Karl-Heinz Wehrheim und Franz Wehrheim
40% Riesling, 25% Pinot Blanc, 15% Spätburgunder, 10% Grauburgunder, 5% Chardonnay, 5% St.Laurent
VDP: What is so special about your wine estate?
Franz Wehrheim: We have a unique variety of vineyard locations within a very small area; the terroir is more varied in our wine region than anywhere else in Germany. From Rotliegend (bright red mix of slate and sandstone) to Bunter sandstone and shell limestone to Keuper shale, we have four completely different soils. This, of course, results in exciting cultivation possibilities for all our grape varieties. This also means great individuality with the same macroclimate. Those who make the right use of these vineyards can achieve the highest quality levels, especially with Pinot varieties and Riesling. And that is what we are doing, now in the fourth generation. You are welcome to visit us: the winery and its art nouveau courtyard are also a visual delight!
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Franz Wehrheim: We want our wines to reflect their natural environment, to essentially accompany the wine into the bottle. Afterall, wine grows in the vineyard! Sustainability is a matter close to our hearts: future generations should also be able to continue winegrowing in the same way.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Franz Wehrheim: Complex and concentrated wines, but not fat. They should simultaneously be elegant and expressive.
VDP: Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Franz Wehrheim: To be honest, no. I am lucky not to have to make up my mind.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who doesn’t yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak...
Franz Wehrheim: A wine from our VDP.ORTSWEIN category is a very good illustration of the purity of our vinification: Riesling from Rotliegend soil or Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) from shell limestone.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Franz Wehrheim: In general, these are naturally our VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS® wines from the MANDELBERG, KASTANIENBUSCH or the KASTANIENBUSCH “KÖPPEL” vineyards. The most remarkable development in recent years has certainly been our Spätburgunder. The 2015 VDP.GROSSE LAGE® KASTANIENBUSCH “KÖPPEL” Spätburgunder GG, exhibits incredible potential.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Franz Wehrheim: After my business studies in Mannheim, I quickly realised that heart and soul was missing in many professions. Through various internships, apprenticeships and viticulture studies, I quickly gained experience in viticulture and was profoundly fascinated by the versatility and emotionality. Of course, the profession is also risky because of the great dependence on the weather, but every winegrower learns to deal with it and strives to understand nature – every year anew!
VDP: Do you have role models?
Franz Wehrheim: Of course, my grandfather and father are role models and important people for me. There are also other winegrowers, such as the “Five Vintners - Five Friends”, from whom I have benefitted and learned a lot.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Franz Wehrheim: Strengthening German wine culture, further advancing German viticulture and leading it upwards on an international level. We have great potential and don’t have to hide from countries like France. Of course, we must continue to perpetually improve our quality.