Im Eberstal 1
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VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Rudolf May: The unusually high share of Silvaner vines. Our wines are very mineral and have extremely low residual sugar, usually less than 2.0 g/l. In addition, the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® HIMMELSPFAD, a striking steep vineyard slope that cannot be overlooked at the western entrance to Retzstadt, belongs nearly entirely to our estate.
VDP:What is your winery philosophy?
Rudolf May: We try to make the shell limestone soil that prevails here perceptible in our wines by using chemicals as little as possible in the vineyard and cellar. This is why we converted to organic farming. We believe in the old vineyards that we attentively cultivate.
VDP: To which wine style do you aspire?
Rudolf May: The white wines should be lean, filigree and persistent. Silvaner demonstrates this particularly well. Good ageing potential is also important to us, not just for Silvaner, but also for Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Rudolf May: Retzstadt Silvaner VDP.ORTSWEIN – mineral with a certain lightness.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Rudolf May: VDP.GROSSE LAGE® HIMMELSPFAD Silvaner GG. This is the oldest vineyard (56 years old) and one of the steepest in our hometown, Retzstadt. Every year it reliably produces incredibly tasty grapes, which yield marvellously vibrant wines. Awesome!
VDP:Why did you become a vintner?
Rudolf May: My father was a farmer who also had a small vineyard from which he supplied grapes to wine producers. Through this, I came into contact with vines very early in my childhood. That wasn’t always only positive. My dream job was initially to become a bricklayer, because we were always building on the farm and I was fascinated by the progress you could immediately see. I also thought about becoming a sports reporter, because I was so enthusiastic about sport events. It wasn’t until later that I was drawn to the vineyard and the cellar. Later, during my training as a wine-growing technician, I was able to taste some of the great international wines. I can still remember the 1990 Cos d’Estournel – the first great wine I consciously tasted. This experience was like a thunderclap – incredible, just what wine can be! That was the “lightbulb” moment that inspired me to want to create such wines myself one day.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Rudolf May: To convert to organic farming and manage the winery very sustainably. To reliably produce the best Silvaner wines possible each year. To increase the proportion of wooden barrels. To purchase vineyards in the best locations in our vicinity. To restrict the grape variety assortment to two grape varieties: 80 % Silvaner and 20 % Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
VDP:How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Rudolf May: We are the first generation at our winery, which is why we have a relatively free hand, but the traditional grape variety of the Franken region, Silvaner, is very close to our hearts. We like to interpret it in an international style with perceptible influence of oak barrels.