“WE WANT TO PRESERVE AS MUCH VINEYARD TERROIR AS POSSIBLE IN THE TASTE OF OUR WINES.”
PHILIP NELLES SPEAKS ABOUT HIS WINES AND HIS WINE ESTATE IN BAD NEUENAHR-HEIMERSHEIM
Göppinger Straße 13 a
53474 Bad Neuenahr-Heimersheim / Ahrtal
Office HoursMo-Fr 9.00-12.00, 14.00-18.00; Sa 10.00-14.00
70% Spätburgunder, 8% Riesling, 5% Frühburgunder sowie Domina & Grauburgunder
Schiefer, Grauwacke, Löss-Lehm
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Philip Nelles: We are a founding member of the VDP.Ahr (1994) and were first mentioned in documents dating 1479. At the moment we are the only winery with a VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS® from basalt soil. We are also the only VDP.Ahr winery with a hotel and restaurant! The name of our Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) “1 AHR” is a nice play on words in German and the fact that we use our barrique barrel numbers, B-52 and B-48, as wine names is also unique.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Philip Nelles: It’s called “tradition obliges”, but because we combine that with joy, passion and enthusiasm for the development of our wine, something new emerges. As a member of Fair’n Green, we attach great importance to environmental sustainability. For example, we do a lot to ensure that insects and especially bees find their natural place in the vineyard. Of course, it is also important to us that the grapes are of the highest quality, combined with careful vinification in order to preserve as much “vineyard terroir” as possible in the taste of the wines. Our red wine is always matured in wooden barrels and we practice “controlled inactivity” in the cellar to preserve the unique minerality, quality and elegance of the individual Ahr vineyard sites.
VDP: To which wine style do you aspire? Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Philip Nelles: The favourite variety is, of course, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and we strive for an elegant and mineral Ahr interpretation of a Burgundian style.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who doesn't yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Philip Nelles: Well, it depends on the person and their taste! A good introduction to Weingut Nelles is naturally a Pinot Noir. Someone who loves powerful wines is most likely to be convinced by our BURGGARTEN B-52 Spätburgunder GG. The “normal” wine drinker will gain a very good impression of our skills with our Pinot Noir VDP.ORTSWEIN. If you are not yet so familiar with the subject of wine, you might be more enthusiastic with a s fruity Blanc de Noir from our Spätburgunder ...
“AS A MEMBER OF FAIR’N GREEN, WE ATTACH GREAT IMPORTANCE TO ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.”
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Philip Nelles: Of course, my first own wine, which I made when I returned to the Ahr after my training and studies: SONNENBERG Spätburgunder GG 1 AHR.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Philip Nelles: I was born a vintner! And I’ve continued out of conviction, passion and joy for nature. It is something very special to accompany and enhance the best quality of the fruit in the vineyard each year.
VDP: Do you have role models, mentors?
Philip Nelles: I trained at the VDP.Estate Fürst in Frankonia and the VDP.Estate Knipser in the Palatinate. Of course, I also see Burgundy as a role model.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Philip Nelles: To perfect the cultivation and vinification of Pinot Noir and to make even better wines. There’s always room for improvement ...
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Philip Nelles: We mature our red wines traditionally in wooden barrels. At the same time, we are perfectionists and therefore always look for innovations in the vineyard and cellar.
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Philip Nelles: We don’t just live in a beautiful landscape; the region is also a paradise for gourmets! You can stay overnight in our hotel and dine in our restaurant. And for fitness there are great bicycling and hiking trails!
Photos: Peter Bender