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Ahr Valley

This from the Kriechel website may speak for all of them. I have been sorry not to see anything from the Wine Society on the disaster. The pictures on BBC news today of the valley have been horrifying.

Dear Kriechel and Ahr wine friends, July 14th,
2021 will probably go down in history as the blackest day of the winery and the Ahr valley. An unprecedented and unimaginable flood swept everything with it and destroyed it. We will therefore not be available for the next few days and must first sort ourselves out and save what can still be saved. Our cellars and storerooms are hit by the flood up to the ceiling. We are currently very grateful that all family members are well and we keep our fingers crossed for the people in the Ahr Valley. Our thoughts are with you!

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Thank you for posting this message Mrs Page.
Yes, all tragic and desperate. Words cannot do justice to the plight of the victims. We can only hope that the rescue workers can help save lives.

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Heartbreaking.

Hope the W/S can do something to help as they did with the Australian wild fire disaster.

Best Pinot Noir outside Burgundy imo (Not that these things matter in the situation)

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My knowledge of geography wasn’t good enough to know where the affected villages lay but now I know, I would second the request that TWS do whatever they can to help and hopefully we can look forward to an interesting offer in due course.

Members may be interested to hear of a similar flood 111 years ago with wine involved in a different way:-

FLOODS IN GERMANY.
FURTHER DETAILS.
INTOXICATED LABORERS’ ACTION.
NUMBERS OF PEOPLE DROWNED.
[Reuter’s Message.]
London, Thursday.
Further details of the floods in Germany are available.
Horrible scenes were witnessed in the flooded Ahr Valley. The Italian and Croatian railway laborers refused to listen to the warnings of the canteen-keepers. When the latter fled at the approach of the torrent the laborers seized the wine and spirits, and 70 were intoxicated and drowned.
A number of villagers failed to reach the hills, and sought refuge in trees, which later were torn up, and they were drowned.
lt is estimated that at least 300 people were drowned in the Ahr Valley and 400 visitors cut off at Oberammergau.
Many thoroughfares in South Berlin and West Berlin were flooded 3ft. and 6ft. deep.

From the Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), Friday 17 June 1910, page 4.
(Laborer is the Australian spelling of labourer.)

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My go-to German wine purveyor is Iris Ellmann’s The WineBarn. Her range includes Meyer-Naekel’s pinots.

I’ve just emailed her about the Ahr disaster and she has decided to do a special promotion of all her wines sold to private customers; 15% of sales during the rest of July will be donated to the VDP support fund and I feel that promoting it here is a worthy thing and doesn’t step on TWS toes (and maybe TWS should do something similar ?)

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Thank you: Meyer Naekel are excellent, so I will certainly look at this.

Meyer Nakel sisters appear to be rather fortunate to have survived:
https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/miracle-and-malevolence-ahr

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This is a great idea, TWS should buy loads for mystery wine boxes. We have supported wine-related causes in the past, why not an Ahr Valley muddy flood case?

I’m sure members wouldn’t mind a bit of old mud on a few bottles if it meant delicious wine and helping out some wine growers in dire need. What do you reckon @laura? Maybe mention it to Marcel.

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It seems there are still a few available and I managed to order 2 x of the mixed 6 cases

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Thanks for sharing this. Ordered a 3 pack.

Drei Flaschen Flutwein aus der Region Ahrweiler ohne Hangtag.

Unter dem Label #flutwein vereinen wir verschiedene Qualitätsweine aus der Region Ahrweiler, die durch die Flut zu einer limitierten Rarität werden. Sie verfügen über einen symbolischen Wert. Der Inhalt edel, die Verpackung - zum Gedenken an die Katastrophe – limitiert & originalverschlammt.

Die Vergabe Deiner Flaschen erfolgt zufällig. Du erhältst drei Premium Weine aus der Region.

Thanks for this - 6-pack ordered.

Jim

For others who ordered some Flutwein…

I posted that my 6-pack addressed to my French location was delivered a couple of weeks ago, but not yet the one to my UK address.

I have emailed flutwein.de three times in as many weeks and have had no response, so today I have emailed the Bad Neuenahr tourist office and the Ahr wein syndicate to try and get a heads-up and will convey any response I receive in due course.

Any further suggestions gratefully received !

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Had a reply from Bad Neuenahr tourist office this morning

Good Morning Peter,

thanks for reaching out to us to inform us about this circumstance.

I can assure you that the German initiative is not a scam.

I found this attached text of the initiative:

„First of all thank you for your support. Our main mission is to raise awareness for the floods affected wineregion “Air” in order to restore the economical backbone wich is tourism and wine. We’re extremely thankful for your donation and of course you should receive your “thank you” package. Despite this we never imagined that our project which is led and structured by unsalaried individuals in their leisure will result in donations from abroad. So we are facing some special challenges (Customs, Shipping Costs, the general global shipping crisis…) when we want to ship abroad in destinations such as Japan, Russia, the USA, Canada and many more. At the moment we prepare the shippings within the EU including CH. For other countries especially intercontinental destinations we will need a bit more time due to possible challenges on each destination. Thank you for your patience“

Furthermore, I forwarded your email to the responsible internal contact person.

I hope you find this helpful, but please let me know if you need anything else or if you have any other questions.

Best regards,

Nabi Krahe
Tourist-Information

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Thanks for posting this. I thought (hoped) it might have been the case. Sounds like they’ve got a bit of a headache. Glad to hear the support was so widely-distributed though.

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Yes, this is useful to see, thanks @PHarvey. Sounds like they’re having a bit of a nightmare. Needless to say, no wine here nor any recent communication about when it might be expected, or in fact about anything. An occasional email wouldn’t go amiss.

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The Plot thickens

I posted all this on the JR forum too and got a really helpful reply from Michael Schmidt

Herewith

From: Michael Schmidt <wineschmidt@aol.com>
Reply to: Michael Schmidt <wineschmidt@aol.com>
Date: Sunday, 27 February 2022 at 16:21
To: Editorial team <editorial@jancisrobinson.com>
Subject: please forward to Peter Harvey, I do not have his email address

hi Peter,

here is an excerpt of Peter Kriechel’s reply to me:

Hallo Michael,

vielen lieben Dank für deine Mühe.

Ich habe gerade schon mal nach gehört und alle Weine wurden auch nach UK vor Weihnachten verschickt.

Eigentlich sollten Sie auch die Flasche bereits erhalten haben.

Wir haben für nicht zu gestellte Flaschen ein eigenes Modul kreiert.

in a nutshell it says that all wines were sent out before Xmas. He is at the hub of the flood wine organisation. I do not wish to be too critical of the tourist board, but they are probably better at sending you a map of hiking paths, or, at the moment, information, which roads not to use.

I will personally make sure that you either get your wine or your money back, I owe it to the followers of German wine on Jancis as well as the flood-stricken Ahr community.

But first an explanation of what the delay is all about: All the wines to the UK werer probably sent out as one consignment. If single cases are sent out, it is after Brexit usually down to the delivery company to collect the duty from the recipient, unless it has been paid up front by the sender. In this case of one large consignment it will probably have been held up by Customs and Excise to get the duty paid in one go by the sender. The Flood Wine supplier did not pay this, because they regarded your and all the other recipients’ money as a donation, on which no tax would be due. What is now happening is that the Flood Wine People want to get confirmation from the German Finance ministry that if they pay the duty t it will get refunded. As I mentioned, we are talking about a sum in excess of one millio Euro.

Unfortunately this seems to be one of the consequences of Brexit. I have personal experience on a much smaller scale. One of my daughter’s sent me a T-shirt as a christmas present from the UK, which took over one month to arrive , and then was held at the post office till I coughed up 8 Euros in duty.

Almost every single parcel or large format letter from the UK is now opened by Customs, which delays delivery, usually by weeks.

To help you I would require a little more information: Who exactly did you order the wine from and to whose account was the money paid?. If you should not receive the wine, I would make sure that you get your money back. Did you receive any correspondence from DHL, UPS or any other delivery company, hopefully with a tracking number?. Because of the additional task of having to collect duty quite a few companies have stopped handling deliveries to the UK.

Brexit did not sever my ties with Europe, it has just made them a little tighter. But now, without further delay, I shall watch Liverpool vs Chelsea in the cup final. And that’s not just because they both have German managers.

best regards

Michael


I asked Michael if he would help TWS members stuck in the same boat and he said yes…

hello Peter,

I have finally made out your email address at the very top of the correspondence. I shall now fill in your claim form and forward it to Peter Kriechel-

You can tell your friends to send me the relevant details (as you have done) and I shall take care of their claim. Please ask them to send their mail straight to

wineschmidt@aol.com.

you will her from me (or the Flood ine people) in due course.

bestregards

Michael

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Things do seem to be moving

Today I had an email from Michael Schmidt who has gone above and beyond

Dear Peter and Garreth,

I have received a phone call from Daniel Koller, who is one of the organisers of the flood wine distribution. Like most of the helpers he does this on a voluntary basis, on top of his full time job, but…

there is reason for optimism.

There are still about 500cases outstanding to be send, about one hundred to the UK. They could not be delivered before a dispute concerning sales to Non-European countries with regard to the tax status of the sales was resolved. This issue has now been resolved, meaning a saving of about 2 million Euros, which will now go to the growers, not the tax man. The remaining cases will now be sent on their way. I was about to volunteer to take Garreth’s and your wine in my car ro the UK in April, but when I was told that there were about 100 cases going to the UK, it was one step too far for mankind.

Should you have any more questions, you can contact Daniel Koller directly at daniel@flutwein.de, but I would give him another week or two.

You will get your wine!

So, fingers can still remain realistically crossed…

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Just a FYI update for those of you, like me, still waiting

I emailed Daniel Koller today and got a helpful immediate reply

Dear Mr Harvey,
*Im very sorry for the bad experience and the issues in shipping. Unfortunatly we finally have a solution for shipping outside of the EU and will send out the parcels in the next 2 weeks. I cant tell you if everything will go well since every destination has its own regulations regarding their customs policy, but we have your order still on stock - packed, labeled and ready to ship once our tax office greenlight the proforma invoice wich we need to pass the non eu borders. *

in the past we had big issues regarding the donation campaign so we were not able to attach a required invoice for international shipping. Now we have a solution for this wich just needs to get Feedbacked and greenlighted (apx 1-2 weeks) and we can finally start.

i keep you posted once we send out everything.

once again i‘d like to apologize for the circumstances and the lack of communication from our side. I hope for your understanding and once again: a bit of patience - even if we are far behind our promised delivery dates.

So, hope springs eternal…

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The Floodwine saga rumbles on. It’s now 10 months since the mixed cases were made available and as the archived thread reported - I got my 6 destined to my French address in February. But still waiting for the 6 to be sent to my Uk address……

But huzzah ! I’ve kept in touch with Michael Schmidt and we’ve corresponded again this week and… there are 30 cases for UK buyers on their way out this week !

Oh and they are probably going to do another similar promotion later this year. I’ll post again when / if mine arrives

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Thank you for these updates. I haven’t been holding out much hope of these ever arriving. So it will be a very pleasant surprise if they do.

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