Partnership brings Pfaffenweiler wine to Jasper

Photo courtesy Pfaffenweiler Weinhaus


JASPER — Matthias Hilger knows the wine made in Pfaffenweiler, Germany, is good. But he’s biased — he lived in the small German village before moving to Jasper in 1987. Soon, all Jasper residents and its visitors will have the chance to try specialty wines from Pfaffenweiler, its sister city.

Beginning in February 2019, pinot grigio, pinot noir and riesling wines concocted at the Pfaffenweiler Weinhaus will be available for purchase at several local liquor stores, grocery stores and gas stations in Jasper. The importing of the wine was made possible by a joint effort between the Sister Cities of Jasper, the village of Pfaffenweiler and the Jasper Partnership Commission.

“It’s very satisfying if you think about it, to be in this partnership now for 33 years,” Hilger said of Jasper’s efforts with Pfaffenweiler. “I always say that it’s easy to start something ... but very hard to maintain long term. And we have proven we have done that.”

Hilger said wine was imported from Pfaffenweiler about 32 years ago by the Sister City organization, but the market wasn’t quite ready at the time. At a partnership commission meeting in 2015, the group decided it was time to try again to form that pipeline.

Imported wines will include a 2017 Grauburgunder Kabinett Dry, 2016 Spaetburgunder Rotwein and a 2017 Riesling Kabinett Dry. They will be sold at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant, Holiday Liquor stores on the north and south side, Wooden Keg, Hometown IGA, Holiday Foods, Circle A on Newton Street and South Lube Way, Schnitz Brewery and Pub, Brew and Snaps. Initial sales will begin in the Jasper area, and will hopefully expand outside the city.

Hilger credited Alan Hanselman of the Schnitzelbank and Stan Jochum of the partnership committee with working hard to bring the wine to Jasper. Hilger worked mostly as a interpreter throughout the process, he said.

The Schnitzelbank restaurant hosted a wine tasting earlier this month that featured the Pfaffenweiler wine, and invited representatives from the businesses that will sell the wine to attend. A representative from the company that will import was also invited, and Hilger recalled those in attendance were pleased with the nuances of the drinks.

“It was good to see that all come together,” Hilger said, referencing the years-long journey to get the wine to the U.S. and the positive reaction businesses had to it at the tasting.

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