“WINE IS PASSION AND MEANS HOME TO US!”
MEIKE UND DÖRTE NÄKEL SPEAK ABOUT THEIR WINES AND WINERY IN DERNAU
Office Hoursnach Vereinbarung: Mo-Fr 9.00-12.00, 14.00-17.00; Sa 11.00-16.00
Werner, Meike & Dörte Näkel
75% Spätburgunder, 12% Frühburgunder, 5% Weissburgunder, 5% Riesling, 3% diverse Sorten
Schiefer- und Grauwackeverwitterungsgestein
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Dörte Näkel: Our winery is located in the Ahr, a tiny wine-growing area, but it is the largest contiguous red wine growing area in Germany. 80 percent of our vineyard area consists of Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Frühburgunder (Pinot Noir Précoce), which we cultivate here in steep, slate slopes!
“THE BARREN, ROCKY SLATE SOIL ON STEEP SLOPES YIELDS MINERAL, ELEGANT, TAUT WINES.”
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Meike Näkel: Our wines are authentic. They reflect the unique terroir of our vineyards in the Ahr. Our focus is clearly on Pinot Noir. Our aim is to bring as much origin as possible into the bottle.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Dörte Näkel: The barren, rocky slate soil on the steep slopes yields mineral, elegant and taut wines. You can taste this in the glass.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Meike Näkel: Our “Blauschiefer” Dernauer Spätburgunder dry VDP.ORTSWEIN. For us, this is a prototype for slate-derived style!
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Dörte Näkel: Of our KRÄUTERBERG Spätburgunder GG VDP.GROSSE LAGE®. This is an old terrace that demands 100 percent manual labour and yields extremely unique Pinots.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Meike Näkel: Dörte already wanted to become a vintner as a little girl. Her “enlightenment” came to her in her kindergarten years when she stamped around with her rubber boots in the grape stems. It took me a little longer. It wasn’t until I was 19 and working as an intern at Joachim Heger’s winery on the Kaiserstuhl that I became convinced. My training with him, and later with Paul Fürst, gave me a different perspective on my profession and made a lasting impression on me. Very important: wine is passion and for us, it also means home!
VDP: Do you have role models or mentors?
Meike and Dörte Näkel: First of all, our father Werner. Right from the start, he placed unlimited trust in us. But also the many other mentors we met during our training and with whom we had the privilege to work.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Meike Näkel: We want to continue working on quality and authenticity; every year is a new exciting challenge!
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Dörte Näkel: We live the tradition of winegrowing in our family in the 5th generation. During that time, viticulture and cellar management have undergone massive changes. Today we have great technical possibilities for cultivating our steep slopes, but our work in the cellar is still very much handcraft.
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Meike Näkel: Our wine landscape on the Ahr River on its own is worth a visit. The narrow valley and its steep slopes are simply beautiful!
Photos: Peter Bender