What looks like a family line-up is a wine event: Five wine lovers are standing in the wine shop of the Paulinenhof winery in Rheinhessen. They are holding funny cartoon drawings of “yeast men” in front of them. “There are good and bad yeasts, exotic yeasts, chaos yeasts and lawyer yeasts – they then carry out the fermentation!”
Master oenologist Tim Bernhard explains the complex processes in the wine cellar in a very visual and easy-to-understand way. The winemaker specialises in microbiology – a focus of his studies. He is particularly good at addressing customers: Informative and entertaining wine tastings are his forte. For teachers, for example, he has compared wines with school subjects.
At Paulinenhof in Selzen, Rheinhessen, wine has been produced since 1762 – but: “The spirit of years gone by doesn’t prevail here – each generation sets its own priorities,” explains 30-year-old Tim Bernhard confidently. A typical family business: father Rolf is the external operations manager, Tim is the cellar master. His wife Silja and brother-in-law Halit help out at the winery alongside their work for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Transport. Mother Ina and daughter Pauline take care of the wine shop and events: “Our focus is on the winery experience.”
The winegrowing family was one of the first in the region to combine wine tastings with themes – a real adventure winery that never runs out of ideas. At “Wine & Chocolate”, guests enjoy interesting flavour combinations. “Mozart meets Wine” is all about combining classical music with individual grape varieties.
Wine knowledge explained simply
“Customers are eager to learn!”, Tim Bernhard knows. He describes to wine lovers in an easy-to-understand way how flavour gets into wine. With the help of a balloon and water, Tim explains the photosynthesis of the vine plant – reminiscent of explanatory videos from the popular German TV programme “Sendung mit der Maus”.
Sound wine knowledge and international experience are the basis for the rich world of wine experiences at Paulinenhof: Mother Ina and daughter are cultural and wine ambassadors, Pauline also studied history. Tim worked for two and a half years for the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) on networking international research laboratories. He also helped to develop standards for wine tasting.
Tim is always trying something new at the winery. For example, he brought back the Chenin Blanc grape variety from his time in South Africa. This is an exotic variety in Rheinhessen. But perhaps it is an option in times of climate change. In a cuvée with Sauvignon Blanc, the opulent white wine offers a fascinating flavour experience with international characteristics.
Fascinating wine creations
“Terz” is not only the name for a tone interval, but also for the musical winery’s flagship cuvée made from the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer (!) grape varieties. An enormously complex flavour, a wine you can philosophise about intensively – that’s what makes it so sociable. A wine to suit Tim Bernhard’s taste.
The passionate winegrower from Rheinhessen is convinced: “Customers experience our wine twice: at the presentation in the winery and at home when they open the bottle and enjoy the wine.”
The prize for the Great Wine Capitals Best Of Wine Tourism Award 2024 in the category “Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences” goes to the hospitable Paulinenhof winery.
The jury was impressed by the wide range of entertaining and informative wine events on offer and the creative way in which wine production is communicated.
To learn more about “Weingut Paulinenhof” visit their website.
About the blogger:
TV- and wine journalist Wolfgang Junglas is responsible for tv broadcasts such as “The Election of the German Wine Queen” in the entertainment editorial department at SWR Television in Mainz. In addition, he is also a writer, president of Weinfeder e. V., president of FIJEV and lecturer at Geisenheim University, Geisenheim.
Learn more about Rheinhessen and its wine capital Mainz on their page: Mainz | Rheinhessen
Photos Credits: Wolfgang Junglas & Family Bernhard