November 21st, 2017 – a very special day for the Palatinate top winegrower Markus Schneider, his family and his team. Because the publication of a very special collection rating was imminent. For the first time, selected Markus Schneider wines were awarded by the internationally renowned critic James Suckling. And the ratings are really impressive!
Karthäuserhof takes its name from the Carthusian monks who received the estate from Prince Elector Balduin of Luxembourg in 1335. In the aftermath of secularization, Valentin Leonardy, a director general in the French army, purchased the Karthäuserhof estate from the state (France) at auction in 1811. During the next three generations, the Rautenstrauch family ran the Karthäuserhof estate and led it to world fame. Werner Tyrell, an in-law, took charge in 1951. Under his direction, the outstanding vintages of the 50s and 60s added to the Karthäuserhof estate’s renown and it became well known as a great producer of sweet wines.
Christoph Tyrell, the sixth generation, has conducted the Karthäuserhof estate since 1986. Together with cellar master Ludwig Breiling and his successor Christian Vogt, Tyrell has focused on carefully made dry wines. The many high awards the wines have received attest to the success of their efforts.
The Ellwanger family’s viticultural tradition dates from 1512. In 1949, Gottlob Ellwanger founded the present estate. Under the direction of Jürgen Ellwanger, the estate has steadily grown in size, and became a member of the VDP. Today, Jürgen Ellwanger estate and its 23 hectares (57 acres) of vines are in the hands of Jörg and Sylvia, with son Felix. They are committed to tradition, whereby the spirit of innovation and willingness to broaden one’s perspectives are also part of their tradition.
At Jürgen Ellwanger estate they realize that quality is „born“ in the vineyard and vineyard is synonymous with nature. For this reason, they cultivate their vineyards as naturally as possible. Their cellar philosophy of Jürgen Ellwanger reads: Wine behaves like a precious stone. The more you polish it, the less it is worth.
The Leitz family’s viticultural history dates back to 1744. The Rüdesheim estate was completely destroyed in World War Il, but rebuilt by Josef Leitz, grandfather of the current owner, Johannes. He took charge of his parent’s estate and its three hectares (7.5 acres) of vines in 1985, after completing his viticultural training. Since then, the Josef Leitz estate has grown in size to a remarkable 40 hectares (ca. 100 acres), and has become successful nationally and internationally.
Josef Leitz‘ dry premium wines from the Rüdesheim sites Berg Roseneck, Berg Schlossberg, Berg Rottland, and Berg Kaisersteinfels are regarded as being some of the finest wines of Germany. All wines of Josef Leitz bear the signature of the winemaker and reflect the terroir of the Rüdesheimer Berg.
Based on old documents, the viticultural tradition of the Johannishof estate can be traced back to the year 1685. A wine estate steeped in history developed out of a former mill – the millstones in the coat of arms of the Eser family are a reminder of the estate’s origins. Today, Johannishof estate is run by Johannes and Sabine Eser, the 10th generation of the founding family.
Their 20 hectares (ca. 50 acres) of consolidated vineyards are organically cultivated according to the most modern methods. The Team of Johannishof estate strives to achieve a particularly pronounced type of Riesling wine. After careful vinification, the young wines develop in stainless steel tanks and oak casks in a hillside cellar that provides optimal conditions for aging high-quality, fruit-driven wines.
The Stodden family have been wine-growers in the Ahr Valley since 1578. In 1900, Alois Stodden began producing Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) wines in his own cellars. Since then, the family’s philosophy has been to do everything in harmony with nature in order to finish a wine to perfection. Starting with stringent pruning, the Jean Stodden estate works to achieve quality rather than quantity. If there is still too much fruit on a vine, then unripe bunches are removed in the summer.
Late harvesting by hand and strict selection are standard operating procedures at Jean Stodden estate, as is gentle processing of the crop. Spätburgunder is stemmed and ferments up to 24 days. The young wines are deep in color and rich in tannins when they are put into large oak casks or for the finest wines, barriques. The most rewarding work at Jean Stodden estate is in producing terroir-driven Spätburgunder wines from a top site such as Recher Herrenberg.
The estate Jakob Jung has been owned by the family since 1799. After the early death of his father in 1969, Ludwig Jung became involved in operations as an 18-year-old, and took over the estate from his mother in 1974, after completing his master winemaker exams. He was responsible for running the estate until 2007. His youngest son and today’s proprietor, Alexander Johannes Jung, successfully graduated from Geisenheim as a viticultural engineer in early 2007.
Through additional property purchases in recent years, the estate Jakob Jung has expanded considerably and also acquired a more than 250-year-old stone cellar with a total length of 110 meters (360 ft), situated eight meters (26 ft) underground. It is ideal for carefully aging and storing the estate’s bottled wines of Jakob Jung.
In 1890, the Mainz banker Carl Gunderloch purchased an excellent vineyard on the Rhine, Nackenheimer Rothenberg. The Gunderloch estate was already one of the pioneers of quality wine production on the Rhine Front back then, and Carl Gunderloch a founding member of the VDP. The estate has been owned by the family for five generations; since 1986, Gunderloch’s great-great-granddaughter Agnes and her husband, Fritz Hasselbach, have been responsible for the estate.
Their wines of Gunderloch have repeatedly won the highest international awards. The Rieslings from Nackenheim and Nierstein grow in classified sites on the „Roter Hang“ (red slope), whose stony soils are millions of years old. It’s important to Fritz Hasselbach to optimally express terroir. He fully appreciates the fact that his vineyards are his greatest asset, and he feels obligated to bring them to life, year after year.
The estate Grans-Fassian has been owned by the family since 1624. Today, its 9.5 hectares (23.5 acres) of vineyards are planted 88 percent with Riesling, 10 percent Weissburgunder, and 2 percent Grauburgunder. Conscientious care of the vineyards, selective harvesting, gentle processing, slow and cool fermentation, lengthy aging on the lees, and individual vinification and aging in stainless steel or oak casks – all of these steps at Grans-Fassian estate are part of producing pure, clear-cut wines that embody their vineyard and grape of origin.
The steep slopes along the Moselle create a perfect microclimate for Riesling. The interplay of climate, vineyard terroir, and age of the vines are the most important prerequisites for outstanding wines at Grans-Fassian estate. These requirements are met and coupled with many years of experience, at Gerhard Grans‘ estate.