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In interview: Canada's import king of German wine

11/17/2022

"A Riesling ice wine as the last wonderful earthly experience before the afterlife!" enthuses Harry Drung, president of HHD Imports and largest importer of German Riesling to Canada.

 

 

 


In the DWI interview, the Riesling Riesling Fellow for German wine answers:

1. Which was the first German wine you ever tasted and when?
Blue Nun when I was about 12 year old. My dad worked in sales for the Canadian importer and he gave me a taste.

2. What was your most memorable moment with German wine?
A 1953 Erbacher Marcobrunn Edelbeerenauslese from Schloss Reinhartshausen in the Rheingau. Tasted in 1999 it was unbelievably fresh and drinkable after 46 years. It made our company’s anniversary tasting extra special for those that were able to taste this extraordinary wine.

3. What is your favourite place in Germany's wine regions?
The Saar River valley. The river meanders gently through a quiet countryside of fields and fruit trees with a wide expanse of some of Germany’s most famous vineyards. A silent reverence overcomes me as I stand in front of the great sites that drive home the concept and importance of terroir. The perfect spot to enjoy a glass of Saar Riesling is high on the terrasse of Saarburg castle overlooking the river.

4. What would be your desert island bottle of German wine?
A Riesling Eiswein from the steep sloped, red slate covered vineyards located between the villages of Nackenheim and Nierstein on the Rhine. This intense, yet balanced nectar would be the incentive to wait to be rescued and then celebrate. If not rescued, it would be the last earthly sensation I would imbibe in before transitioning to the hereafter. The label, with a thank you note written on the reverse side addressed to the producer, would be placed in the bottle. Sealed with the original cork and tossed into the ocean, hopefully, it would find it’s way back to the producer.

5. Do you have a favourite German dish, and the ideal wine to pair with it?
Veal Schnitzel smothered in Chanterelle mushrooms paired with a Grauburgunder Trocken from a Kaiserstuhl vineyard in Baden.

6. Who would you like to share a glass of German wine with?
Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a wine lover. I would be eager to discuss the behind-the-scenes international politics of the unification of Germany.

7. Which German wine would you love to taste because you have not had the chance yet?
A 1921 vintage Riesling Auslese from one of the great German estates from the Mosel or Rheingau.