75% Riesling, 12% Grauer Burgunder, 8% Spätburgunder und weitere Rebsorten
Blauer Devonschiefer, schiefriger Lösslehm-Quartär
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Jochen Ratzenberger: We are a true family business located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a truly breathtaking natural landscape. The region has been shaped by viticulture for centuries. Our winery has over 300 years of history. Our wines are matured in groin-vaulted cellars and are grown on south-facing steep slopes with blue slate soils.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Jochen Ratzenberger: We want to preserve what nature gives us in the slate slopes. Selective manual harvest and small yields are the foundation for the superb quality of our wines. We work very gently in the cellar with natural ambient yeasts and slow fermentations. This results in wines with tremendous ageing potential.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Jochen Ratzenberger: We love authentic Riesling. Straightforward, finely structured elegance and pedigree characterise the wines from our valley. That’s what we want to preserve and emphasise – both for the dry and the fruity Riesling wine styles.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Jochen Ratzenberger: Our VDP.ORTSWEIN and our VDP.ERSTE LAGE® wines are clear calling cards and a great introduction to our wide range of wines. Our Kabinett and Spätlese wines enchant with their play between sweetness and acidity and their light alcohol content.
VDP: Of which wines are you particularly proud?
Jochen Ratzenberger: Our Riesling sparkling wine, which we have been producing for many years using the traditional method of bottle fermentation with long storage on the yeast.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Jochen Ratzenberger: Even as a child, I spent a lot of time in the vineyards; every day was an adventure! I became aware relatively early that being a vintner is a marvellous profession and being able to make wine is a great pleasure. Each wine is unique; no year is like the other. Nature is wonderful!
VDP: Do you have role models, mentors?
Jochen Ratzenberger: My father always had a keen eye and has worked consistently on quality in the vineyard and cellar right from the start.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Jochen Ratzenberger: We would like to pass our wine estate on to the next generation; chances look good! We hope that our children will continue to grow wine here with the same joy and enthusiasm.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Jochen Ratzenberger: Tradition is omnipresent here. We use new ideas in our aspirations to make our wines even more authentic and in treating nature with ever greater care.
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Jochen Ratzenberger: The Rhine Valley, the Loreley, the castles – these are all fascinating destinations that are well worth a visit. A hike along the Rhine trail or one of the “Traumschleifen” trails into the side valleys, along the steep vineyards, is a great experience. My favourite places are the rugged edges of the Rhine Valley with a magnificent view like Maria Ruh opposite the Loreley.