German apfelwein from Gutshof Kraatz, which I am sampling today is quite unusual as it comes from the Uckermark located in the northeastern Germany. Uckermark is not really associated with the tradition of apfelwein like other German regions, such as Hessen or Swabia. However, there is a logical explanation to this. In the 1930ties Christian Kaufmann, who established the cidery, moved from Swabia to Uckermark and introduced the traditional Swabian cider to the local community with great success.
Company: Gutshof Kraatz
Place of Origin: Nordwestuckermark-Kraatz, Germany
Apples: made from a single old apple variety Belle de Boskoop
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
Package type: 750ml clear glass wine bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass
Appearance: pours a crystal clear, golden amber body with no head. No carbonation.
Aroma/Nose: on the nose, there are floral notes with overripe apples and some pears. I can also sense mild and sweet honey notes with some kind of spiciness. Also, very distant sulphur. Overall, the aroma resembles more wine than cider.
Taste: this apfelwein is medium dry as some residual sugar is perceivable. There is also a moderate lemon-like acidity, which is still within a palatable range. The medium palate has overripe apples, apple peel, and apple flesh. Furthermore, I can taste citrus notes with some spiciness. The aftertaste is lingering and dry and has gentle bitter and astringent notes with a minimal touch of alcohol.
Overall: My experience with German apfelwein/cider wasn’t the best so far. But I think this apfelwein can be a sort of breakthrough. Boskoop has a really nicely balanced moderate acidity. Good structure and complexity. Imagine biting into a juicy apple but instead of sourness and sweetness, you taste pleasant moderate acidity and dry notes. But it doesn’t taste like apple juice at all. This is quite rare. Great apfelwein! 4.5/6
Availability: good question. Gutshof Kraatz has their own online shop but apart from that I think only locally in Uckermark. I think that Gutshof Kratz’s apfelwein should be also available through Apfelweinkontor.
Price: purchased locally from Anna Vom Feld in Berlin (7.9 EUR). They closed recently.