Geheimrat J.Wegeler - Gutshaus Rheingau
Office HoursMo-Fr 8.00-17.00; Sa 11.00-16.00; Sonntags und an Feiertagen von 11.00-16.00
Ralf Frenzel (Spokesperson for the owner families)
Michael Burgdorf & Andreas Holderrieth
Schiefer, Taunusquarzit, Kies, Sandeinlagerungen, kalkhaltiger Löss
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- Wine in Moderation
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Richard Grosche: Clearly the sites. And the variety of soils we are allowed to work with.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Richard Grosche: The winery founder Julius Wegeler is always quoted as saying "Quality is our philosophy." This has not changed since 1882.
VDP: For what wine style do you strive?
Richard Grosche: We always want to reflect the respective terroir and the vintage in the best possible way and produce Rieslings that still tell exciting stories even after decades.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Richard Grosche: For me, the estate wines are the liquid business cards of every winery. They must clearly present the style of the house and their origin. In the Rheingau this is our "Loess", on the Mosel the "Slate".
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Richard Grosche: To the Geheimrat "J". The visionary cellar master and operations manager Norbert Holderrieth had created the wine as a cuvée of the best terroirs from our vineyard portfolio in the Rheingau for the first time with the 1983 vintage, thus creating something that had not existed in Germany before: a great dry Riesling.
VDP: Why did you become a winegrower? When did your calling come? Is there a special experience?
Richard Grosche: It would be presumptuous to call me a winemaker, I don't really have the classical training for that. I am a career changer and rather self-taught when it comes to wine. However, I was allowed to get to know the wine industry from many different angles, and this has had a massive influence on me and my actions to this day: during my studies as a bartender in a wine bar and as a temp in a very well-stocked wine shop. Then for ten years as a wine journalist, chief taster of a specialist wine publishing house and later also editor-in-chief. In parallel, as head of a wine academy and lecturer for international wine marketing. The last step was then the change to the other side of the tasting table. I was allowed to look over the shoulders of the best agronomists and cellar masters all over the world and learn from them. Discussing with estate managers, sales managers and marketing experts and learning to fully understand the background of the respective areas. 20 years in the wine industry and the exchanges have shaped me and I never stop wandering through the wine world with open eyes, ears and, of course, nose.
VDP: Do you have or did you have role models or mentors?
Richard Grosche: So many people have left their mark on me, and all in different fields. My most exciting and formative interview as a journalist was certainly with Angelo Gaja, who in eight hours spent together gave me his understanding of branding in the wine industry and love for the product. Besides all the food for thought, I was fascinated by the sheer unbridled passion for the subject of wine.
VDP: What are your next goals?
Richard Grosche: To lead the Wegeler estates back to the top of the German league. We have the sites - and the team!
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Richard Grosche: Even a traditional house that wants to maintain a timeless style is naturally confronted with constantly changing conditions. Be it climate change, import restrictions on wine in certain export markets, geopolitical tensions with all their repercussions - you have to remain constantly flexible. And innovations, such as Geheimrat J in the early 1980s or the first great dry single-vineyard Rieslings from 1992 onwards, have become classics today.
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Richard Grosche: To experience the spirit with which we do what we do.
VDP: If your wine were music, what would it be?
Richard Grosche: With the enormous variety we have through the two growing regions and the most diverse terroirs, jazz with its infinite variance of varieties will probably fit best as a comparison.
Photos: Sandra Fehr / Heroes of Riesling