VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Johannes Höfler: Our winery is located in the north-westernmost part of Franken, where our vines grow on so-called ‘primary rock’, a 420-million-year-old quartzite mica schist. This soil is unique in Franken. From our APOSTELGARTEN vineyard, classified as VDP.GROSSE LAGE®, you have a marvellous view over the Rhine-Main area and the Frankfurt skyline. No Flurbereinigung (land consolidation measures) have been undertaken here and the vineyard is listed as a protected historical monument.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Johannes Höfler: In harmony with nature and the environment, we produce wines that possess character, depth and above all individuality.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Johannes Höfler: On the one hand, we produce wines with single-vineyard character, minerality, a deep variety of nuances and tremendous ageing potential. On the other hand, we also produce wines that are simply fun, aromatic and easy-drinking. Riesling is the grape variety that makes both perfectly possible!
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Johannes Höfler: Our Riesling VDP.GUTSWEIN, because it already brilliantly shows where the journey is going.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Johannes Höfler: Of the VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE® APOSTELGARTEN. For more than a decade, these Rieslings have perfectly reflected the characteristics of their vintage and the potential of the location. Each vintage is unique.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Johannes Höfler: Because it is probably one of the most varied and beautiful professions in the world – starting with vineyard and development in the cellar to questions of technology and marketing.
VDP: Do you have role models?
Johannes Höfler: My grandfather Karl, who passed on his love for his work and wine to me.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Johannes Höfler: The conversion to biodynamic viticulture.
VDP: What would you compare to making wine?
Johannes Höfler: Even if you might be surprised, making wine and surfing have a lot in common. Both are dependent on nature. You are often surprised and challenged by the power of nature, be it the waves or the weather. Timing is crucial in whether something succeeds or fails. If at the end a good wine succeeds or you get the perfect wave, then it was more than worth the effort and the work!
VDP: If your wine were music, what would it be?
Johannes Höfler: From classical to reggae.