German wine gets experimental

To celebrate the recent increase in new, exciting and low intervention German wines hitting the UK scene, Wines of Germany brings you an exclusive sommelier breakfast series called Somm Sessions.

The four-part series delving into exciting new styles and varieties coming from Germany today will be hosted by award-winning sommelier Jan Konetzki. Following on from the first Somm Session discussing the innovations in Riesling, the next in the series will be taking place in April at Brighton’s pioneering restaurant, Silo. Here, sommeliers will be guided through low-intervention wines, in synergy with Silo’s ethos and demonstrating Germany’s more experimental side.

If you would like to speak to us about the Somm Session taking place in April, please contact

Photos left to right: Silo, Brighton – Jan Konetzki, Sommelier, Director of Wine and Ambassador.
(Photo credit @frankburkhardberlin.)

Konetzki says “the buzzwords of natural, biodynamic and organic wine are well established with the trade and are gaining traction with consumers”. He continued to speak of his excitement about Germany’s “new generation [who are] combining the biodynamic philosophy with the precision; producing great wines which speak for the plot of land and style of the winemaker.” Konetzki adds “I am really looking forward to working with Silo to bring the next session to life, it’s going to be a great one!”

Silo owner Douglas McMaster says “at Silo we lead with the zero-waste concept when it comes to food and with our drinks list, we always ensure that our offering is carefully sourced; from sustainable cocktail ingredients to carefully crafted wines. We’ve recently added some really interesting biodynamic wines from Germany and we’re looking forward to showcasing them at the Wines of Germany Berlin take over event this spring”.

Peter Honegger, owner of Newcomer Wines and supplier of Silo says “Germany is a sleeping giant when it comes to real sustainable farming and hands-off winemaking.”

Founder of Modal Wines, Nicolas Rizzi, is particularly interested in low-intervention wines, My portfolio is exclusively made up of low-intervention wines made from organically grown grapes. These wines have fared well for me since launching Modal Wines two years ago, and across all sectors of the trade.”

Sebastian Thomas, Director of top German wine specialist retailer, Howard Ripley, agrees that these are exciting times for the country’s wines, “German sales are growing very rapidly, and that is obviously exciting and merits our attention. We are lucky enough to represent many of Germany’s leading ‘established’ estates, but we have made great efforts to get the exciting ‘culty’ growers on board too.”

Whether they’re labouring over low intervention cuvées or crafting spectacular sparkling wine, German winemakers are full of energy and passion for experimentation.  In recent years, the UK market has introduced an ever-increasing number of exciting new styles from the coolest wine producing region on earth.

This excitement isn’t only reflected in the on-trade. In a recent survey of 156 independent merchants in the UK, 76%[1] of respondents were considering increasing the number of German wines on shelves in the near future, suggesting this movement is set to continue.  Loved by the on trade and with business booming in independent merchants, 2019 is set to be the most exciting year for German wines yet.

Nicky Forrest, MD of Wines of Germany UK says “We’re very much looking forward to meeting new sommeliers up and down the country with our Somm Session series this year and showcasing just how exciting the category is. With Germany’s array of styles and varieties and keen interest in experimenting, there really is so much to shout about. It’s great to witness such a dedicated following in the on-trade and more interest in Germany than ever from the indie sector.”

[1] Survey conducted by The Wine Merchant in January 2019. 23% of all respondents, (672 businesses in the indie sector) between them run 915 shops.