1 May, 2022

Trollinger: Of course I’ve had a Trollinger before. But rather in passing. At my parents’s. My father worked for the clothing manufacturer Bleyle for a good fifty years – first at their offices in Stuttgart, then, as a travelling salesman, in Hamburg and for the whole of northern Germany. The company (and their factory, at least until sometime in the 1980s) was based in Brackenheim, a small town near Stuttgart. He regularly had to travel to Brackenheim for sales conferences and collection presentations. And he regularly brought wine with him – wine from the WG Brackenheim. WG stands for Weingärtnergenossenschaft, i.e. a winegrowers’s cooperative (actually, ›Weingärtner‹ means wine gardener – isn’t that beautiful?). In short, winegrowers bring grapes, the cooperative takes care of the rest. Well, so, I had drunk Trollinger before, en passant, in Hamburg. But consciously? Never.

I often listen to a podcast (just one), when preparing dinner or whilst cleaning our apartment. The podcast bears the strange name »Terroir und Adiletten«. I love hearing it! Recently, this podcast was referring to Trollinger… twice! (In France, I just looked it up, they call it Frankenthal, Chasselas de Jerusalem, Gros Bleu or Prince Albert.) It has to be said that in general, it seems, the Trollinger grape variety is always made fun of. Why? Because the grape is so ›uninteresting‹ or not taken seriously, even by winegrowers, to cut a long story short. So, where was I? Ah! In the aforementioned podcast Württemberg winegrowers Jochen Beurer (whom I will be visiting in June in the Remstal, together with my father, if all goes well) and Rainer Schnaitmann talked about Trollinger in a way that made me sit up and take notice. In my imagination, Trollinger could well be the Gamay of Württemberg!

I was very happy when my friend Aram, who comes from Stuttgart and whom I have known since 2006, one of my closest allies, gave me a bottle of Trollinger a few days ago. »I didn’t have a lot of time, so I just bought you the most expensive Trollinger, just to make sure it tastes of something«, he laughed as he handed over the bottle. He also gave me two typical Swabian ›Viertelegläser‹ (glasses that hold 0,25l, a ›Viertele‹ meaning a quarter in the local dialect) with proper green handles (another term, the only term under which Aram knows those glasses, is ›Trollingerglas‹ – even more specific!). So I was well equipped when, today, I tasted the wine, »my first Trollinger«.

The colour? Dark, translucent pink. The nose? Black currant, ripe raspberry. In the mouth? Black currant and raspberry. No tannins, quite a bit of residual (or added?) sweetness. No tension, no direction. Aftertaste: the fruit remains, otherwise… sweetness. No, that’s nothing. Unfortunately! Feli has a sip: »I can’t drink that.«

Herzog von Württemberg's Trollinger »Mundelsheimer Käsberg«, 2018

Herzog von Württemberg's Trollinger »Mundelsheimer Käsberg«, 2018

An original ›Viertele‹ glas (containing the Trollinger described above)

An original ›Viertele‹ glas (containing the Trollinger described above)