CLIMATE, SOIL, SITES
When God created the world he left a piece belonging to the Mediterranean in Germany – the Palatinate.
It is here where almonds, figs, kiwis and citrus fruit grow together with palm, olive, agave and cypress trees as well as oleander bushes.
We are blessed with an ideal climate for growing vines – even demanding, particularly warmth-loving non-native varieties thrive here.
A top layer of loess loam ranging from 20 cm to several metres in depth.
Limestone can be found in the subsoil of the sites Großkarlbacher Osterberg and even more so in the site Laumersheimer Kapellenberg. The clearer structure and finesse is particularly pronounced in the Riesling. In sites such as ‘Im großen Garten’ one can find massive limestone rocks. These are ideal conditions for varieties that benefit from body and well-balanced acidity. This is valid for all red wine varieties as well as Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
The majority of our best red wines together with Große Gewächse Rieslinge (VDP classification for dry wines from first class sites) originate from these sites and displaying great minerality in the wine.
Sand and grit
These components stemming from sedimentary deposition of the river Rhine can mainly be found in the subsoil of the sites Großkarlbacher Osterberg and more so in Laumersheimer Kapellenberg. Wines originating from the sandier Kapellenberg are finer and more delicate. It is very prominent in the Riesling showing a clear structure and great finesse.
Our vineyards are stretching out from the Freinsheimer Höhe in the south to the neighbouring village Dirmstein in the north.
This is a relatively large heterogeneous single vineyard site that is partly located in the wind-exposed Freinsheimer Höhe and partly on slopes in protected vales. Prominent are loess and loam top layers above sand and grit.
The site stretches over two neighbouring hills. Here again sand and grit from sedimentary deposition of the river Rhine dominates the site’s soil. The component of sand in the top soil is significantly higher than in the Osterberg site. The white wines from this site are more readily accessible than those from soils with a higher chalk composition. Rieslings are fine and elegant with a clear structure.
The red wines are not quite as intense as the ones from the chalk sites, but do impress through their wonderful fruitiness.
This is a premium site and we cultivate the site’s core ‘Im großen Garten‘ mostly ourselves. On this region’s steep southern slope of the Eckbach valley grow our most concentrated wines. Limestone is present resembling soils from the Côte d'Or. This is why Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes dominate here.
We have planted the site with superior Pinot Noir clones that are likely to bring out exceptional wines. Together with Cabernet Franc and Merlot that grow on the gritty section of the slope they are important components of our premium red wine ‘Cuvée X’.
The ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ growing here surprises through its manifold diversity. In other parts of the ‘Burgweg’ site limestone is covered by a moderate loess loam layer creating ideal conditions for the cultivation of full-bodied and voluptuous wines. We also cultivate the old Palatinate grape variety ‘St. Laurent’ in this site.
This site consists of limestone covered by layers of varying depth of loess and loam and is hence a first-rate red wine site. On shallow limestone rock grows the finest Cabernet Sauvignon forming the backbone for our ‘Cuvée X’. In the southern part of the site in the parcel ‘Mergelweg’ limestone is responsible for concentrated and complex Pinot Noirs.
This is a first-class site with its core ‘Halde’. From 1971 this site was known under the name of ‘Mandelberg’ and was only renamed ‘Steinbuckel’ in 2009. Just as in the ‘Kirschgarten’ site the soil here is dominated by limestone. The end results are premium Rieslings with a long ageing potential and the most mineralic ‘Große Gewächs’.
Even our Pinot Gris growing here are so voluptuous that they are predestined for vinification in barrique.
Limestone is also responsible for the mineralic depth of our Pinot Noirs from this site.
Since 2001 we cultivate the core parcel ‘Himmelsrech‘ of this premium site that has been renowned in the region for centuries. Heavily sloping, south exposition and a valley basin that closes to the west makes this a well protected, warm site.
Deep loess and limestone dominate the eastern part while the limestone reduces to the west. This is a first-rate Riesling site that brings forward authentic terroir wines with opulent fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot equally find ideal growing conditions.