“I WOULD ALMOST CALL MY PREFERENCE FOR RIESLING AN EARLY CHILDHOOD ATTRIBUTE.”
DIRECTOR BÄRBEL WEINERT ABOUT HER WINES AND THE WINERY IN JOHANNISBERG
Prinz von Hessen
Office HoursDienstag bis Samstag 12.00-17.00 Uhr Sonntag und Montag geschlossen
Donatus Landgraf von Hessen
92% Riesling, je 3% Weissburgunder und Merlot, 2% Spätburgunder
Tiefgründige und kalkhaltige Lösse, feuchte, teils steinige Lösslehme, tiefgründige Kies- und Quarzitböden (Meersand und Taunusquarzit).
- In Öko-Umstellung
VDP: What is so special about your winery?
Bärbel Weinert: Donatus Landgraf von Hessen purchased the Prinz von Hessen estate for the Hessian family’s foundation in 1957. Since then, it has been family-owned and is now under the control of Donatus Landgraf von Hessen. Heinz Scheu, son of Georg Scheu, was farm manager and planted his father’s new grape breeds at the Prinz von Hessen wine estate. That is why we have always had a special love for the Scheurebe variety and still plant it with enthusiasm today!
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Bärbel Weinert: As much as necessary – as little as possible! It is important that we manage our land and soil conscientiously. This also applies to must and wine. Fortunately, I have two competent people with plenty of patience at my side, Martin Walther as distribution manager and Sascha Huber as oenologist! I see us as a team and in a broader sense, even as a family. We thrive on constant exchange and, of course, controversial discussions. Only in this way, can we prevent stagnation. Remaining in place would be boring!
VDP: For what wine style do you strive? Do you have a favourite grape variety?
Bärbel Weinert: I would almost describe my preference for Riesling as an early childhood attribute. When you grow up in a winegrowing family in the Mittelrhein, you also grow up with Riesling! The variety is so wonderfully versatile. You can drink as much Riesling as you like and yet you always discover a new side to it; you can always be surprised. Riesling and a well set acidity simply belong together!
“YOU CAN DRINK AS MUCH RIESLING AS YOU LIKE AND YET YOU ALWAYS DISCOVER A NEW SIDE TO IT!”
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Bärbel Weinert: Our Kabinett Royal is a good place to start for gaining insight. Vinified dry with crisp acidity and spice: Riesling from the Rheingau stands for all this. In addition, the wine name refers to the estate’s aristocratic background.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Bärbel Weinert: I am a huge fan of our ‘Dachsfilets’! It’s a Riesling fermented on the mash and matured in different wooden barrels. In addition to mash fermentation, a wide variety of types of wood are used. This makes this Riesling incredibly complex.
VDP: Why did you become a vintner?
Bärbel Weinert: Here I have to point out my early childhood character again. :-) I think the majority of my colleagues feel that no other profession is imaginable. Food and drink are extremely social. I like to be surrounded by people and enjoy it very much. I like how wine brings people together and you can reinvent the wheel wonderfully over a bottle of wine. I also really like the handcraft, observing nature and taking nature into account. It almost makes me feel privileged. I grew up like this. Before I could walk, I was pulled through the vine rows in a grape harvesting container. There are plenty of wonderful memories that I wouldn’t want to miss.
VDP: Do you have role models?
Bärbel Weinert: My family certainly has great influence on me – first and foremost, my father, who has been a full-blooded vintner all his life. When it comes to practical work in the vineyard and cellar, you can’t fool him easily. He is guided by decades of experience and a good portion of intuition. When it comes to sales and wine marketing, I was very lucky to meet a visionary early on who always amazed me with unconventional approaches and who seemed to be able to undo the biggest knots with apparent ease. I am still very grateful for this exchange! Otherwise, I believe that every person has to write the pages of her book herself. Of course, you can get inspiration from outside.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Bärbel Weinert: There are empirical values in the vineyard and in the cellar that simply prove themselves repeatedly and of course, we adhere to these values. This includes, for example, our considerable repertoire of varied barrels; we use many different sizes and types of wood. This stylistic device almost completely disappeared for a while, because people only wanted to produce crystal-clear wines. Nevertheless, I think that everything should be allowed. There is no limit to thoughts and ideas! When running forward, you shouldn't turn back too often, otherwise you run the risk of stumbling or stopping.