Wine is part of our culture. To make a good wine it requires craft and a certain philosophy. Our grapes grow in centuries-old vineyards in Westhofen on soils that have been lovingly cared for by generations in our family. A tension is created in the vineyard by pruning the vines in spring. Mineral fertilizer is not used and other natural vegetation is allowed to grow. As the vine suffers it looks for nutrients in deeper layers of the soil. This is the foundation of unique wines that will show their origin, the terroir, the unity of soil, micro-climate and vintner’s skill.
When the time is right, usually in late October when sugar and acidity levels promise a great wine, our grapes will be harvested by hand only with patience and knowledge. The gently pressed grape juice is then cold-fermented in old oak barrels into young wine. After several months of maturation in our deep cellars the wine will be carefully bottled.
Vines and grapes grow in almost every part of the world. Outstanding wines however, only grow in a few special places. Mainly, they are dependent on three factors: the soil in which the vines grow, the climate determined by its topographic situation and most definitely, the vintner’s skill. Well drained soils which warm up easily and are often too sparse for agricultural cultivation offer the best conditions. Position, gradient and protection from cold winds influence the micro-climate of individual vineyards to such an extent that even within 50 meters completely different qualities may be achieved. This natural interplay combined with the winemaker’s philosophy and skill and the accumulated knowledge of generations make for exceptional wines.
The work starts in the vineyard where by selective pruning, moderate fertilization and careful cultivation the foundation is laid determining the quality of the wine. We manage our vineyards sustainably, e.g. allowing natural vegetation and without the use of herbicides and mineral fertilizers. We keep vermin in check with pheromones and restrain from insecticides.
Wines are fermented and vinified according to traditional methods in oak barrels. We attach great importance to cool, careful and spontaneous fermentation and are sceptical of highly technical filtration machines and computer-controlled fermentation. The wine estate is managed by Friedrich Groebe. The time of cultivation and vinification are some of the most important factors in the winemaking process which sometimes can be a ‘controlled waiting’ that leads to the desired outcome. Every bottle is conserved time that after years of maturation comes to life again and inspires our thoughts.
German Riesling counts amongst the finest white wines of the world and demands a great deal of vineyard site and vintner. Consequently, we take this grape variety as benchmark for the value of a vineyard site. The same is true for our sites in Westhofen: AULERDE, KIRCHSPIEL, MORSTEIN, ROTENSTEIN and STEINGRUBE which are classified according to VDP (the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates) guidelines. Nearly three quarters of our vineyard sites are classified as VDP Grosse Lage® (great site). We label our wines as VDP Gutswein® (wine from our Estate), VDP Ortswein® (local Westhofen wine) and VDP Grosse Lage® (great site).