It is the totality of microclimate, soil structure and topography that together makes up the so-called terroir. This unique interaction of natural factors determines the growth of the vines, and gives the wine its unmistakable character.
Great wines are reflections of the place where they have grown, their vineyard site, their terroir. The unique character of these wines is thus not a maximum of technical knowledge applied by the cellar master, nor of the highest possible sugar content in the grapes.
In central and southern Europe, wine producers have been working with their terroir for centuries. In great wine-producing countries such as France, wines produced from the best sites (Grands Crus and Premiers Crus) enjoy specific protection by law. And it is no coincidence that these sites are planted with specific grape varieties, which have shown over time that they will, in combination with the character of the terroir, produces the greatest wines.
This great precedent in history equates to our confidence in grading and rating our own terroir. As a result, we started in 1990 to classify our appellations according to our own strict criteria. Our classification is based on geological findings and climatological experience, and results in practically the same findings as those of the historical site evaluation carried out in the Kingdom of Bavaia in 1828.
It is our endeavour to represent the very individual characteristics of each top-rated site in the wines produced there. Taking this to the logical conclusion, we are not really producing primarily a Riesling, but a Kirchenstück or a Pechstein. Riesling just happens to be the perfect tool capable of expressing this terroir character.
Cradle of the basalt rock that defines our Grand Cru sites in Forst
Healthy soils are our capital, that is how
terroir comes to be expressed in the wine.