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European Union wine subsidies favour the bigger wine producing countries

New research has revealed that when it comes to handing out subsidies and support it some of Europe’s wealthiest and most established wine countries that get better than countries you might think are more in demand. A new study published in the Journal of Wine Economics, shows it’s the EU’s riches countries that receive the lion’s […]

Van Volxem Wines Saar

High quality combined with Roman’s outsized physique and flamboyant personality seems to have provoked a little envy as well as an almost cult following since he purchased the estate in 2000. Much of the controversy seems to boil down to his pursuit of drier styles in a region that has traditionally promoted great sweet wines. […]

Schloss Lieser Mittel Mosel

Thomas Haag, who is the son of Wilhelm Haag (and brother of Oliver) of the Fritz HAAG estate, has been responsible for the much-improved quality that has revitalised this once-famous 11.5 ha estate centred on the Lieser Niederberg Helden site. His taut, intense and ripe Rieslings add richness and complexity in the higher Prädikat styles […]

Max-Ferd Richter Mittel Mosel

Dr Dirk Richter is the current director of this family estate, established over 300 years ago. The 17 ha of vineyards are in some of the Mittel Mosel’s best sites. There is a characteristic ripeness and intensity, and the fine acidity and the class of the top vineyards comes through. No two wines are quite […]

Ökonomierat Rebholz Pfalz

Although he is based in the less-celebrated southern part of Pfalz, Hansjörg Rebholz manages to make some of the region’s best wines – very fine and intelligently crafted gems. Don’t expect the power or weight of the likes of other top Pfalz producers, rather a pure, intense, terroir-derived expression of Riesling. The cool, pure mineral […]

Ratzenberger Mittelrhein

On the basis of recent vintages this is now one of the best two or three estates in the Mittelrhein. The 13.8 ha of vineyards include Steeger St Jost, Bacharacher Posten and Bacharacher Wolfshöhle, all a continuation of the same slopes. There is lovely purity in the Steeger St Jost wines while the best Wolfshöhle […]

Muller-Catoir Vineyard Pfalz

The 20 ha of vineyards are not on the Pfalz’s most famous sites, but very intense, fine wines are produced across a range of lesser-known vineyards. The wines provide a real contrast to the exquisite balance and finesse seen in the top Mosel wines as, although well-balanced and fine, they are characterised more by their […]

Meyer-Näkel Vineyard Ahr

Arguably no producer in Germany has a higher reputation for red wine than Meyer-Näkel. With 15.2 ha, the wines include the very light, very cherryish QbA Trocken, the light, pure Blauschiefer (grown on blue slate) and classy, ‘S’ selection aged in used barriques. The top wines however are the single vineyard examples. Those tasted come […]

Dr Loosen Vineyard Mittel Mosel

Probably the best-known quality producer from the Mosel today, Ernst Loosen has achieved a remarkable transformation in both the quality and image of a 22 ha estate with some choice Mittel Mosel plots. The approach is organic and non-interventionist and the wines have lovely depth and intensity but also real elegance and a distinctive expression […]

Hans Lang Vineyard Rheingau

Johann Maximilian, who is also called Hans like his father who established the estate, has 20 ha of vineyards. He makes mostly Riesling from Hattenheim’s top sites but also Weissburgunder and Spätburgunder. Quality at the basic level is sound but various special bottlings and Spätlese level and higher bring more concentration and style. A Charta […]

Andreas Laible Baden

This relatively little-known (outside of Germany at any rate) producer makes wines of a quality unprecedented in the Ortenau area of Baden. From just 7.5 ha of vineyards there is consistently high quality, not just in Riesling (Klingelberger as it is called here) but also in Gewürztraminer and Scheurebe. All the wines come from the […]

Sybille Kuntz Mittel Mosel

This small estate of 10 ha run by Sybille Kuntz and her husband is a rising star in the Mosel. The vineyards are well established, primarily in Lieser Niederberg-Helden, and the focus is on dry wines. A regular bottling is surpassed by Gold-Quadrat and Dreistern. The latter has unusual breadth and depth for dry Mosel […]

Koehler-Ruprecht Vineyard Pfalz

The predisposition here is for dry wines with good structure. With only a little more than half the 10 ha estate planted to Riesling there are also examples of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Barrel fermented versions of the whites are labelled ‘Philippi’. All show good ripeness, usually with integrated lees and […]

Weingut Keller Rheinhessen

Away from the Rheinterrassen (the steep slopes between Oppenheim and Nackenheim), the Rheinhessen doesn’t have that much to offer, yet Klaus Keller and his son Klaus-Peter are showing that outstanding wines are possible in the hilly countryside around Flörsheim-Dalsheim, where they have 15.8 ha, almost half planted to Riesling but a quarter to Weissburgunder and […]

Weingut Karthäuserhof Ruwer

Christoph Tyrell’s historic Ruwer estate is one of the great names of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The 19ha of vineyards are based on the famous Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg site, which produces vivid, intense, elegant expressions of Riesling. Ludwig Breiling has made the wines in recent vintages and a very high quality standard has been set. Flavours range from […]

Karlsmühle Ruwer

Peter Geiben’s 14.5 ha of vineyards are spread over some excellent Ruwer sites, namely those in Lorenzhöf (Felsay and Mäuerchen) and Kasel (Nies’chen and Kehrnagel). The wine quality since the late 1990s puts him among the best growers in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The wines have excellent ripeness (in a cool, mineral, citrus/apple vein) and intensity, ranging […]

Weingut von Hövel Saar

One of the Saar’s long-established estates (11 ha), von Hövel is of monastic origins. Most wines come from the excellent Scharzhofberg or Oberemmeler Hütte sites – the latter is an Alleinbesitz (sole ownership). The wines (100% Riesling) have long been good but have sometimes been too marked by sulphur or other ‘off ’ odours. However […]

Heymann-Löwenstein Terrassenmosel

Reinhard Löwenstein’s 15 ha of vineyard cling to extremely steep terraces in the Terrassenmosel, only a short distance from Koblenz and the juncture of the Mosel with the Rhine. He makes some magnificent dry wines from stone walled slopes perfectly angled to the low sun. The atypically warm mesoclimate combines with a long ripening season […]

Weingut Fritz Haag Mittel Mosel

This historic estate known as Dusemonder Hof of 14 ha produces some of the finest, most elegant Rieslings in the Mosel from the heart of its one of its greatest sites, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr. The village of Dusemond was only renamed Brauneberg in 1925 due to the fame of its vineyards. Wilhelm Haag is not only […]

Gunderloch Rheinhessen

Fritz and Agnes Hasselbach’s 14ha of vineyards are steeply sloping and well protected. The famed Rothenberg site with its distinctive red slatey soils is as steep as some of those on the Mosel and produces some of the richest, most intense Rieslings in Germany. There is an explosive richness of fruit at Spätlese level with […]

Emrich-Schönleber Nahe

This is now arguably the second great estate of the Nahe (after Dönnhoff). Though still small (at 17 ha), it has been improved and much enlarged by Werner Schönleber. Through careful selection and attentive winemaking he produces tight, sleek, intense Rieslings with lovely balance and great length of flavour from the previously unsung village of […]

Domdechant Werner’sches Rheingau

This Rheingau estate of 18 ha dates back to 1780 when it was acquired by the dean (Domdechant) of the cathedral at Mainz. The current Dr Franz Werner Michel provides a solid range of wines particularly from the Domdechaney and Kirchenstück sites. There is plenty of intensity together with spice, citrus and riper fruit flavours […]

JJ Christoffel Mittel Mosel

The recently retired Hans Leo Christoffel has leased his minute holding (4 ha) of Riesling vines to neighbour Robert Eymael (MÖNCHHOF/ROBERT EYMAEL), who has taken full responsibility for the wines’ production and sale. However a separate identity has been maintained for the wines, over which Christoffel still has some influence. The Ürziger Würzgarten wines are […]

Bürklin-Wolf Pfalz

Since the mid-1990s Christian von Guradze has restored the reputation of this large and historic estate. Its 86 ha of vineyards include several of the Pfalz’s top sites which under the new classification system have been designated Erste Lage (for Grosses Gewächs, GG). The focus has been to produce a top full-bodied dry Riesling in […]

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