900 years of viniculture.
Established in 1132, the former Cistercian abbey Eberbach, located in the Rheingau (Hessen, Germany), serves as one of the most impressive cultural monuments of monastery architecture of the European Middle Ages. The stately walls, representing the major preserved structures of the abbey, are a witness to its eventful past.
The monastery‘s wealth arose from its winemaking, thus leading to its greatness, high status and prestige. And with persistency and a vinification process of high valuable grape varieties over a period of nine centuries, aged and marketed here, it's making the Eberbach Monastery truly unique worldwide.
Some of Germany’s grand jewels.
The foundation for the most valuable vineyards in Germany was already laid by the Cistercian monks. The historical aspiration to produce premium wines was pursued through the purchase of suitable vineyard sites in both the Rheingau and on the Hessische Bergstrasse. The historic quality standard of these wines has been guaranteed throughout the history of Eberbach by the wine estate‘s successors. This unparalleled legacy could thus be sustained and the monastery continues to be particularly committed to this great responsibility.
Surrounded by an approximately 3km long & 4m high wall to prevent the grapes from the infiltration of cold air, the vineyard is exclusively planted with Riesling vines, from which top wines are produced, such as the legendary Steinberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 1921. The domain Steinberg, which belongs to the Hessian state wineries Kloster Eberbach, is 34 hectares large and one of the most prestigious vineyards at the monastery.
In the middle of one of the most famous Riesling cultivation areas, Spätburgunder grows here of international top level. That is why the red wine is cultivated here on 46 hectares since the 13th century. The particularly steep Höllenberg in Assmannshausen (60% gradient), with its high slate content, is regarded as the fillet for the red wine cultivation in the Rheingau and one of the best red wines in Germany you can get your hands on.
Characterized by medium and profound phyllite soil the old wine town of Rauenthal was already mentioned in the Erbacher interest register in 1293. The first vineyard sites have been known since 1211. In the late 19th century, the Rauenthal wines gained a world-wide reputation. The steep southern slope has an optimum slope of up to 60% so that it heats up easily which brings wines with superb character, high in minerals and fruit.
The king of Württemberg
The wine is a cultural product of his region and his family has been a part of this culture at least since the 16th century. In the long term, the importance and the nature of the wine have constantly changed. However, viticulture has taken the most rapid development in the last 15 years. Probably there was never a better wine from the "Kappelberg" than at the present.
Since viticulture is a very "slow" culture, Rainer Schnaitmann and his team always make decisions for a long-term future. A newly planted vineyard should last as long as possible
and particularly grow sustainable. For this reason, he doesn't care for vine varieties which are fancy and trend but for those, he is convinced about that they fit optimally into the soil and climate conditions. Exactly this straight forward and inspiring mindset makes his wines as outstanding as they are today.
Organic wines with distinctive souls.
The work in the vineyard is designed for ecological, long-term quality assurance. The low yielding on the vines, the choice of the right grape variety, the great effort in the design of the foliage, the absence of herbicides and plant protection in accordance with ecological guidelines serve to produce the highest quality.
It’s always during the vintage when R. Schnaitmann decides how to use the possibilities of the vintage. For him, the important decisions about the correct reading time and the selection of the grapes, possibly in several readings, can only be made at this specific time.
In the scenic Remstal, surrounded by the 500 m high hills of the Schurwald, lies the Schnaiter Altenberg in 320 to 380 m altitude. The slope of this location is around 30-40% in south-western exposure. The location in a small side valley of the Rems, which protects the grapes in their maturation phase from winds and fog, is particularly favorable for the growth of the vine. The 25-year-old Rieslingstöcke stands on a soil of Keuper and colored marl, which is interspersed with Buntsandstein intermissions.
The Fellbacher Lämmler is a protected southern vieyard, which is located with a slope of 35% at the foot of the Kappelberg. Due to thermal air currents, the Lämmler is strongly heated during the day, while it cools down rapidly at night. Thus the grapes receive their intense fruit aroma. The Lämmler is located at the break site of the Schurwaldrandverwerfung to the Neckartal. With reed sandstone and colorful marl, the site has a floor made of materials from the middle Keuper.
The Götzenberg, not far from the former Württembergische Stammburg, lies in a side valley of the Neckar, which is sheltered from the north and east wind and opens into a small boiler. The slightly heatable reed sandstone floor of the middle keeper characterize this position as well as the good aeration caused by a thermal wind-up system and solar radiation, which can be recognized by the strong but warm wind of the valley in the narrow Uhlbacher valley. As a result, particularly long ripening times are possible.
SAAR WINES FROM GRAND CRUS.
Winegrowing on steep slate slopes entails manual labor. Van Volxem is a “manufactory” in the classical sense, and they are convinced that this is what underpins the allure of their wines. They believe in wine having a legacy - wines with staying power that offer endless enjoyment. And they believe in the pure pleasure of wine, that it is made for partaking in with joy and for sharing with friends. At Van Volxem, a spirit of timelessness reigns: They believe that while there are many things that one should do differently, there are also a lot of things - such as traditions practiced here for over two thousand years - that cannot be improved upon. The emphasis lies on a true understanding of wine made naturally without industrial yeasts or additives.
In wake of the French Revolution, the property was secularized and finally ended up under the ownership of Gustav van Volxem, a wine brewer who had emigrated from Brussels. A true visionary, van Volxem recognised the potential of the premium vineyard location, and in subsequent years, he developed one of the most prestigious wine estates in imperial Germany. When Mosel wine gained popularity as a coveted luxury item worldwide, the van Volxem estate saw the start of its heyday. Its wine varieties are featured on numerous wine lists internationally.
Queen of the grapes x world’s most famous sites
The vines, mainly ungrafted, older plants, embody genetic diversity, which causes the intensive aromatic interplay of their small, highly fragrant grapes. This, in turn, is responsible for the variety found in these sites and the complexity and timelessness of the wines.
This is exactly what Roman N. and his team of Van Volxem want: “cool-climate wines” with moderate alcohol, good structure, complexity, and concentration. But these are also wines that very precisely deliver the magic of each individual location, carrying it into the glass.
The Scharfzhofberg lies in a side valley of the Saar river and it is probably the Saar's most prestigious vineyard. The origins of this vineyard go back to a donation to the monastery of St. Marien in the year 700. The enormous temperature fluctuations are very special about this site. Very deep and delicate soils keep the water, but the massively weathered soil prevents waterlogging. The special and unique character of this vineyard leads to very straight, piquant wines, with high minerality and a filigree acid play.
The Altenberg is a world of its own. Majestically, the stretched slope of the Saar, coming from the south, meets the river at its foot, in order to enjoy the light and warmth of the valley. No wall, no terrace will disturb the flatness of the up to 70% steep slopes, whose slate and weathered "Rotliegend" are home to many decade-old, prickly vines. The Altenberg brings out one of the best predicate wines in the world: From filigree, light cabinets and multifaceted late harvest wines, up to world renowned Beeren- & Trockenbeerenauslesen (BA & TBA).
In addition to the grayslate, one finds in the Gottesfuß ("God's foot") also the reddish slate weathering ground. Due to this coarse soil structure, the water holding capacity is only moderately developed. Wines from the Gottesfuß are like the mountain, at first rugged and impetuous, but enclosed with a fine fruit. If you stand in the middle of the Gottesfuß, you have the impression to jump directly into the Saar. Looking to the left you can see the wine town of Wiltingen. The wine village Kanzem can be seen to the right.
From Estremoz with love.
Built in 2006, Monte Branco with it's prime location integrates perfectly in the Alentejo countryside landscape facing the village and castle of Estremoz. With a producing capacity of 300,000 liters of wine per year, the Adega do Monte Branco winery reflects an accurate approach on winemaking that goes well beyond its pure architectural lines.
To create Alentejo wines of remarkable character which are able to express accurately the full potential of local grape varieties, this is the vision of the team led by Luís Louro in Adega do Monte Branco’s winery. A vision that starts with the accurate selection of grapes in the vineyard, and extends to a careful work in the cellar which significantly exceeds today's demanding consumers expectations.
One vision. Two terroirs.
Today a total of 26 hectares (64 acres) of vineyards are leased to ensure an absolutely strict control of the whole winemaking process right from the start. Monte Branco winery focuses on Portuguese grape varietals, carefully selected by its best possible adaptation to the terroir.
Two soil types have a decisive role in Monte Branco wine character. Clay soils are the basis for good production, while poor and austere schist spoils provide concentration, acidity and aroma. Each has its own expression, and both play a complementary role in Monte Branco’s wines.
Vinhedo Monte Branco