- Genuinely new products for retailers
- A new, high-quality range of German wines
- Aggressive prices and plenty of sales backup for the trade
How often can we find a truly new wine to offer the consumer? And not just undiscovered, but a wine that is high quality, distinctive and boasts an illustrious heritage.
The wines of Franconia, in the heart of Germany, have been produced for centuries. However, largely unknown in the UK, they are only now being made widely available on the British market, perfect for summer drinking.
Wine importer Helmut Mack is devoting his business to Franconian, or Franken wine, certain that the small quantity and high quality produce will find a welcome from discerning British wine lovers seeking something different from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio.
Decades of bad marketing have meant UK drinkers’ experience of German wine has been largely limited to a few notorious products. This has disguised the vast range of white wines, and some red, that are at least the equal of top quality wines from the rest of Europe and the New World.
Based in Bristol, Helmut’s Frankenwein company is currently offering a range of products from Weingut Erhard, whose Spätlese wines belie their unpromising origins in grapes that grow on virtual cliffs, overshadowing the village of Escherndorf.
“This is the steillage, literally ‘steep location’, which means these ‘Escherndorfer Lump’ vineyards benefit from the maximum strength of the sun, producing wines that are outstanding in their depth of palate and bouquet,” says Helmut.
“Much closer to the central Franken town of Volkach is the Volkacher Ratsherr vineyard. It’s still steep, but much less dramatic than the Lump. From here comes another range, including the well known Müller Thurgau variety.
“We import directly from small, individual producers like Walter Erhard, who I’ve know for many years. They deliberately keep their yields down, tend their vines regularly before harvest and pick the grapes by hand in order to maintain the quality.
“In the cellar, the low-key treatment continues and that reduces the need to add sulphur and makes the wines even more agreeable”, he says.
Franconia is home to a number of master vintners who are household names in Germany, but virtually anonymous elsewhere. Their region lies in that small range of latitudes in continental Europe that produces some of the most sought after white wines in the world.
This means Frankenwein is an authentically new taste for the vast majority of British drinkers, who will be able to rethink everything they’ve previously believed about German wine.
“I’m convinced there is a British market for Frankenwein. German varieties such as Riesling are already changing attitudes and from Franconia we can now taste a range of some of the best wines Germany has to offer,” Helmut says.
“The wines I’m supplying are at an attractive range of retail price points, from £10.99 (a special offer) to £16.80. The cheapest is a 2012 Silvaner from the Volkacher Ratsherr vines, while at the top end are 2012 Silvaner, Scheurebe and Riesling, all from the Escherndorfer Lump.”
Helmut is backing his Frankenwein drive with a strong consumer marketing campaign, including an attractive website, press releases to the food and wine media, aggressive pricing for such high quality wines and plenty of information to help wine retailers tell the Frankenwein story to their customers.
“I recognise that while the lack of knowledge about Frankenwein makes it a strong new story, there’s quite a lot of prejudice about German wines in Britain and I have to help retailers get their customers to buy into this new product.
“At the same time, this is a genuinely new wine for most British drinkers and it’s right they’re being offered a distinctive, high quality alternative to the white wines they’re been used to drinking, say from the New World,” Helmut says.
Mack’s Frankenwein company can fulfil an order within four working days and there is no minimum purchase.
From the Escherndorfer Lump vines:
2012 Silvaner dry – a dense, complex and juicy Silvaner, reflecting the shell-limestone soils of this iconic, steep-sloped vineyard, with an RRP of £16.80
2012 Scheurebe dry – Franconia’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc. A pronounced bouquet with a light, peachy aroma. This wine is ideal company for intensively flavoured food and has an RRP of £16.80
2012 Riesling dry – elegant with lots of minerality and full of fruity, citric flavours. A wonderful oily texture and an RRP of £16.80
From the Volkacher Ratsherr vineyard:
2012 Silvaner dry – pear and melon flavours, lively acidity, perfect with light meals and an RRP of £10.99 (this is a special offer retail price, down from £12.99)
2012 Müller Thurgau dry – fresh and fruity with hints of apple and lime, fine acidity and ideal as an aperitif or served with light starters and salads and an RRP of £12.99
2012 Silvaner Kabinett dry – clear and elegant with a distinct minerality, wonderful with light and delicate food and Mediterranean dishes, carrying an RRP of £13.99
All of Weingut Erhard’s wines come in the distinctive and historic Franconian ‘Bocksbeutel’, the flask-shaped bottle derived from the leather flasks German shepherds used to carry their drinks. It’s perhaps better known as the container for an infamous Portuguese rosé, but is in fact an EU-endorsed heritage shape.
For further information, please contact:
Email Robin Hague, or call 07910 985 865
Email Helmut Mack, or call 07746 348 395
Explore the rest of this website: www.macksfrankenwein.co.uk.
Notes for editors
Many well-known, historic figures have sampled these famous wines and have immortalised Frankenwein in their own words. The famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had hundreds of litres delivered to his home in Weimar. It’s a little know fact that Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was celebrated with Frankenwein.
White wines in Franconia are usually bottled by grape variety and are mostly dry, such as the most common grape, Müller-Thurgau. This full-flavoured, fruity variety is an ideal aperitif when served well-chilled. Silvaner wines have a clearer, more elegant flavour with the distinct minerality of the shell-limestone terroir and often outclass the Rieslings currently imported to the UK. Wonderful dry or off-dry Scheurebe wines have a peachy aroma to accompany richer dishes.