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Felix Prinz zu Salm-Salm
Felix Prinz zu Salm-Salm
73% Riesling, 12% Spätburgunder, 7% Weissburgunder, 4% Grauburgunder, 2% Scheurebe und 2% Merlot
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm: I (laughs). The winery has been in family hands for over 800 years, with a clear focus on this family tradition. Worth seeing and visiting is our historical castle with its 450 year old cellar vault. Geologically unique is the green slate here in Wallhausen. It gives us clear, elegant wines with fresh notes of citrus and green apple.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm: To get closer to the perfect moment every year in terms of the various work steps, such as harvesting, racking - the whole process.
VDP: What wine style do you strive for?
Prince Felix to Salm-Salm: We want to work out the optimum from the grape varieties, what makes up their character. I like Riesling when it is slender and filigree, but I also like a VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS® or a powerful and expressive Burgundy. Depending on the situation.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who doesn't yet know your winery - as an introduction, so to speak?
Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm: Riesling vom Grünschiefer, it is the unique selling point of our winery, because green slate is only available here in Wallhausen and Dalberg. In addition, it is clear and elegant and stands for the Nahe.
VDP: Which wine are you particularly proud of?
Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm: Certainly on our 2018 VDP.ERSTE LAGE® Sommerlocher Steinrossel Riesling dry - because it is the first wine under the direction of my wife. She does not originally come from the wine sector and has not completed any training. It is rather learning by doing. She has worked for Theresa Breuer and is a real enrichment for the winery, as she wants to try out many new things: for example more wood, longer yeast storage and, above all, the ripening of the grapes on the vine two to three weeks longer.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Prince Felix to Salm-Salm: My enlightenment came on 31 August 2001: my last day in the Bundeswehr. I drove on the A61 where you cross the Nahe. It rained extremely and I prayed for the wine. In prayer, I suddenly asked myself seriously: "Dear God, why don't I make wine?" Actually, I was already registered for BWL. Four weeks later I started my first internship with Bernhard Breuer. Had I started with BWL, I would probably still be studying...
VDP: Do you have role models?
Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm: Jesus, because he turned water into wine!
VDP: What are your next goals?
Prince Felix to Salm-Salm: "Make Scharlachberg great again!" 100 years ago, Scharlachberg was one of the top 10 vineyards in Germany. This is where we would like to bring the situation back through consistent quality work and recultivation. Recently, however, we have already achieved a lot: the vinotheque conversion and from 2019 the bar in front of the castle over the summer.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Prince Felix to Salm-Salm: As already mentioned at the beginning, our 32nd generation family tradition is very important to us. We combine tradition and innovation by listening to our father. I can do this better and better over time - and also accept advice. We want to continue the wines we have been making for centuries with a new design. The packaging should be classic but modern and appealing. And we want to cultivate our land, which we have cultivated for centuries, with "new" old methods.
Pictures: © VDP.Weingut Prinz Salm by Robert Dieth