70 % Spätburgunder, 11% Frühburgunder, 10 % Riesling, 4% Dornfelder, Chardonnay und Portugieser
Schieferverwitterungsgestein, Grauwacke mit Lehmanteil
VDP: What is so special about your wine estate?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: Family Cossmann has owned this wine estate for twelve generations. In 1977 Wolfgang Hehle married his wife Hella, née Cossmann. He awakened the winery from its slumber and together with Werner Näkel, the entire region. Both vintners are regarded as pioneers of today's high-quality red wine. With its success, the Cossmann-Hehle estate was enlarged and had to relocate to the vineyards at the foot of the Mayschosser Mönchberg. There, high, steep vineyards, surround the winery like an amphitheatre. This location is uniquely beautiful.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: Our responsibility towards nature is enormous. Wolfgang Hehle was a fervent follower of Maria Thun’s moon calendar. According to her recommendations, they planted, pruned, racked and bottled. We work organically for the most part. I am not such a fanatic believer in the lunar calendar, but as a winegrower I certainly work in harmony with nature. Nature allows me exact time frames for the various tasks. Due to capricious weather, it has not become easier to work organically in the vineyard. Despite this, we still protect our vines with sulphur and baking powder, which helps and it protects the environment.
If the weather shows its bad side, I can react with conventional means if necessary. As much as necessary, but as little as possible. The better I tune my work in the vineyard to nature, the less I have to do in the wine cellar. To ensure that pumps in the wine cellar last for many years, we abstain from heir use as much as possible. ... Joking aside, the VDP.GROSSEN GEWÄCHSE® are indeed scooped with buckets into the fermenting vat or wine press. I believe this gentle method has a positive effect. In the cellar, the only thing left to do is to rack – here with a pump – and add the sulphur discreetly, almost according to organic specifications. The work must be done in the vineyard at precisely the right time. That is how quality is achieved!
VDP: To which wine style do you aspire?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: I want to make fine, elegant and balanced wines. In the hot years, we harvest earlier than others. I like fruit, but as a fresh component, not cooked. The oak should never dominate the fruit, acidity and fine minerality. My wines should be capable of ageing and are therefore often not ready to drink immediately after bottling and require maturation in the bottle – even the entry level wines. My favourite grape variety is certainly Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), otherwise I would be in the wrong place here in the Ahr!
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery, as an introduction, so to speak?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: My calling card is naturally the Mayschosser Spätburgunder. This wine is my personal interpretation of the modern “Ahr-Burgundy”. The Pinot Noir grapes grow on slate and the wine is not influenced by oak aromas. Balance of our wines must be right from the entry level to the top.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: I am particularly proud of the Caspar C. This wine was created by Wolfgang Hehle and has a special place at our estate as the flagship and “best value wine”. Since the death of Wolfgang Hehle, I have worked gradually and imperceptibly on the style of our wines, but after six years it is noticeable that the wines have become a little more elegant.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: Wolfgang Hehle and the profession itself are to blame for this. Wolfgang Hehle was the sponsor of my sommelier course in the year 2000. We hit it off immediately and in spring of 2001, I began my internship at Deutzerhof.
Since then, I continue to learn something new every day. Wolfgang showed me everything from the ground up and entrusted me with responsibility. After only a few years I was responsible for the cellar book and the harvest book. He also explained his philosophy to me in winemaking and taught me to taste it. Before Wolfgang Hehle died in March 2013, he said that there are no coincidences. There was a reason he had taught me everything. Now I must demonstrate what I have learned and be the bridge for the coming 14th generation.
VDP: Do you have role models or mentors?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: Of course, Wolfgang Hehle was a role model and mentor for me, but Bernhard Huber was also a very special person. After Wolfgang passed away, I had to put together the VDP.GROSSEN GEWÄCHSE® for the first time alone. I turned to Bernhard Huber for support. A superb vintner and a great person – like the whole family! On one of the few free Sundays he had, I was allowed to visit him and we tasted and analysed my wines together. He was very open and honest.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: Of course, my ultimate goal is to make the Deutzerhof better known. We produce about 35,000 to 37,000 bottles per year. Besides word of mouth and print media, our wines are our best ambassadors. I would also like to hone and perfect the typical Ahr wine style with my Ahr colleagues and make it better known.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Hans-Jörg Lüchau: I would describe the work on the steep slopes as traditional. The terraces, in which no vehicles can drive, are tended according to old customs. The selection of the grape variety, the clone and the rootstock are, of course, enormously important and we are innovative in this respect. We also attach great importance to traditional winemaking. The "natural wine idea" moves us very much. We achieve concentration of red wines solely from free run juice from the mash. Many of our wines are matured in small oak barrels. There is certainly innovation in fermentation technology or in adapting the red wine style to modern tastes.