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Insider tip for top wines from the best German sites

by Bettina Bäck
Gut Hermannsberg

Germany’s Gut Hermannsberg is renowned for having all seven of its sites classified as  

VDP.Grosse.Lage, the highest VDP vineyard classification. But it also vinifies two village wines and one cuvée from these exact same sites: ‘Vom Schiefer’, ‘Vom Vulkan’ and ‘7 Terroirs’. These first-class terroir wines are crafted with grapes harvested from 15 to 30-year-old ‘young’ vines. They show site characteristics with great precision but are accessible much earlier. 

2023 vintage  

“2023 is a vintage entirely in line with our expectations,” says Gut Hermannsberg Managing Director Jasper Reidel. This refers to the expressive fresh component of the vintage, which runs through all sites and quality levels. Even though 2023 was a challenging year between periods of heavy rain and drought, the turbulence contributed to the incredibly complex, dense wines with energetic tension and outstanding freshness. It's a good thing that wine drinkers don't have to wait for the Grosses Gewächs to be released to enjoy this pleasure:  

2023 7 Terroirs  

For this Riesling cuvée, winemaker Karsten Peter selects predominantly younger vines from all seven of the Grosse Lage sites. He cultivates the sites separately, spontaneously ferments them, before allowing the wines to mature on the fine lees for several months and then creates the cuvée. Complexity is thus pre-programmed. The palate is a dance of power and lightness with smoky, mineral notes, deep herbal flavours and citrus and stone fruit components.  

‘Vom Schiefer' and ‘Vom Vulkan’ are the so-called “second wines” from the top Hermannsberg and Kupfergrube sites. All the grapes are sourced entirely from those respective vineyards. Their advantage lies in the fact that they are accessible earlier than the Grosses Gewächs wines, while still clearly conveying the terroir of the two exceptional sites. Both Rieslings are spontaneously fermented and vinified dry. They show maximum precision and minerality:  

2023 Vom Schiefer 

Typical of Hermannsberg: the clay-slate soil with a loess layer is the source of the unmistakable Hermannsberg minerality. A bouquet of citrus fruit, green apple and flint, carried by lightness and freshness.  

2023 Vom Vulkan 

Typical of Kupfergrube: The Rieslings from the Kupfergrube always show intense grapefruit flavours as well as herbal, spicy and smoky aromas. Enormously fresh with great tension and animation on the palate with the unmistakable dense minerality of volcanic rock.

About Gut Hermannsberg

The original “Royal Prussian Winegrowing Domaine” was founded in 1902 as a state-run model winery for Riesling. It is notable for its picturesque location above the Nahe River (90 minutes southwest of Frankfurt am Main). Every one of the storied estate’s 30 hectares of vineyard has been classified by the VDP as a GROSSE.LAGE.

Gut Hermannsberg
Vormals Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne
55585 Niederhausen
Germany

Gut Hermannsberg

Bettina Bäck von Wine+Partners
Bettina Bäck
Senior Project Manager

Bettina has been with Wine+Partners since 2002, with countless projects domestic and international under her belt. She currently manages sommelier world champion Marc Almert, the culinary think tank Koch.Campus, the Styrian wineries Weingut Muster.Gamlitz, Weingut Langmann and the STK wineries, the culinary concept store Kärntnerei and the Kozlović wine estate in Istria.