In Germany, where wine preferences have long been swinging dry and drier still, the market is dominated by trocken, or dry wines made from
Riesling, Pinot Noir (known as Spätburgunder), Pinot Gris (or Grauburgunder), Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Silvaner and more.
Among the very best are dry wines classified as Grosses Gewächs, or “great growths,” GG for short.
They represent standout dry expressions of exemplary single vineyards known as Grosse Lage, Germany’s version of the grand
cru. These are recognized for historically producing wines of distinction. Our aim is to provide our members with the
widest choice and most exciting range of these spectacular dry German wines.
Esteemed for its fruity, mineral-rich Spätburgunders, Meyer - Näkel tells a story of vision and determination. Today it is run by sisters Meike and Dörte both trained vintners whose experience has been handed down from father, Werner. He, in turn, inherited this Ahr winery from his parents who opened its doors in 1950 and innovated with the production of dry reds. Werner took over in 1982 as a determined and passionate novice who soon became an expert. By the end of that decade, he and his wife Claudia had made a name for themselves as leading winemakers in Germany with an elegant style of Spätburgunder.
Spätburgunder continues to be Meyer - Näkel's star while the sisters also craft fruity, mineral-rich Frühburgunder, Weissburgunder, and Riesling wine from the stunning, steep slopes of their Ahr vineyards.
A member since 1994, Meyer - Näkel's annual production is 130,000 bottles.
Silky and rounded, this Spätburgunder boasts an intense fruit center and gentle oak notes. The concentrated quality of low-yield vines and careful hand-harvesting comes through with every sip.
Floral and juicy with pink grapefruit leading on the nose and palate. Powdery mouthfeel with a hint of spritz, this pretty rosé rounds off with a lovely crunchy bite.
Father and son team Thomas and Philip Nelles’ philosophy is “tradition obliges” – and there is plenty of that for a winery opened in 1479. With vineyards in the Heimersheimer Landskrone and Burggarten at Ahr’s eastern end, grapes are of premier quality and vinification is meticulous to preserve each wine’s terroir.
Sustainability is a key driving force in Nelles’ winemaking. The winery is a member of Fair ‘n Green and encourages all the little critters in their vineyards to find their natural places among the vines, enriching the ecosystem.
In the cellar, reds are barrel matured with “controlled inactivity” to capture the distinct quality and minerality of each vineyard.
Nelles produces 60,000 bottles annually and has been a VDP member since 1994.
This Spätburgunder is one of the finest of the premium wines from the steep sites of Weingut Nelles. A truly noble Grand Cru Spätburgunder with powerful oak, aromas of wild red fruit, a hint of vanilla, delicate winter spices with fresh acidity and well-integrated tannins. 13.5 % ABV.
For Franz Keller, winemaking starts in the vineyard. This means an organic approach to nurturing its distinct, historical plots that sweep down steep, sunlit slopes, rich with Burgundian varietals.
Inspired by his French neighbors, owner Friedrich Keller's aim has always been to make food-friendly wines, vintages that will add sparkle to fine dining. Crafting a style of wine that is dry, fruit-forward, complex, and mineral-rich, Friedrich's team lovingly tend Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder, Weissburgunder, and Chardonnay fruit.
Farming methods are gentle and organic with natural yield reduction practices and green harvest implemented for best quality.
A VDP member since 2014, Franz Keller turns out 210,000 bottles annually.
Hailing from premium vineyards, this wine boasts pear and melon notes on a light bed of brioche and walnut, threaded with fine spiciness. Aging in large and small oak barrels adds elegant structure.
Mirroring the varied soils and distinct vineyards of the estate, this first-class Spätburgunder floods the nose and palate with lovely sour cherry notes and glittering acidity.
This Grosses Gewächs from Franz Keller displays clean, polished fruit with cherry and blackberry tones and nutty hints. Ripe tannins and good bite with deep, tobacco palate and spicy finish.
Uncompromising on quality yet open-minded to new ideas that lead to expressive, distinguished wines; these are the foundations of Heger winery.
Owner Joachim Heger works side-by-side a talented team in both the vineyard and the winery. Together they cultivate and vinify fruit from Ihringer Winklerberg, the warmest vineyard plot in Germany. A unique microclimate, low yields, and an intricately distinctive terroir make wines of "Grand Cru" status, wines that let their origin speak. Wines are aged 16 months in barriques for deeper refinement of each vintage.
Heger joined the VDP in 1986 and produces 120,000 bottles a year. Its main varietals are Spät-, Grau- and Weissburgunder, Riesling and Silvaner.
Wild cherry, red plum, and raspberry shine throughout this transparent yet beautifully complex Spätburgunder. Velvety and mineral-rich, silky tannins add delicate structure.
Tucked in the Black Forest mountains foothills in Malterdingen, Huber looks out over a vast area where Pinot Noir has been the leading grape for more than 700 years.
While admiring the Burgundy style of Pinot Noir, this winery team have always set out to create wines that reflect the character of the sites located in their locale. They have done so with resounding success, crafting leading Pinot Noirs that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best.
Today, Julian Huber carries on the family dedication to quality Baden wines.
On the nose, spicy dark cherry shines through while the palate boasts raspberry and chocolate hints underpinned by earthy tones. It is all tied nicely together with good minerality and bright acidity.
Atop the sun-soaked hills of Baden's Kaiserstuhl, in the village of Oberrotweil is the proud Salwey estate. Family winemaking roots in this spot reach deep and far all the way back to the 18th century. Benno Salwey founded the present-day winery amidst the rich volcanic soils of the locale in 1950. It was taken over by son Wolf-Dietrich in 1985. A truly family affair, in turn, his son Konrad took the reins in 2011.
Salwey's wine production is anchored in the classic Kaiserstuhl varietals - the three Burgunders: Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, and Spätburgunder. Renowned for his innovation, Konrad is committed to new vinification styles with the most refined wine possible always the aim. He is particularly passionate about Grauburgunder which has become Salwey's calling card.
As such, the production process has been perfected. Salwey has developed a signature style with its hand selection of gapes, dry fermenting, ambient yeasts, and unfiltered wines.
A VDP member since 1926, Salwey produces 150,000 bottles a year.
An elegant style from a tricky varietal, this Grauburgunders is fresh and light in typical Salwey fashion. Fruit comes from a blend of vineyards resulting in a gently complex wine that is the perfect dinner companion.
This Salwey Grosses Gewächs displays citrus and trademark Kirchberg clay notes that deepen on the palate. Delicate yet firm body and lovely mouthfeel courtesy of lees aging.
A founding member of the VDP, Bürgerspital in Würzburg is a Franken estate with more than 700 years of vinicultural tradition under its belt.
Robert Haller is at the helm, leading a winery that cultivates Silvaner and Riesling in shell limestone terroir. Always striving for an expression of place, Haller says minerality, complexity, and finesse are more valuable to Bürgerspital than fruitiness, sweetness or opulence. The wines follow their own path, and the result is fine accompaniments to food – one of the cornerstones that guides work in the vineyard and the winery.
Bürgerspital has been a VDP member since 1955 and produces 850,000 bottles of wine annually.
This Bürgerspital Grosses Gewächs has ripe, fine yellow fruit rising in the glass on a cloud of lemon. The palate is tight and crystal clear with firm fruit lined by yeast and delicate florals. A saline note runs stealthily throughout. Very pure expression.
The history of Hans Wirsching winery reads like an epic family saga, and one with fine wine at its center. One of the oldest wine estates in Germany, its roots in the charming medieval town of Iphofen can be traced back to 1630. Its wine-producing story encountered an obstacle in the late 19th century when phylloxera destroyed Europe's vineyards and, in the following decades, the family vineyards were nearly abandoned. However, returning from war in 1918, Hans Wirsching lovingly rebuilt the vineyards, and the rest is history.
Today this pioneering 14th generation winery cultivates Silvaner, Riesling, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Scheurebe, and Spätburgunder. Hans Wirsching is famed for its high-quality dry styles and its Scheurebe is known around the world.
This eco-certified estate has been a VDP member since 1983 and produces 520,000 bottles of wine a year.
A clean, intense grapefruit nose with lychee and pear hints opens out to a balanced, palate of citrus, pineapple, and mango. A touch of spritz adds a light note to a well-crafted, rounded wine.
Proud to produce 'brutally honest wines', Rudolf May has had winemaking in the family for three centuries. In 1998, they opened their own winery. Their vision was to bring Silvaner to new heights convinced that the Franken wine region offered the ideal environment for the varietal.
To this end, they grow the highest quality grapes within the framework of organic viticulture. Rudolf May's wines reflect the rich soils that produce dry, origin-focused wines which have gained followers around the world.
Rudolf joined the VDP in 2014 and produces 80,000 bottles annually with a focus on Silvaner, Riesling, Grau-, Weiss- and Spätburgunder.
The subtly complex Grosses Gewächs from Rudolf May is made from vines that are over 50 years old, yielding small, golden berries with intense flavors. This Silvaner has lovely saline notes and is expressive and silky on the palate.
Nature is the role model for father and daughter vintners Horst and daughter Sandra Sauer. Working with the terroir on their precipitous sun-drenched slopes near Würzburg, they carefully tend eight grape varietals including the classics Riesling, Silvaner, and Müller-Thurgau.
Vineyards encompass the strikingly beautiful sites of Escherndorfer Lump, a southerly-facing site rich in limestone soil and protected from north winds and east-facing Escherndorfer Fürstenberg.
The driving force behind Horst and Sandra's winemaking is the wish to create wines that quietly yet powerfully tell a story about their environment. As such, their wines possess lovely minerality and good aging potential.
Horst Sauer joined the VDP in 2001. They produce 190,000 bottles a year.
This Grosse Gewächs Silvaner from Horst Sauer tiptoes in with gentle citrus florals on the nose then sweeps in boldly on the palate with almond and salty mineral notes. A backbone of acidity ties all the elements together with perfect harmony.
Nestled below the Spessart and Odenwald mountains, overlooking the charming towns of Miltenberg and Bürgstadt is the Fürst estate. This family winery is dedicated to the production of world-class Spätburgunder which thrives in the local warm climate.
The Fürst family have been wine producers in this picturesque spot since 1638, growing vines on stony, red variegated sandstone soil. In 1979, Paul and Monika Fürst built their new estate and son Sebastian joined the family affair in 2007. High-density planting, small berries, gentle vinification and long aging in French oak make highly acclaimed Spätburgunders.
As well as cultivating Spätburgunder, they grow the indigenous Pinot Noir Frühburgunder. A VDP member since 1980, the Fürst estate’s annual bottle production is 120,000.
Pale garnet with spicy notes on the nose. Fruity with a soft body and ripe tannins, this fresh Spätburgunder closes with a dry-edged finish.
This Rudolf FürstGrosses Gewächs displays a restrained nose of wild strawberries with brushes of rose and firewood. Precise and clean fruit on the palate, fine, youthful tannins, and a balanced body create a light yet impressive style.
Driven by a biodynamic philosophy in the vineyard, Weingut Am Stein produces wines that mirror every stone, leaf, and mineral of their terroirs.
Natural processes and methods reign in Weingut Am Stein’s vineyards where steep slopes drink up the sun and old vines speak of the history of the soil. Tended with custom-made biodynamic composts and homeopathic teas, soils are alive, and vines bear rich fruit.
Growing in harmony with nature, only top-quality grapes find their way to the winery where gentle handling teases out balance and complexity.
A fine Weingut Am SteinGrosses Gewächs, this Silvaner boasts a tight, spicy nose with herbaceous hints and a glossy palate filled with layered peach and pear. Lovely lacy acidity runs throughout to a long, finish worth savoring.
From the precipitous, sunlit vineyards of Clemens Busch come fine Rieslings, wines made with fruit grown according to biodynamic principles.
Winemaking has run in the family for generations. Wine is Clemens Busch’s passion, and his dream is to hand the winery over to his son Johannes who works with his father in the cellar.
Clemens Busch is guided by the philosophy that quality begins in the vineyard, grapes spontaneously ferment with long yeast contact. Wines mature in traditional German fuder barrels and take their time.
The winery joined the VDP in 2007. Annual bottle production is 100,000 with 99% dedicated to Riesling and 1% to Spätburgunder.
Fresh, pure and precise with fine ripe fruit on the nose and palate and rich mineral complexity throughout. Lush and full-bodied with delicate tannins and a silky mouth.
A family winery now in its fifth generation, the Peter Lauer estate has a simple philosophy: “bringing the landscape into the bottle”.
They focus 100% on Riesling in their sloping, slate-rich Mosel vineyards and the aim is to go deep and help the grape express a wide variety of flavors. Among the vines, natural, eco-friendly practices guide the way. At harvest time, grapes are picked late and hand selected. In the winery, Peter Lauer’s range matures in wooden barrels where they ferment spontaneously.
In the future, family team Florian and Peter Lauer intend to define their terroir with even more depth and precision. It is all part of their philosophy.
Peter Lauer joined the VDP in 2013 and produces 45,000 to 60,000 bottles of Riesling a year.
This Grosses Gewächs from Peter Lauer leads with lovely light yellow fruit aromas with nutty hints. Deep and yeasty with touch of tobacco and dried vegetal notes. Deliciously complex.
The story of the Van Volxem reaches back to the 3rd century when the Romans planted vines on the steep, slate sites of the Saar River. The original winery’s remains are found among the fragments of a Roman Villa in the nearby picturesque and historic Wiltingen. In the 11th century, Jesuit monks breathed new life into the vineyards and, after the French revolution, Gustav van Volxem developed the winery into one reputed internationally for luxury wine.
In 2000, Roman Niewodniczanski took over the winery, restoring it and expanding its numerous prime vineyard sites. Organic soil treatment, careful canopy management, low yields, and hand-harvesting among the vines and ambient yeasts in the winery lead to light, mineral-rich, expressive wines. Niewodniczanski compares this precise process to that of making a luxury Swiss watch.
Van Volxem produces 300,000 bottles of Riesling and Weissburgunder annually.
Fruit for this powerful, dry wine hails from fine Devonian soil which adds a deep seam of minerality throughout. The nose displays white peach and a touch of spicy licorice. The fine structure of this dense, silky Riesling allows the sublime flavors to shine through.
The philosophy at this family middle Nahe estate is that the vineyards speak for themselves and nature connects generations.
Tucked in a charming valley between Niederhausen and Schlossböckelheim, Dönnhoff has been here for more than 250 years, loving and respecting the land where their Riesling, Grau- and Weissburgunder grow.
The middle Nahe features old clay slate and rich volcanic earth with each vineyard expressing its terroir in every detail in the world-class wines that hail from their soils. The Krötenpfuhl vineyard boasts loess loam soil and gravelly quartzite. Vines from these pebbly soils yield small berries with light aromas and vibrant acidity.
Dönnhoff joined the VDP in 1991 and produces 180,000 bottles each year.
This Dönnhoff Grosses Gewächs Riesling is a beautifully balanced off-dry style with spicy herbal notes and lively, clear acidity throughout.
“Dogma isn’t our thing” is the motto of Gut Hermannsberg. In the vineyard, they consider the ecosystem with every move they make, mindful that it is the key ingredient to the unique quality of their wines. In the cellar, the team likes to step back from the winemaking process letting time take care of the important things.
Riesling is the great love here and the wines are treated with the utmost respect. Vines are cultivated to reflect the terroir in which they are grown, producing pure, three-dimensional wines with personality.
Gut Hermannsberg produces 150,000 bottles annually. Riesling covers 95% while Weissburgunder covers the remainder.
A Gut Hermannsberg Grosses Gewächs with delicate citrus and stone fruit that speaks of its terroir with smoky bacon and wild herbs. Energetic, concentrated, and vibrant.
Fourth-generation vintner Sebastian Schäfer has his hand in every part of his family winery’s operation: in the vineyard, the cellar and the office. This hands-on approach brings out unique, premier wines from the estate’s clay soils dotted with slate, quartzite and pebbles.
For Sebastian, terroir is the king at Joh. Bapt. Schäfer and he is especially proud of how this expresses in his wines, reflecting one of the most prestigious wine-growing areas in Germany.
Riesling is his love, and he is passionate about developing wines from this varietal in the traditional fashion in large fuders. This step, he says, teases out the character of individual wines and completes what has been started in the vineyard.
Joh. Bapt. Schäfer joined the VDP in 2013 and produces 50,000 bottles a year.
This Grosses Gewächs from Joh. Bapt. Schäfer sweeps in on the nose with sumptuous bright citrus which deepens in intensity on the palate. Kumquat peel on the mouth mellows into a mineral-rich body and fine finish.
A family affair for more than 200 years, Schäfer-Fröhlich is situated on the sunny, steep, rocky slopes of the Middle Nahe.
There is one objective here: for their Rieslings to mirror their terroir with laser precision. To this end, the family works with tailormade methods in each of their vineyards to tease out the unique characteristics that shine through in the finished wine. At harvest, grapes are hand selected and, in the winery, wines ferment spontaneously taking all the time they need. There are no rush jobs at Schäfer-Fröhlich.
This dedication has paid off with both international accolades and recognition of their wines by German wine guides as "world class".
A VDP member since 2001, Schäfer-Fröhlich produces 120,000 bottles annually covering Rielsing and Burgundy varietals.
This Schäfer-Fröhlich Grosses Gewächs is like a liquid reflection of the mineral-rich terroir of its vines with a delicate nose and a deliciously dense palate. Light and concentrated at the same time.
This Schäfer-Fröhlich Grosses Gewächs opens with signature funky notes on the nose then deepens into lively slate threading its way between light fruit. Balanced, precise, and finessed.
In 1907 Leopold von Winning tasked himself with the creation exceptional wines and extended this vision to the VDP of which he was a founding member. Today, a team led by Stephen Attmann carry on this tradition in their crafting of world-class wines.
Their secret is in their rediscovery of traditional German vinification. Wines ferment naturally in wooden barriques preserving phenols that add complexity and character to the Von Winning range. Wines and are bottled using gravity rather than pumps, a hands-off approach leads to distinguished wines that are a mirror image of the rich terroir surrounding the winery.
Most of Von Winning’s cultivation focuses on Riesling supported by a selection of other varietals. Annual bottle production is 380,000.
Deep, dark cherry is complemented by smoky spice on the nose and palate. A stroke of marzipan and a touch of salinity balance a ripe, juicy, silky mouth.
Unshaken by trends and new wine styles, the vision of Christmann estate is to concentrate on the excellence its rich terroirs can produce. Working in the Pfalz region where some of the world’s best dry Rieslings and Burgunders are produced, owner Steffen Christmann is committed to capturing “place” in every bottle of wine.
To this end, Christmann implements biodynamic practices in its vineyards, teasing out the distinct personality of each site for wines full of character. In the winery, it matches state-of-the-art production methods with tradition.
Christmann mainstay grape is Riesling and it also cultivates Spätburgunder, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder and Muskateller. The winery joined the VDP in 1994 and produces 160,000 bottles a year.
A. Christmann Grosses Gewächs Riesling has great finesse and body. Fresh and lemony on the nose with chalk undertones, on the palate, it is tautly structured, complex, rounded, and beautifully light.
Dating from 1597, the Dr. Bürklin-Wolf family estate embraces a passion for quality and innovation which comes through in its line of fine, dry Rieslings.
Led since 1990 through the vision of Bettina Bürklin-von Guradze, Dr. Albert Bürklin’s eldest daughter, the objective is to make Rieslings that are formed by nature and mirror their terroirs with laser-like precision. Intense wines with concentrated flavors are the trademark of this estate.
To this end, in 2001 vineyards were converted to biodynamics with full certification reached in 2008.
Dr. Bürklin-Wolf produces 500,000 bottles a year.
This Grosse Gewächs enters with tart yellow plum and fresh green apple, deepening to smoky hints of singed earth in a lean and complex expression of Riesling. Edged in spice with a compact backbone of bright acidity, this wine has beautiful aging potential.
When in the middle of the last century they discovered they were sitting on top terroir for Pinot Noir, the Becker family changed over from farming to vine cultivation.
Since 1973 when they bottled their first wine, they have not looked back producing mostly Burgunder varietals alongside Riesling and Silvaner. Friedrich Becker’s wines have gained admirers all over the world and their Spätburgunders have quickly become among the best produced in Germany.
Friedrich Becker has been a VDP member since 2000 and produces 120,000 bottles annually.
Produced from rich old vines, to the eye this wine is bright ruby red and boasts a wild berry, spicy tobacco nose with forest floor hints. In the mouth, it is juicy, graceful, and well-structured with a long finish. Lees contact adds texture and complexity.
One of the most respected organic producers in Pfalz, the Ökonomierat Rebholz is led by third-generation winemaker Hansjörg Rebholz an award-winning master of the dry, fully fermented style, full of typicity and with superb aging potential.
A VDP member since 1991, this family winery operates in a winery of yesteryear, a historical monument that spans the generations. The Rebholz family started producing wines here in 1632. There was always a winemaker in the family with the legacy continuing down the centuries to the post-war years when vintner Eduard Rebholz applied science to accurately profile the soils, climate, and vinification practices. His philosophy on natural wines has become the cornerstone of Ökonomierat Rebholz wine production.
Ökonomierat Rebholz is Certified Organic & Biodynamic and it produces 140,000 bottles a year.
A fine Grosses Gewächs from Ökonomierat Rebholz, with a light-yellow hue and aromatic nose of petrol and tart apple. The palate is mature with pleasing minerality and medium acidity leading to a lingering finish.
Hailing from fertile loamy soil, this lean and graceful Weisser Burgunder emanates lovely green apple notes with herby lemon balm. In the mouth, there are hints of smoke complemented by silky acidity. A satisfying dryness runs throughout from the first sip to the smooth finish.
Since 1849 Reichsrat von Buhl has produced premier wines with Riesling especially prized here owing to its great versatility. Of the 56 hectares of vineyard spread over the Mittelhaardt region in Pfalz, 45% fall under the VDP.Erste Lage or VDP.Grosse Lage classifications. The jewels in the crown are the plots in Reichsrat von Buhl.
Eco-certified since 2009 and working with a sustainable approach to their vineyards, Von-Buhl cultivates fruit gently for the best grape quality and exceptional wines. Their Riesling, Spätburgunder, Scheurebe, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rieslaner wines reflect the personality of each of our wines with precision and varietal typicity.
Von-Buhl produces 450,000 bottles annually.
This crisp Sauvignon Blanc sweeps in with spicy gooseberry threaded with herby notes and fresh pear. The body is precise and taut and the structure full of layers of finesse and flair.
Located in the Mittelhaardt, the Rings winery chiefly cultivates Spätburgunder and Riesling followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Cabernet. The aim of brothers Steffen and Andreas Rings is to create wines that capture the essence of their unique terroir.
Since 2001 when the Rings changed moved over from orchard farming entirely to grape cultivation, each year’s vintage has shown a leap in quality. Embracing eco-friendly approaches in the vineyards everything is done manually from thinning out leaves to harvest.
Rings joined the VDP in 2015. The estate’s annual bottle production is 190,000.
Hand harvest of low-yield Spätburgunder preserves delicate grape qualities in this fresh, fruity and elegant wine. Aging in old French barrels adds gentle structure.
Pioneers of single-vineyard Riesling Sekt, Barth love all things sparkling. Following the traditional method, these Sekt masters have spent years honing their craft and are closely involved in the VDP Sekt Statute.
The Barth vineyards are eco-certified. Owners Christine and Mark Barth see themselves and their vineyard team as working hand-in-hand with nature in their journey to wonderful sparkling wines.
Barth prides itself on combining tradition and innovation; its modern wine shop stands above a treasure trove of mature wines, a state-of-the-art cellar contains old wooden barrels, and the latest cellar technology standing next to traditional riddling pupitres.
Barth joined the VDP in 1999 and produces 135,000 bottles annually.
Hailing from one of the Rheingau region’s top vineyards, this Riesling Sekt is fruity and intense with a vibrant mousse and creamy texture thanks to five years on lees before bottling.
The joy of blending the culture of wine and the day-to-day delights of life is the philosophy behind Kühling-Gillot estate’s winemaking.
With several premier vineyards gracing the Rhine, soaking up the sun and nurturing Riesling and Spätburgunder vines, owners H.O. Spanier and vintner’s daughter Carolin Spanier-Gillot do not believe in rushing their wines.
Terroir is the guide and Riesling is the best interpreter of the distinct soils of the Kühling-Gillot plots. The grape’s primary aromas meld with the flavors of the vineyard, features which show in bas-relief in their wines. Wines ferment naturally and mature on the lees, a process regarded as purification.
Kühling-Gillot produces 90,000 bottles annually and joined the VDP in 1997.
The 2019 NiersteinPettenthal Grosses Gewächs is pristine with varietal typicity rimmed by flinty slate. A creamy textured mouth features lovely salinity and vivid finesse.
If you ask Kai Schätzel, owner of the Schätzel estate who his role models are he will reply Mother Nature and Father Rhine.
Nature guides Kai’s approach to vine cultivation in the vineyard and winemaking, along with co-Cellar Master Madeline Stössel, in the winery. The view is that as nature changes, so must wine production methods adapt. Schätzel farms to biodynamic principles growing its fruit slowly with smaller grapes. This results in low alcohol wines that are delicate and true to their origins, with sumptuously long aging potential.
Riesling is Kai’s love followed by Silvaner. Schätzel joined the VDP in 2016 and produces between 60,000 and 80,000 bottles a year. Varietals include Spätburgunder, Müller-Thurgau and others.
This Schätzel Grosses Gewächs is tight with clean, yellow fruit notes and yeasty hints. A touch of sulfur on the nose mellows to spicy vegetal tones and gorgeous minerality. Vibrant acidity, juicy bite, and persistent palate.
Sekthaus Raumland was established in 1990 by Volker Raumland who is also the Cellar Master in this family-run sparkling wine house located in Flörsheim-Dahlsheim. Volker describes himself as being “infected with the champagne virus” ever since his sparkling wine came first in a competition of international cuvées while he was studying viticulture. He never looked back and has dedicated his winemaking to the production of Sekt, the German traditional method bubbly. Often called the German “Sektpapst” or Sekt Pope for his pioneering spirit, he sparked a quality revolution in the German sparkling wine scene.
Wife Heide-Rose is the right hand of the business and daughters Katharina and Maria-Luise are poised to follow in their parents’ footsteps with their own blend of tradition and innovation.
A VDP member since 2020, Sekthaus Raumland is meticulous in its sparkling wine production methods. It only uses hand-selected and harvested fruit and whole cluster pressing to preserve delicate aromas. Its cuvées lies on lees for four to 12 years. The Sekthaus Raumland range is from the classic grape varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc and Riesling because in Volker’s words “typical German grape varieties should not be missing”.
This eco-certified Sekt producer makes 80,000 bottles annually.
This Raumland is a “blanc de noirs”, a pure Pinot Noir made from late grapes. Gently pressed, its nose displays fresh white and yellow fruits while the palate is delicately spicy with great depth and body all lined by a lovely fine mousse.
Wagner Stempel has been making wine for nine generations in the peaceful Siefersheim area. The winery is nestled among volcanic hills and heathland all offering the choice terroir that shows in their world-class wines.
Owners Cathrin and Daniel Wagner produce their cool-climate Rieslings, Burgunder varietals, and Silvaner in small manageable plots so that the story of the environment shines through with crystal clarity. Indeed, they describe their wines as “handcrafted”.
The result is a range of lean, acidic wines with salty, mineral expression. Cathrin and Daniel believe that Riesling above all other grapes possesses the transparency to express its terroir with laser-sharp authenticity. Half of their production is dedicated to this classic German grape.
Wagner Stemple joined the VDP in 2004 and produces 150,000 bottles annually.
A Wagner Stempel Grosses Gewächs with fine character, this vintage is clear yellow to the eye with a complex, lacy nose and palate of peach and passion fruit. Lined with herbaceous notes, it has a big mineral body, and lengthy, balanced finish.
Situated in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Weingut Keller's roots go back to 1789 when Johann Leonhard Keller purchased property at the prized Hubacker vineyard which remains in the family to this day. Klaus Peter Keller and his team have run the estate since 2001.
It is famed for its line of premier Rieslings, especially its dry styles. These top-quality wines are made from low-yield old vines and have garnered top scores and wide critical acclaim, and Its G-Max Riesling is one of the world's premier varietal wines.
Increasingly known for fine Spätburgunder and Silvaner, Weingut Keller joined the VDP in 2000 and its annual production is 100,000 bottles.
Made from Grosses Gewächs vines, a bright fruit core shines throughout from the delicate nose to the fine finish. Masterfully structured, this Riesling balances a lovely chalky texture and rich minerality with racy acidity.
From planting to bottling, the bedrock of the Wittman estate is love for and respect of the land.
Vineyard work is manual to protect growing vines and to preserve the delicate qualities of the grapes. Certified organic since the 1980s and biodynamic since 2004, the aim is the best grape quality possible for highest-standard wines.
In the winery, owner and cellarmaster Philip Wittmann applies slow fermentation and cool temperature maturation, allowing terroir and varietal typicity to shine. Wines mature in wooden casks in a cellar that dates back to 1829. Riesling is the mainstay; Philip admires its transparency in the glass through which it speaks of its origin.
Wittman joined the VDP in 1999 and its annual output is 150,000 bottles
Fine, elegant, powerful, and with a lot of bite, this young Riesling boasts sumptuous lime and mango tropical notes. Concentrated with a layer of minerality and firm acidic backbone, it can be enjoyed young or cellared for deeper body and flavor.
In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered America. It is also the year when the Aldinger estate was established and more than five centuries later, it is the oldest and a leading innovator in the region.
Through the 1970s when vineyard expansion led to unique mineral-rich wines and the 1990s when Gert Joachim Aldinger took the reins, tradition has been the guiding star in the winery’s production.
Gert led the way in the region when he brought in international varietals and started reduced yield farming for best quality fruit and fine wines. Today sons Hansjörg and Matthias are poised to take over from their father to continue making excellent wines from Riesling, Lemberger, Spätburgunder, Trollinger, Weissburgunder and a range of noble grapes.
A member since 1994, Aldinger’s annual bottle production is 220,000.
Intensely red with purple tones in the glass, this Lemberger displays concentrated blueberry, cassis, licorice and thyme with peppery notes courtesy of barrel treatment. Smooth tannins and fine acid create a lovely mouthfeel.
Christian Dautel describes his winemaking as driven by a “tradition of innovation”. The vintner’s son acquired knowledge about new methods during his wine studies in Germany and abroad but absorbed his father’s priceless traditional experience as he grew up among the vines.
An innovator on many fronts, in the 1970s the Dautel estate was one of the first to go against the tide and focus on dry wines and also pioneered small oak barrel aging in the middle of the 1980s. The first Chardonnay wines in Germany were also planted in the vineyards of its Württemberg estate.
Outstanding styles of Riesling, Spätburgunder, Lemberger, and Weissburgunder reflecting a shell limestone come out of Dautel. Fine Trollinger and Chardonnay also feature on their sunny slopes.
Dautel joined the VDP in 1999 and produces 79,000 bottles a year.
A precise, fresh blackberry nose with a touch of smoky tar opens out to a lavish palate of ripe cherries and herbs rimmed with black olive and mushroom. Firm, dusty tannins and light cocoa balance a satisfying acidic bite and long, warm finish.
In the 1980s, Rainer Schnaitmann turned his back on architecture and decided to join the family’s 600-year heritage winemaking. After wine studies in Germany and abroad, his father leased him three hectares of vines and space in a small cellar for vinification. The rest is history.
Rainer Schnaitmann has built a name for itself as an innovative winery that had its roots firmly anchored in tradition. With its respect for the unique terroirs of its vineyards, Rainer Schnaitmann’s wines have won top awards, scores, and accolades across the international wine industry.
In 2006 Rainer Schnaitmann was welcomed into the VDP, the youngest estate at the time to be so honored.
This Lemberger Grosses Gewächs from Rainer Schnaitmann is dense and deep with opulent blackberries, juniper and dried herbs. Bacon salinity and touches of toasty pepper frame fruit with panache.
Fruit forward with ripe blackberry and plum, this splendid Pinot Noir is full of earthy, mineral-rich complexity. Racy acidity and firm tannins leave a lovely grippy mouthfeel and languid finish.