No one – NO ONE – has met Dr. Ulrich Stein ( “Ulli”) without at least developing a slight crush on the guy. He is brilliant, passionate, incredibly fun, perhaps a bit manic and does nothing…nothing,that is easy or obvious.
Ulli is a true bohemian who lives in a beautiful inn on the top of a mountain overlooking the Mosel (pictured to the right) – he and his wife own the inn. While the inn doesn’t really function as an inn (you can’t actually book rooms there, unless you’re a friend) it is always filled with people, with a random assortment of thoughtful eccentrics, famous musicians and artists, a couple just back from photographing Jewish delis in New York, a family making a month-long sojourn from Berlin down to Sicily and back. The common thread? They all love Stein wine; they all love Ulli.
It’s interesting that while Ulli’s wines are not widely known in the U.S., he has nothing less than a fanatical following in Europe. He could likely sell every last bottle to his friends in Germany alone, yet there are places of some importance, like Noma in Copenhagen, that are dedicated Stein fanatics.
Ulli specializes in the absurd and the sublime. He farms meaningful parcels of land that have a few important things in common: They are not easy to work. They are commercially unknown and therefore (most likely) barely financially viable. Finally, and most importantly: Ulli has to love them.
From his prime holdings in the village of Sankt-Aldegund from average vines of 60 years, ungrafted and on steep slopes. As the label indicates this wine is a calling card for Blue Slate (Blauschiefer), rocks pulverized into liquid form with a brisk and beautiful acidity. Totally dry or “Trocken”.
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