Joined: 19 Jul 2005
|Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:19 am Post subject: Anheuser-Busch family also known for its wine
|Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Wine Lines by Bob Johnson
No doubt, you've heard of Anheuser-Busch. It's only the world's largest brewer of beer.
And had the St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the World Series instead of the Houston Astros, you'd be hearing a lot more of the name, since St. Louis is the home of Anheuser-Busch.
Eberhard Anheuser emigrated to America from Germany in 1842. Shortly thereafter, he founded a brewery that is today's Anheuser-Busch.
Eberhard's nephew, Rudolf Anheuser, remained in the family's homeland. Over time, he acquired extensive vineyard land in the Nahe Valley towns of Monzingen, Schlossboeckelheim, Niederhausen, Norheim, Roxheim and Altenbamberg.
Riesling was the focus, and in 1915, a family residence and working winery were constructed on the property.
Later, Rudolf passed control of the winery to his youngest son, Paul Anheuser, who championed the practice of listening to customers' preferences in refining the estate's winemaking style.
Paul's son — Rudolf Anheuser, known to family members as Peter — began managing the winery in 1969. Today, he and wife Dorothee have maintained the customer-friendly focus on quality while expanding the winery's global reach.
And before long, the 14th generation of Anheusers will follow in the footsteps of Peter and Dorothee, no doubt poised to enhance the family's winemaking heritage.
It's a succession success story seldom seen in the United States, where the corporate culture often swallows up family businesses. The evolution of Eberhard Anheuser's American beer business clearly makes that point.
But in Germany, tradition and craftsmanship continue to be valued and embraced, and the imbibers of Paul Anheuser wines are the beneficiaries.
THE RAREST OF PORTS
Good things come to those who wait.
While aging most types of wine over an extended period could be considered a calculated risk, the aging of Port is a much safer — and, often, rewarding — proposition.
One of the reasons Port ages more successfully and gracefully than other wine types is that it's fortified.
That fortification acts as a natural preservative, keeping the aromas and flavors "knit" in an engaging whole. While non-fortified wines gradually lose intensity of aroma and their fruit flavors, well-made Port seems to become more complex with each passing year.
A virtual guarantee of quality is the "Colheita" designation on a bottle of Port.
In order for a Port bottling to earn that Colheita (pronounced Col-yate-a) status, two bottles must be sent to the Port Wine Institute no later than December following the harvest, and it must be aged in oak for at least seven years.
Some Colheita Ports are aged much longer than that — 10, 20, even 50 years — prior to bottling and release.
Because they are crafted from the fruit of a single harvest, and because they are cellared for such extended periods of time, Colheita Ports are among the rarest of all Ports.
At the most recent tasting event of the High Desert Wine Explorers, a bottling from Paul Anheuser and a Colheito Port garnered two of the highest consumer grades.
The Paul Anheuser 2003 "Scheurebe" is a perfumed and floral wine, offering beautifully balanced tropical fruit flavors.
It retails locally for $9.99, and garnered a strong composite grade of B-plus.
Warre's 1976 Colheita Port has aged beautifully, and presently shows notes of honey, walnuts, toffee, white raisins, butter and salt.
It retails locally for $49.99, and received the rarest of composite grades: A-plus.