Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Beneath the market

I hope the sound works in this video. I’m traveling with a computer that doesn’t like to play audio, so I’m hoping for the best.

This medieval, 500 year-old cave that lies below the market in Westhofen has belonged to Weingut K.F. Groebe since 1763. All of Fritz’s wines are treated in oak – no stainless steel (if the sound is working in the video you’ll learn the barrels are 20-100 years old, so they don’t impart flavor – it’s more about texture and tradition).

I asked if the cellar required any maintenance and the answer was “not really”. It maintains a year-round temperature of right around 14 degrees Celsius and just the humidity level that the wines seem to like. From time to time, they may have to clean a little fungus from the outside of the barrels just to make sure it doesn’t end up in the wine.

Turns out this fungus (the black stuff you can see on the ceiling if you’re paying attention) is “good fungus” and survives on humidity and alcohol alone – doesn’t sound like such a bad existence.

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