Désirée Eser Freifrau zu Knyphausen
Désirée Eser Freifrau zu Knyphausen und Joachim Eser
90% Riesling, 10% Spätburgunder
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Dodo Baron zu Knyphausen: We have been growing wine with heart and hand for 10 generations now. In 2007, I became the first woman in this long family tradition to manage the fate of the 11-hectare wine estate. My husband and I have been a dynamic team since 2014, cultivating Riesling and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) with passion and enthusiasm in various Rheingau terroirs. We cultivate more than 20 individual vineyards in eight wine villages, whose individual subtleties are sensitively preserved to yield unique wines. Our winery is listed as a protected historic monument. The wines are vinified and matured in classic oak barrels and stainless steel in our spacious historic cellar with a 350-year-old barrel vault.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Dodo Baron zu Knyphausen: “We are the key to Rheingau Riesling” and “life is too short to drink bad wine”.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive? Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Désirée Eser Baroness zu Knyphausen: Riesling is our favourite grape variety – classic, typical of the Rhineland, elegant, fine, authentic, long-lasting and inspiring.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Dodo Baron zu Knyphausen: “Vom Löss” Oestrich Riesling dry, VDP.ORTSWEIN. A Riesling from our home village, in the style it’s loved most – fruity, playful, with substance, depth and an irresistible drinking pleasure.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Désirée Eser Baroness zu Knyphausen: Of every single one! Despite that, on many occasions the Rieslings that particularly inspire us are from the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® vineyards NUSSBRUNNEN, WISSELBRUNNEN DOOSBERG and LENCHEN as well as from the VDP.ERSTE LAGE® vineyards Rothenberg, Engelmannsberg and Bischofsberg.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Dodo Baron zu Knyphausen: Because it is a creative, enjoyable and varied dream job. Of course, it’s very demanding, but it is fascinating and 100 percent inspiring. After graduating from high school and during our studies in Geisenheim, we went out into the world and looked around elsewhere, especially when it came to wine. Developing our own winery further and continuing the family tradition is a great and challenging task, motivating and exciting at the same time. Désirée is the 10th winegrowing generation of the Eser family, while I am the eighth wine generation of the Baron Knyphausen family. Thus, the noble grape juice flows, especially the Riesling, in our veins. At the age of three, Désirée already announced in kindergarten, “I want to do what my dad and grandpa do.” Sometimes your own conviction and determination is quite straightforward.
VDP: Do you have role models, mentors?
Dodo Baron zu Knyphausen: There are many, because in every phase of life and in every life situation we encounter impressive people and stories that enthral, captivate and influence us.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Désirée Eser Baroness zu Knyphausen: A winery is like a vineyard; it lives and develops continuously. In particular, we are constantly driving the winery forward, thinking of the 11th generation ahead of us. It is our declared goal to produce long-lasting wines that combine the uniqueness, character and authenticity of each individual vineyard. We are particularly pleased about the increasing demand for our wines in the most diverse export markets worldwide.
VDP: Do you stick to traditions, if so, which ones?
Dodo Baron zu Knyphausen: We give our wines time and are, in many ways, observers of developments. We don’t like styled wines or mass-produced standard wines, because enjoyment needs complexity.
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Désirée Eser Baroness zu Knyphausen: We are a Rheingau family winery. Worth seeing are certainly our barrel vault filled with oak barrels, our romantic courtyard and, of course, our wide-ranging single-vineyard wine collection. The Rheingau is always worth a visit and we are located in the heart of the region in Oestrich!