About the winery
Production: 50.000 bottles
Wine Region: Franken
Locations/ Parcels :
19 parcels, mostly in Kitzingen, single plots in Rödelsee, Iphofen, Sulzfeld and Repperndorf
Silvaner, Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder, Schwarzriesling, Regent
Soil, typicity :
Mostly shell-limestone with a focus on clay for most plots but young shell limestone and more rocky at the Kitzinger Eselsberg; Keuper in Rödelsee & Iphofen
Terrain, Climate :
Small hills with slopes up to 50%. Franken is in between sea and continental climate. Our area used to be covered by the Trias sea, thus the different soils. The bowl shaped area can heat up to 40°C in summer, the highest temperatures ever measured in Germany were in Kitzingen in 2015.
Approach wineyard/ certifications :
Everything comes down to the soil. We work with different composts, rock dust, coal. Depending on the vineyard we’ll let a jungle grow to increase competition or enforce deep roots of the greening to loosen up the soil. We might sow herbs or grasses to achieve a good balance if necessary, cut or walz depending on the plot and sometimes use a grubber. We try to minimize the ammount of sulphur and copper we need to spray by keeping the wall of leaves loose, keeping the plants healthy and strong (also a side effect of gentle pruning) and using e.g. nettle manure to make the plants more robust. We’re certified EU organic.
Approach cellar/ interventions :
Without any interventions there wouldn’t be wine. Every intervention involves a decision. Like when to pick, how to press and should there be skin contact involved. Besides these basic things – pick, crush, press & putting it in a barrel/tank – we avoid all interventions. No temperature control, no gas or dry ice, no additives. Only the Vater & Sohn wines get a rough filtration and 2g/hl SO2.
What was your first contact with vine (when/where/how) :
A bottle of Boire Tue from Pascal Simonutti purchased in 2011 at the Theatre of Wine in London.
Where and with whom did you learn to work in the vineyard and to vinify wines :
I tought it myself. Trial and error.
Why are you a winemaker today :
I’m more a grower than a winemaker. I try to work on an ecosystem level, not to « make » something. It’s enormously satisfying to plant a vine and years later bottle the wine it produced. It’s a revelation that working with nature rather than against it brings better and more sustainable results. Also our planet is pretty fucked up and somebody needs to help saving it!
« Vine » – what does it mean for you or what do you have in mind :
The plant producing the most magical beverage in the world.
Do you have a favourite wine. What inspires you for your winemaking :
Seeing the impact of an improved soil and level of biodiversity tasting the wine from the same vineyard year after year is incredibly inspiring and motivating.
We have many favorite wines. Riesling from Rudi Trossen, Chenin Blanc from Francois Saint-Lo, Grenach from Axel Prüfer, Sauvignan & Chardonnay from Sepp Muster and Franz Strohmeier, …
Is there a winemaker you appreciate :
Again: many! Take the ones from the favorite wines list
Which material do you prefer in the cellar for fermentation and aging and why :
Old oak that doesn’t add flavors but lets the wine breath.
What is an important aspect concerning your work in the vineyard :
Soil – see « approach vineyard » section
How would you describe the character of your wines :
Colorful, lively, energetic, clean
If you would have the opportunity to change one fact concerning your vineyard or your cellar, what would you like change :
If I could do magic I’d make our cellar more compact so I don’t have to pump 60m around 4 corners.
What do you think about « Natural Wine » :
It’s a wonderful way to promote the value of organic farming, the value of working with instead of against nature – in the vineyard as well as the cellar. And it tastes wonderful, it makes you feel good.
Do you have future projects and/or utopies ;
We’re currently consolidating our plots giving up single towels in monocultures. More connected plots allow for a more serious permaculture approach. We’d like to see at least one unique biodiversity project in or around each vineyard.
Besides improving our vineyards and the quality of our wines we would like to collaborate more with like minded people and to create a place of inspiration and creativity in the future.
Whats your favourite place to drink wine or can you recommend a nice place to drink :