In the Albtrauf, a steep cliff rising to the top of the Swabian Alb, a plateau in Baden-Württemberg, there still can be found, old, unique fruit varieties in an amazing diversity. Here pear, plum, mirabelle, apple and cherry trees constitute the biggest coherent area of Streuobstwiesen, a magnificent landscape of meadow with scattered fruit trees.
One of the aspects most interesting in this region is the extraordinary diversity of pears: over 300 varieties, with trees that are 100 to 250 years old.
In this wonderful cultural landscape, with a great biodiversity, the pear variety Champagner Bratbirne can also be found. A historical book from 1760 documents that sparkling wines have been produced from the fruits of this tree, some up to 150 years old, for more than two centuries, about 50 years before sparkling wines from grapes were produced in Germany. The tree itself rises up to twelve meters and is characterized by its oval to spherical crown and its long suspended fruitwood. The fruit of the Champagner Bratbirne is medium sized, shaped like bergamot and, when ripe, it has a green-yellow paring without redness. The pear has a comparatively high content of tannins and a solid, astringent flesh, which makes it inedible when raw.
Thus, it is all the more astonishing that this pear produces a noticeably bright sparkling wine taht is very light and, furthermore, unexpectedly delicate and subtle. The wine impresses with a long finish and a flavour of ripe pears, as well as slight notes of nutmeg and cherry.
This sparkling wine is produced with the complex classic method. The mature pears are milled carefully after the harvest from September to October, and the juice is cold fermented, slowly and gently for nearly three months. Afterwards, a combination of the cuvees takes place and after bottling the second fermentation with sugar and champagne yeast is started. Altogether the sparkling wine remains in the bottle at least nine months and before the end of the traditional bottle fermentation it is riddled and disgorged.
The sparkling wines made from pears can then be enjoyed as semi-dry, dry, brut and extra brut – as a dessert wine, as an appetif or as an accompaniment to fish, veal or poultry dishes.
Presidia of the Champagner Bratbirne pear spumante.
Göppingen, Esslingen and Stuttgart districts (pear trees); Schlat, Göppingen district (wine)
Tel. +49 71619990240
tel. +49 7022212680