Born on a winery in Rheinhessen and later a cellar master in Rheingau, Ansgar Galler is no stranger to the wine world. In keeping with Ansgar’s belief that ‘nature sets the rhythm’, his and Katja’s path took a turn with the birth of their first child in 2008 and the couple decided to return to self-employment. This commitment to family shows in their dedication to ecological farming: an approach seeking to support further generations. Founded in 2009, the winery was certified organic in 2017 and has been planted exclusively with PIWIs since 2012. PIWI is an abbreviation for the German ‘Pilzwiderstandsfähig’, meaning fungal resistant, and selecting these hybrid grapes is a core principle for Weingut Galler as it enables them to reduce pesticides to a minimum, relying instead on the grapes’ resilience. Currently with just over half of their 11 hectares planted with PIWIs, Ansgar and Katja look to a future where they will have 100% fungus-resistant varieties.
The Riesling vines grow amid rows of greening – wildflowers and plants which stimulate wildlife and stabilise the soil. A ‘hedge cut’ is used, which encourages the wood to grow in a way that protects the small grapes from hailstorms. These grapes were picked in early October 2016 and gently pressed before being spontaneously fermented in stainless steel tanks. Disgorged after 9 months, the Pet Nat is then matured in the bottle where the fermentation continues. The nose is something like an aged champagne with subtle hints of thyme and ripe apples. It has a well-balanced acidity with the sweet and bitter notes of grapefruit in the mouth, along with pear and herbal tea. Chill at 8 ° C, open shortly before drinking and enjoy as an aperitif, or pair with pumpkin or mushroom risotto.