VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Robert Schätzle: Noble grape varieties were already planted on our steep sites, the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® MAUERBERG and VDP.GROSSE LAGE GOLDENES LOCH and the VDP.ERSTE LAGE® Schlossberg in the 12th century. The arkosic sandstone with high feldspar and quartzite content that is found in these top sites ripens Riesling into wines that rank among the best nationally and internationally. Not only the geological conditions are special, but also the climatic conditions. The vineyards lie between 200 and 400 metres above sea level. The annual rainfall has meanwhile dropped to approximately 800 l/m², so our vineyards actually benefit from climate change. On the edge of the Rhine Plain, at the end of the Schneckenbach Valley, the warm ascending winds from the Rhine Plain during the day and the cool descending winds from the Black Forest in the evening hours ensure optimum ripeness and the necessary acidity.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Robert Schätzle: “Time brings roses” means giving the wines plenty of time to evolve in absolute harmony with nature and people. I also want to fully express origin in the wines.
VDP: To which wine style do you aspire?
Robert Schätzle: Through strict selection, we vinify delicate, crisp wines with perceptible minerality and complexity. My favourite grape variety is, of course, Riesling!
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Robert Schätzle: Our Riesling VDP.GUTSWEIN. It is perfect for getting to know our Riesling variety. A wine for all occasions!
VDP: Of Which wine are you particularly proud?
Robert Schätzle: We have a select range of excellent wines from the VDP.ERSTE LAGE® Neuweierer Schlossberg, as well as the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® GOLDENES LOCH and VDP.GROSSE LAGE® MAUERBERG. I am proud of all three vineyard sites, which are steep slopes with unique soil structure and south exposure.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Robert Schätzle: After my studies to become a biotechnologist and many, many hours in laboratories, I increasingly became drawn back to my roots. Many generations of my family cultivated vineyards on the Kaiserstuhl. At some point I could no longer resist this and decided to make my own wine again.
VDP: Do you have role models or mentors?
Robert Schätzle: My mentors were Joachim Heger, Fritz Keller and Denis Dubourdieu.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Robert Schätzle: To become a 100 % organic winegrower and to vinify all wines with 100 % spontaneous fermentation.