Dr. Franz Werner Michel
98% Riesling, 2% Spätburgunder
tiefgründige, kalkhaltige und mineralreiche Böden mit Süd-Ausrichtung
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Dr. Franz Michel: Our classicist manor house under old chestnut trees is listed as a protected historic monument! We are an owner-operated family business in the seventh and eighth generations – dedicated to the memory of Deacon Franz Werner, who saved Mainz Cathedral from demolition during the French Revolution. Our focus is on exports: two thirds of the harvest goes to about 25 countries around the globe.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Dr. Franz Michel: Tradition meets innovation. Tradition means 100 percent of the grapes we vinify come from our own vineyards in Hochheim with no additional purchases of fruit or commercial wine. Innovation means sustainability in the vineyard and modern production methods in the cellar.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Catharina Mauritz: Our passion is Riesling in all its facets, from dry to fruity, from light to concentrated and long-lasting.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Catharina Mauritz: Our VDP.GUTSWEIN Riesling dry, or for those who don’t know Riesling yet, also our Classic.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Dr. Franz Michel: Of the dry Riesling from the VDP classified VDP.ERSTEN LAGEN®.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Dr. Franz Michel: We winegrowers have three exciting professions: farmers outside in nature, oenologists in the cellar, and merchants in sales and distribution. After I retired, I had the chance to make a dream come true by continuing the Hochheim winery as a family heir!
Catharina Mauritz: That we have everything in our hands, from planting the vineyard to selling the finished wine, is incredibly fascinating. On the one hand, we are lone fighters with our company; on the other hand, we move in the large world-wide wine family with friendly contacts among colleagues, partners and customers. To lead a company with seven generations of history into the future for the next generations in times of great change is an additional inspiration.
VDP: Do you have role models?
Dr. Franz Michel: At the Geisenheim Research Station in 1953, my teacher was Gerhard Troost, a pioneer of modern cellar management.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Dr. Franz Michel: The handover of the business with healthy vineyards and future-oriented marketing in Germany and worldwide.
Catharina Mauritz: To drive forward the constant change in viticulture with a good portion of courage and still remain true to the tradition of our history.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Dr. Franz Michel: The numerous family members easily account for that: all the children and grandchildren are involved in important events!
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Dr. Franz Michel: My tip: The panoramic hiking trail from my estate through the top vineyard, DOMDECHANEY VDP.GROSSE LAGE®, to the late baroque castle and the proud parish church – best after a wine tasting with us. Here you have a wonderful view over the landscape during a walk to the west over the Rhine and to the east up to the Odenwald.
Catharina Mauritz: And here you can experience our passion for wine in general and Riesling in particular!
Pictures: © VDP.Weingut Domdechant Werner teilweise by Robert Dieth