Württemberg, Germany

Οlympia and Hannes met at Geisenheim, Germany’s reputed university for viticulture and oenology. At the time neither of them planned to start a winery but today their finely crafted, fiercely biodynamic wines shine out in a region known for conventional agriculture. After their studies Olympia and Hannes worked in wineries across California, France and Austria, always in the same area but never at the same winery, on the basis this would double their experience. In 2014 they returned to Rosswag where Hannes grew up, a spot surrounded by forest on a sweeping curve of the river Enz. Here they took on 0.5 ha of Riesling and Lemberger from Hannes’ grandparents, the latter a variety they had learned to love in Austria under the name Blaufränkisch. Before long, they found a Pinot Noir vineyard. The vineyards are steeply terraced and south-facing, planted on the same blue shell limestone found in Jura. Now with 3.5 ha, Olympia is adamant they’ve reached capacity, despite offers of the many plots being abandoned in the area. While they’ve found forward-thinking, time-saving solutions, like distributing compost teas using drones, the couple are determined to maintain quality over quantity.

Riesling ‘22 was a great vintage with an abundant yield and good acidity. Typically a late ripener, Olympia and Hannes harvest Riesling early; the drystone walls of the terraces absorb and hold the sun’s heat and, combined with well-balanced biodynamic care, the grapes ripen slowly but fully, with low alcohol and no harsh acidity. The grapes are crushed underfoot, left for a day on the skins before pressing and given almost a year on full lees. A small amount of sulphur is added at bottling to guarantee a safe onward journey, ensuring that ‘no matter who opens the bottle, it's still the wine we made.’ A bright wine with straightforward acidity, a herbal touch and a hint of lemon.

This wine is part of
Volume 61: the autumn edition