The wonderful world of wine
The wonderful world of wine
Work is over. It is a mild evening and you are sitting relaxing in the Sommerbar of the Sommerach wine cellar. For a moment, the evening sun bathes everything in a glorious shade of gold, and you wish that this moment could last forever.
Proud town houses and smart timber-framed buildings make up the baroque picture-book village, with its 1,400 inhabitants. The name "Sommerach" can be roughly translated as "The place on the sunny side of the river". The village is shaped by a strong sense of community, which can in large part be traced back to the local co-operative wine-growers association, which was founded back in 1901.
Courage for change
Following a series of bad years, as a result of unknown diseases affecting the vines and failing marketing strategies, the vintners were faced with a choice: Give up making wine, or to show courage and a pioneering spirit to find new ways of doing things.
They founded the first co-operative wine-growers association in Franconia with the Sommerach wine cellar. Today, the co-operative, which is renowned far beyond the region in Franconia, includes 90 wine-growing families.
The Sommerach Katzenkopf is the most famous vineyard in the Lower Franconian vintner village. South-facing and with a gentle gradient. Its unique micro-climate and the special soil make the vineyard one of the best locations for vines in Franconia; its wines have been regulars on the leaderboards of national and international wine-tastings for years.
The 'German Architecture Prize for Wine'
The co-operative manages a small part of the vineyard area like a wine estate. The grape harvest is exciting right to the last moment there. Just like in the incredible summer of 2015: After several pre-harvests, it was mid-November, in the final, very late-autumn days, when the time finally came to select some raisin-like, shrivelled and highly concentrated grapes and, in doing so, to lay the foundations for an outstanding Silvaner Trockenbeerenauslese. "Outstanding 221 degree Oechsle for the wine from the Sommerach Katzenkopf", winemakers Helmut Glaser en Stefan Gerhard was able to tell the wine connoisseurs proudly.
A fine combination of village calm and hustle and bustle reigns in the streets and alleys of Sommerach. "Weinreich" wine cellar, which is run by the co-operative, stands right at the heart. This central meeting point for all things wine, which was awarded the "German Architecture Prize for Wine", has been amazing locals and guests since 2006.
In the wine school
The vintners pass on their knowledge, their passion and their enthusiasm for wine in their wine school. Wine-lovers learn how to describe the aroma and taste of the wine. They discover what "mouth feel" is, along with many other interesting things.
Guests get a sense of how the wine-growers feel and what they are proud of: We belong to our region, are grounded, and make first-rate wines. Strictly speaking, it is nature and the mountains that make the wine, say the vintners. The soil conditions and the extra pinch of sunshine.