“ALL OUR WINES ARE FERMENTED AND MATURED IN THE TRADITIONAL FUDER BARREL.”
DOROTHEE ZILLIKEN SPEAKS ABOUT HER WINES AND WINERY IN SAARBURG
Office Hoursnach Vereinbarung
Hans-Joachim & Dorothee Zilliken
Devon-Schiefer und Diabas
VDP:What is so special about your winery?
Dorothee Zilliken: All our wines are fermented and matured in the traditional Fuder barrel of Mosel. We have up to 95 percent humidity in our two-storey cellar and it is always 11 °C (52 °F) cool. These factors provide ideal conditions for slow fermentation, as well as for the perfect storage of wine bottles in our treasure chamber for decades.
VDP:What is your winery philosophy?
Dorothee Zilliken: The best vineyards can produce the best wines. This potential must be exploited each year.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Dorothee Zilliken: Our Rieslings should always be elegant, filigree, expressive and inspire the joy of drinking.
VDP:Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Dorothee Zilliken: Our VDP.GUTSWEIN Zilliken Riesling Butterfly is the ideal entry-level wine, because its delicate, tart character makes it very approachable and a versatile accompaniment to food. A very elegant, typical Saar style, appetizing Riesling.
VDP:Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Dorothee Zilliken: Of our Riesling Kabinett from the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® RAUSCH. It has always been a very important wine for us, and it is now even trendy without us having to pretend.
VDP:Do you have any role models?
Dorothee Zilliken: My father Hanno Zilliken and Egon Müller.
VDP:How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Dorothee Zilliken: Our family has been growing wine on the Saar for more than 270 years. I am the eleventh generation. There are many traditions to which we abide. Exclusively Riesling grows on our steep slopes. All our wines are fermented and matured in our cool, humid cellar in traditional Fuder barrels. Our labels are also very classic and show our two family coats of arms. The winery is still called Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken. My great-great-grandfather Ferdinand Geltz was a founding member of today’s VDP Mosel in 1908 and made a great effort to achieve the acclaimed reputation of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer wines. At the same time, we are also open to innovations. Since the 2002 vintage, for example, our winery has produced the off-dry VDP.GUTSWEIN Zilliken Riesling Butterfly. Thanks to the catchy name and the appealing label, we were able to appeal to a different audience and open up new markets.
“OUR RAUSCH RIESLING KABINETT IS TRENDY - WITHOUT US HAVING TO PRETEND TO BE.”
VDP:Why should people visit your winery?
Dorothee Zilliken: Because after a walk through the hiking trails along the steep slopes of the VDP vineyards in a unique cultural landscape, you can relax in the region’s typical inns and award-winning restaurants.
VDP:What would you compare to making wine?
Dorothee Zilliken: I don’t know if there’s anything as individual, sensitive, sensual and handcrafted in the world that is subject to very different climatic conditions every year.