TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis

Wolf-Dietrich Salwey, 1941-2011

Posted by Torsten 26 Jan 2011

A couple of weeks ago when I drafted the wine review below and scheduled it for publication today I had no idea that it would, for very sad reasons, be rather timely. It is a review of a great wine from Baden that faded away too early. And just as I have published it I hear the sad news that a great man from Baden has also passed away way too early. Wolf-Dietrich Salwey, vintner, winemaker and ambassador for high quality Pinot from Baden was killed in a car accident yesterday.

Wolf-Dietrich Salwey, image by Salwey wineryWolf-Dietrich Salwey, image by Salwey winery

I have only met the man once, at a wine tasting in Munich a couple of years ago, but he has left a lasting memory as friendly, dedicated and very approachable. I don't know how often I have since quoted him with the sentence (about wine matured in barrique barrels): 'Wine is not supposed to taste like it was made by a carpenter.' At the same tasting I also caught a glance of his son Konrad Salwey, who has been in charge of the Salwey winery and vineyards for the past few years.

With his focus on quality dry wine Wolf-Dietrich Salwey has done a lot for the reputation of German and especially Baden winemaking. The Salwey winery is now among Germany's best. With his vision and passion, Wolf-Dietrich Salwey has certainly achieved a lot, for himself, his family and for (German) wine. From a personal point of view I would like to add that he has given us Wine Ramblers hours of pleasure, and for that we will remember him.

And we will, I am certain, enjoy the last few wines in our cellars that he had a hand in making.

That's really sad!

That's really sad!

Wolf-Dietrich Salwey

It is with shock, disbelief and great sadness that I read these news. Herr Salwey was not only a great and inspired winemaker but also a remarkable man: philosopher, traveller, wit, gourmet and raconteur -- grosszuegiger Menschenkenner, eigenwilliger Denker, frohsinniger Zeitgenosse. I am privileged to have met him. My thoughts are with his family. The world is truly poorer for his loss.