|Anne Krebiehl meets German winemaker Ernst Loosen|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2012 11:45|
Ernst Loosen is a German winemaker and owner of the wine producer Weingut Dr. Loosen, located just outside Bernkastel in the Mosel wine region. Anne Krebiehl sat down for a chat.
What do you think of Riesling here in the UK?
I have a long experience of selling Riesling in this country; I started in 1983. If you look back to those days, the market was a disaster for Riesling and German wines, it was full of Liebfraumilch and Blue Nun. This is what ruined the reputation of these wines [Riesling]. Fine German wines used to be very important in the UK, nowadays that's dead. I have been working this market because I love England; I like the humour, the people, the lifestyle. I love this market and I thought there must be a way to get Riesling back and it was a very, very hard for the first 15 years to stick up for Riesling in the UK.
What was the turning point?
Possibly the end of the 1990s, when we started really to become successful. I came over here not because I sold a lot; I came because I loved it so much. It was a long, hard way. But you see, I think this is the difference with the people in England, they may take a long time to come back to something, but then they are very loyal, that is the difference to America, where you can have success because of scores, but they forget you just as fast. In England you have to have the patience to build the market continuously, even if you do not have an immediate success.
So much has happened in Germany itself - what about the younger generation of winemakers?
From that point of view I would say we are still more successful in the export markets with the traditional fruity-style wines while in Germany we are very successful with the dry wines. I do not see a contradiction or conflict in that. The young guys often see a conflict, they want to promote their new-style dry wines but I think Germany has the tradition of both, why should I not continue this tradition?
What does the future hold for Riesling?
What has the success of the Dr. L brand taught you?
The 1996 vintage was the first we introduced. People adore having a simple concept, not having to bother with all these difficult names and to have a profile, I think this is the reason that it's still growing - and not at a cheap price, it sells at the £6.99 and £7.49 price point and it seems to work. People are willing to pay if it's a reliable product.