Office HoursVinothek Freiburg: Mo-Fr 10.00-13.30, 14.00-19.00; Sa 10.00-16.00; Vinothek Blankenhornsberg: Mo-Fr 8.30-12.00, 13.00-17.00; Sa 10.00-16.00 (Mai-Okt.)
Werner Scheffelt & Benedikt Jehle
Spätburgunder, Riesling, Weissburgunder, Ruländer sowie u.a. Gutedel, Chardonnay, Muskateller, Cabernet Carbon, Johanniter
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Bernhard Huber: We are an integral part of the Staatliches Weinbauinstitut Freiburg (State Viticultural Institute Freiburg). We work today on the themes of tomorrow’s sustainable wine production. The Staatsweingut manages the vineyards of the institute, supports its research work and implements new findings and procedures directly in the vineyard.
The Blankenhornsberg estate was founded by the Blankenhorn family in 1842. The son of Adolph Friedrich, Professor Dr. Adolph Blankenhorn, was the co-founder of German viticultural science and played a decisive role in the development of grafting grapevines to combat phylloxera. He was a co-founder of the Baden and German wine associations and their first president.
The vaulted cellar, which is still preserved today, is a contemporary witness to this man, who was so important for the wine industry and a part of Baden’s winegrowing history.
The Staatsweingut manages two of the 100 best vineyard sites, the VDP.GROSSEN LAGE® SCHLOSSBERG in Freiburg and the VDP.GROSSEN LAGE® DOKTORGARTEN in sole ownership.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Bernhard Huber: We manage our unique vineyards sustainably and aspire to be a role model for the wine industry. For us, sustainability means not only that our production processes in the vineyard and in the winery are in harmony with the environment and the health of the consumer, but also socially responsible and financially sustainable. With the competence of the Staatliches Weinbauinstitut behind us and the enormous wealth of experience of our VDP colleagues, we strive to make the unique attributes of our vineyards, which are classified as VDP. GROSSE LAGE®, evident in our wine.
VDP: To which wine style do you aspire?
Bernhard Huber: With our VDP.ERSTE LAGE® wines and the GGs, we cultivate a classic international wine style that is influenced by our proximity to Burgundy. In the GUTSWEIN category, we are open to innovative and modern wine styles and grape varieties. One example of this is our production of wine from new fungus-resistant grape varieties.
VDP: Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Bernhard Huber: Yes, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). For me personally, it is the most misunderstood grape variety. If the yield is restrained, Concentrated, extremely playful and elegant food accompaniments are created.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who doesn't yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Bernhard Huber: The Weissburgunder VDP.ORTSWEIN is the perfect introduction to our Pinot range. But our Chardonnays, the dry Muskateller and our sparkling wines also provide pleasant surprises.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Bernhard Huber: I am proud of our development in recent years. Perhaps we have made the greatest progress with Pinot Noir. When experts at a blind tasting placed our 2011 DOKTORGARTEN Spätburgunder GG in Burgundy, this was a caress for the soul!
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Bernhard Huber: As an agriculturist that chose a tangent career in the wine branch, my career path was quite varied. After 13 years in viticultural research at the Staatliches Weinbauinstitut Freiburg, I was looking for a new challenge and took over as head of the Staatsweingut in 2006. Because I had been intensely involved with our two top locations, VDP.GROSSE LAGE® SCHLOSSBERG in Freiburg and VDP.GROSSE LAGE® DOKTORGARTEN, I felt obliged to accept this opportunity as a great gift.
VDP: Do you have role models?
Bernhard Huber: My Baden VDP.Colleagues, in particular Joachim Heger, were wonderful discussion partners for me in the early years and today. I have benefited greatly from their experience.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Bernhard Huber: With our connection to the Staatliches Weinbauinstitut Freiburg, we have a bonus like no other winery. We only adopt innovations that improve wine quality and are sustainable. This is particularly evident in the cellar. Equipment made of stainless steel, refrigeration technology, air conditioning technology, modern processing equipment, gentle filtration and pumping technologies have brought great improvements. Traditionally, we still work with large or small wooden barrels to mature the wine. The necessary maturation time for the wines is tremendously important to us. This is why our white GGs only enter the market after two years and the Spätburgunder GGs only after 3 years.