Wine-tasting in the Atmospheric Cellars of Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler in Bernkastel:
The Moselle valley is Germany’s oldest wine region and Bernkastel-Kues is one of the many Moselle towns with a centuries-old wine-making tradition. Bernkastel-Kues has been producing wine for over 500 years and when you approach the town from the river, the steep vine-covered slopes of the river valley bear witness to Bernkastel’s viticulture tradition.
Naturally one of the pleasurable things to do in Bernkastel is to taste some of this town’s famous drop. There are many wine cellars in town and the one that we visited was the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler right on the river front. The Estate House at Gestade 15 is just next to the Doctorbrunnen (Doctor Fountain). It is also easily recognizable as it looks like a miniature castle, with the ruins of the Landshut Castle looking down over it.
The Pauly-Bergweiler family have been in the wine business since the 19th century when Zacharias Bergweiler was a prominent wine merchant. The family wine estate was passed down to his grandson Dr. Peter Pauly in 1959 and then on to Peter Pauly’s son Stefan Pauly in 2006. Dotted along the banks of the Central Moselle Valley from Dusemond to Erden are the family’s twelve vineyards, producing Riesling grapes.
Wine-tasting in Bernkastel
Our wine-tasting at Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler took place in the Estate’s atmospheric wine cellars which can accommodate up to 130 guests. I was impressed that in spite of the big group of people attending, they provided decent wine glasses for our tasting. One of the staff members introduced the variety of Riesling wines that Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler produce and gave a description of each of the wines we tasted. These were:
- 2012 Urziger Wurgarten Riesling Dry – a nice young wine
- 2012 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling Feinherb – a semi-dry Riesling
- 2008 Bernkasteler alte Badstube am Doctorberg. This very sweet Riesling Kabinett is more like a Spätlese. It has no more than 8% alcohol and our presenter said that her father likes this wine as you can drink a lot and not get drunk.
- 2005 Bernkasteler alte Badstube am Doctorberg. This Riesling Auslese is from the Pauly family’s prime vineyard sites. The Auslese wine is generally only made during the best harvest years when it is sufficiently warm. Made from grapes that have been affected by Botrytis, it is considered a dessert wine.
Best of the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Vineyards
If you’re interested in tasting some Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler wines, their top five vineyards are:
- Bernkasteler Alte Badstube am Doctorberg – their best vineyard
- Bernkasteler Badstube
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr
- Graacher Himmelreich
- Urziger Goldwingert
Although we thought that the Rieslings were a touch too sweet for our liking, the wine-tasting experience itself was enjoyable. After the wine-tasting, you’re free to check out their cellars and buy any of the wines that you liked. The Rieslings that we tasted were very affordable, ranging in price from €7.50 to €20 per bottle.