We are always looking for opportunities to provide unique educational pieces about wine. With this special #SommChat, we share some of what we learned during our visit to Von Shubert Maximin Grünhaus in Germany (and subsequently from their website). We even recorded a short educational video at the winery just for you. We hope you learn something new from reading below, and then watching the video at the end.
SommChat™ Journey to Germany's Weingut Maximin Grünhaus
As avid wine enthusiasts, and having a love for German wine for a long time, we couldn’t believe it was our first time visiting the Mosel Wine region in Germany! Thanks to Philip from Maximin Grünhaus, we were able to dive in and learn about some of our favorite wines. On one beautiful hill stands not one, but three vineyards, spread over 34 hectares (approximately 84 acres). All three are solely owned by the estate (thus, a monopole).
Abtsberg is their most well-known parcel and cultivates Pinot Noir and Riesling. The soil consists mainly of blue Devonian slate. The vineyard is extremely steep, reaching slope gradients up to 75%. Abtsberg covers 14 hectares (34 acres), then it naturally transitions into the Herrenberg Vineyard.
Herrenberg stretches over 19 hectares (approximately 47 acres) and is similar to Abtsberg in regard to orientation, but the soil consists of primarily red slate. Since it borders the Grüneberg forest, the vineyard is cooler and flatter. Known for wines that age beautifully, Herrenberg cultivates Riesling and Pinot Blanc.
Lastly, Bruderberg, at 1 hectare (approximately 2.5 acres), is known as the smallest and coolest vineyard. Strictly planted with Riesling, it is comprised of the same blue Devonian slate as the famous Abtsberg and produces lively, racy Riesling.
While vineyard management and agricultural practices remain extremely important, what happens in the cellar is also what makes this domain special. The cellars are quite old and are covered with beautiful indigenous yeast.
Each barrel of wine is unique, with its own characteristics.
If the wine from a particular barrel is deemed exceptional, it is bottled separately rather than blended with the other barrels. The barrels are numbered, so if a bottle is from a single barrel, the bottle will bear the barrel number on its label. These wines are considered by the team to be the “best of the best”, and many are only available at auction in Germany. We were told that not every vintage will produce numbered bottles. We had the distinct pleasure of tasting two wines that are designated for auction only.
We hope you enjoy the video posted below that we created for you, which was made in the tasting room on the day of our visit to Von Shubert Maximin Grünhaus. Listen carefully as Philip describes the terroir of each vineyard, the slope, exposure and the how the blue and red slate rock are taken into consideration in the winemaking. If you have the chance to find these wines on a restaurant wine list or at your local retailer, we highly recommend you give them a try.