45 % Riesling, 35% Burgundersorten sowie Silvaner, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Portugieser
Löss (Alsheim); Kalkmergel mit Lehmanteil (Oppenheim), roter Tonschiefer (Nierstein)
VDP: What is so special about your wine estate?
Klaus Muth: Our wine estate has been owned by our family for over 400 years. I am the 12th generation and Elisabeth is the 13th generation. Thanks to estate vineyards in six winegrowing communities (Alsheim, Guntersblum, Ludwigshöhe, Dienheim, Oppenheim and Nierstein), we have the opportunity to work with the diverse soil structures (loess, calcareous marl, Rotliegend sandstone). The grape variety Riesling, which accounts for about 55 percent of our production, evolves quite differently depending on the terroir. This is why we can vinify and offer such a broad spectrum of style expressions.
VDP: What is your winery philosophy?
Elisabeth Muth: A philosophy that I know from architecture and that can be applied one-to-one to wine production: Téchne – convergence of art, science and technology.
VDP: For what style of wine do you strive?
Klaus Muth: We want elegant, fruity wines with pronounced varietal and terroir character. My favourite grape variety is definitely Riesling! Because it offers the opportunity to highlight the individual terroirs and to vinify them extremely differently according to the context.
VDP: Which of your wines would you recommend to someone who does not yet know your winery – as an introduction, so to speak?
Elisabeth Muth: Hieronymus and Alexander Riesling VDP.GUTSWEIN. This wine comes from the Alsheimer loss terraces and has the ideal balance between fruit and minerality.
VDP: Of which wine are you particularly proud?
Klaus Muth: Of the 1994 Guntersblumer Eiserne Hand Gewürztraminer Beerenauslese. 1994 was not really an exceptional vintage, but it was different for our Gewürztraminer Beerenauslese. The grapes were harvested towards the end of autumn. Due to a high degree of Botrytis, there was superb concentration of sweetness and, for Gewürztraminer, unusually high acidity. The wine has tremendous ageing potential and pronounced varietal character.
VDP:Why did you become a vintner?
Elisabeth Muth: After ten years in Darmstadt, Zurich and Munich as an architect, I came back to Alsheim – not because it was expected of me, but because I can’t imagine anything more beautiful and fulfilling than following in the footsteps of my ancestors and producing wine. It is precisely the mix of working with my hands in nature, dealing with the most diverse people, and producing a lifestyle product that provides so much joy that that makes this profession so incredibly exciting and versatile.
VDP: Do you have role models?
Elisabeth Muth: Of course, my father!
VDP: What are your next goals?
Elisabeth Muth: Leave comfort zone. Develop further.
VDP: How do you combine tradition and innovation?
Klaus Muth: For us, the combination of tradition and modernity is extremely important. Our company has been family-owned for more than 400 years. On the one hand we want to retain the old values, but constantly reinvent ourselves.
VDP: Why should people visit your winery?
Klaus Muth: The Alsheim district is particularly beautiful for visitors because the road structure has remained unchanged for centuries due to the lack of ‘Flurbereinigung’ (land consolidation) procedures. Flora and fauna remain unique here. You can also find vineyards that are almost one hundred years old, some of which are owned by our family and still produce optimal qualities.