The Wine Merchant in Nürnberg (2)
Nürnberg – ‘Die Bratwurst-Metropole’.
‘Die Bewohner der alten Noris im Herzen Frankens sind seit eh und je dafür bekannt, einen guten Bratwurst abgeneigt zu sein.’

Nürnberg was almost completely destroyed at the end of the second World War. Today there is (almost) no building left in original construction. Which gives a strange feeling in old Europe. You could compare it with Rotterdam, which was raised again after the War.
“War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again: WAR!” (cfr Springsteen)
In the centre of the city, on the bank of the river Pegnitz, stands the Heilig-Geist-Spital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit). Founded in 1332, this is one of the largest hospitals of the Middle Ages. Lepers were kept here at some distance from the other patients.
It now houses a very typical Frankish restaurant. I love to discover local kitchen and wines when I travel and this definitely is a ‘must’ when you visit Nürnberg. You feel like hanging above the river when you look through the small yellow windows from a heavy wooden table. The food is traditional and authentic, I go for a pork shoulder which is prepared delicious, even the fat comes off crispy and savoury.
Almost all the wines are served by 50 cl carafe. In the menu there’s an extensive explanation of the typical varietals from this area: Silväner, Muller-Thurgau, Bacchus, Scheurebe, Kerner, Riesling and Portugieser. Varieties well known and varieties I never heard about. They also give information on the different soils: Buntsandstein, Musche Kalk and Keuper.
In my hotel I saw a documentary on CNN of wine making in Napa Valley where the philosophy seems to go against tradition. A successful young wine maker said that just because in Napa there are no restrictions whatsoever on winemaking they can go wild in designing new wines with any variety you want on any soil. He said that it’s better to take a new original road which is much more interesting in life than the traditional roads we know in Europe.
When I see than a wine region like ‘Weinland Franken’ where they have been perfecting winegrowing and style over the last hundred years I am very well impressed. This is a wine country!
I believe in Napa Valley they confuse wine making with something exciting to play with. They come up with the strangest wines that might have success if well promoted with new marketing techniques. But will they last? Do we need new, completely different wines, or do we need equilibrated wines made with many years of experience, wines that come to perfection according to their climate, soil and variety?

My wine mentor Joan Mila told me once:
“ In a ‘top’ wine you shouldn’t be able to distinguish the different varieties, if you do it is a defect of the wine.”
This is for me the ultimate concept of wine making. The perfect harmony of taste. Wine is to enjoy and it is the wine makers duty to combine all parameters of nature and merge them into one beautiful result that makes you feel like in heaven.