“THE BARON KNYPHAUSEN FAMILY HAS OWNED THE ESTATE FOR OVER 200 YEARS.”
FREDERIK ZU KNYPHAUSEN SPEAKS ABOUT HIS WINES AND WINE ESTATE IN ELTVILLE AM RHEIN
Erbacher Straße 28
Office HoursWinter Mo-Mi 10.00-16.00; Do+Fr 10.00-18.00; Sa+So 10.00-16.00 Uhr (Jan+Feb Sonntag geschlossen)
Frederik zu Knyphausen
80% Riesling, 10% Spätburgunder, 5% Roter Riesling, 5% andere
Lösslehm und Löss, mit Kalk, Kies und Mergel-Anteilen
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Our winery is located in an old Cistercian farmhouse that once belonged to Kloster Eberbach. The Baron Knyphausen family has owned the estate for over 200 years now. The main focus is Riesling, but we also cultivate Roter Riesling and a "Historischen Rebensatz“ - a field blend of seven different grape varieties. We are very proud of our small vineyard VDP.GROSSE LAGE® MARCOBRUNN. We are probably the only winery to have a wine totem: a wooden column that stands conspicuously in front of our manor house. Different vineyard tasks over the four seasons are carved on it.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Building modernism on tradition: This is reflected not only in the wines, but also in the architecture. We live the VDP philosophy quite strictly and assign our wines to a clear profile.
VDP: For which wine style do you strive?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Clear wines with complexity, charm and playful acidity.
VDP: Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Rheingau Riesling!
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who doesn’t yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Our two VDP.GUTSWEIN wines ‘1141’ and ‘1818’: both Riesling, one dry, one feinherb (semi-sweet). They are blends from different vineyards that belong to us and they exhibit the foundation of our VDP.ORTSWEIN and our VDP.ERSTE LAGE® wines quite well.
VDP: Of which wines are you particularly proud?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Of our VDP.GUTSWEIN CHARTA, every year anew!
“FOR ME, VITICULTURE IS A TRADITION BY ITS VERY NATURE. EVERY YEAR YOU HAVE TO MAKE MANY CULTIVATION DECISIONS.”
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: Ultimately, I’m not a trained winegrower. I would rather call myself an entrepreneur in the wine sector. After business training and studies, I first worked at a private bank in Frankfurt and for an industrial group in Hamburg. It was not until 2015 that I returned to the Rheingau and took over the farm and winery from my father. I entrusted the winemaking to my cellar master Arne Wilken. Together, we taste the wines and coordinate them before filling.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: We just opened a wine tavern on our property and now want to lead it to success all year round with a new gastronomy concept.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: One example is our knypHAUS, a farm shop with integrated vinotheque and wine tavern in our old tractor hall – all in a modern industrial style. You can taste wine in a modern way here. The building integrates perfectly into the structure of the historic neighbouring buildings without being obtrusive.
VDP: Do you stick to traditions, if so, which ones?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: For me, winemaking is a tradition by its very nature. Every year you have to make many cultivation decisions. You can only do that with experience. I am very happy that my father, born in 1939, continues to support me and my winemaker in discussing vineyard management and wine selection with us.
VDP: If your wine were music, what would it be?
Frederik zu Knyphausen: I like drinking wine in a ‘chill’ atmosphere with Deep House Club beats – music that drives and animates as well as having thoughtful lyrics. Music like that from my brother Gisbert, with whom we organize a festival on our farm every year. The Rheingau Riesling is just as multifaceted.