzberg seems to be a prominent area with vines planted around an athletics stadium. Something to be encouraged in our view.

Riesling seems to be the grape grown in all these districts. Germans can obviously not get enough of it.

All this is a bit of a challenge to Chateau Tooting in London In Paris they have the Association des Vignerons de Paris who, like Tooting pool the grapes they grow in plant pots on terraces, balconies and courtyards in the city. Grape varieties of the Paris wine, free of any DOC rules are wonderfully eclectic. Whites include Perlette and Chasselas de Fontainebleau and Reds, Aladin, Alphonse Lavallee and Brant. There are actual vineyards in Parisian spaces including Montmartre (the best known) as well as parks etc. There they grow Gamay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Perlette, Chasselas and something called Perdin.

Paris (Montmartre in fact) is 48.53 degrees North.

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