Weingut Tesch exists since 1723. Dr. Martin Tesch, a PhD microbiologist, took over the winery in 1996 and has presided over fundamental changes both in the vineyard and the wine cellar as well as in the marketing of the Tesch wines. He streamlined the portfolio and only three varietals were left for cultivation, Riesling, Pinot-Blanc, and Pinot-Noir, with Riesling accounting for 85% of the vines. He only produces bone-dry wines and has moved to natural and non-interventionist winemaking and strict yield control of between 20-30 hl/ha. The harvest is manual and he picks the grapes at full ripeness, but avoids botrytis. Martin’s signature wine is “Riesling Unplugged”, reflecting the recorded “unplugged” albums for the MTV unplugged CD series: creating wine or music with as much authenticity as possible. Last year Martin left the VDP because of a dispute over the new VDP classification. Exports account for 15% of the production. As for the US market, he is not doing well there, reflecting the US consumers' preference for sweet-style (Mosel) Rieslings.
Martin Tesch was our host.
Dr. Martin Tesch and Weingut Tesch
Martin Tesch: TESCH has proven that you can teach an old dog — or in this case, an old winery — new tricks. The portfolio is kept small, tidy and tight. All TESCH wines are both dry and distinct. We offer three varietals: Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. Each bottle is sealed with a practical screw cap and dressed in our award-winning, highly recognizable design. Eco-friendly viticulture practices, careful preservation of the vineyard and manual harvesting for each of our wines are all core parts of the TESCH mission.Our entry level wines begin with one-liter varietal bottlings: one red and two whites. These easy-drinking favorites offer a great first look into the work and philosophy of our winery.
The TESCH concept wines are quite well known. „Riesling Unplugged,“ a wine designed to counter technological excesses and over-sweetening of Riesling has become an instant classic. „Deep Blue,“ a complex white wine from the red Pinot Noir grape, has also reached cult status. And our summertime-favorite Rosé needs no introduction.
The crown jewels of our collection are the single vineyard Rieslings, easily recognizable by their brightly colored labels. No other varietal provides a clearer sense of place than Riesling. And each color in the series reflects the soil it grew in, known as the terroir. The red-brown of „Karthäuser“ represents the iron-rich earth; the fiery orange of the „St. Remigiusberg“ recalls its volcanic origins; the thick green of „Löhrer Berg“ mirrors the opulent fertile humidity; the bright yellow of the sun is a reflection of the dry climate of „Krone“. This illustrious line of character Rieslings is rounded off with the blue „Königsschild“. The wines are as diverse as their labels promise. And it is a real delight to taste the differences between them.
For rock and pop music, the term ‚unplugged‘ stands for acoustic musical performances that allow the performer to reach the audience in a personal and intimate manner. With the electronic amplification and distortion switched off, the musicians are forced to develop a pure sound. In the age of mechanical reproduction and mass produced goods, the „Unplugged“ principle stands for the attention to craftsmanship and technical skills, and the recognition that not every innovation and new trend automatically makes music better. At Weingut Tesch, we have embraced this philosophy within own medium: Riesling. The white peach nose is contained within a finely woven net of acidity. Racy, refined and refreshing on the palate, the wine is a testament to the philosophy: pure, honest and dry.
Winemaker of the Year 2012 (Stuart Pigott, FAZ)
German wine journalist Stuart Pigott crowned Martin Tesch Winemaker of the Year 2012. Stuart Pigott in the FAZ: “Typically, the "Winemaker of the Year" is a winemaker who has received the maximum points and awards for his or her wines, a kind of a winner-hero who is theoretically superior to all colleagues. Rarely the question of the role of the winemaker comes up. Martin Tesch from the same winery in the Nahe Langenlonsheim has been doing just that for more than a decade. His answer is based on the principle that a winemaker has to stand for a certain type of wine, if he wants to succeed in the market and in the public. Indeed, Martin Tesch succeeded, though in the beginning, when he decided to go for bone dry Riesling (instead of a softer and / or sweeter alternative), he suffered quite a bit, with sales dropping sharply.
But after the initial down turn, sales recovered and Martin Tesch became increasingly successful. The most important expression of its minimalist approach to winemaking of doing in the cellar as little as possible, but as much as necessary, which represented a radical reinterpretation of German winemaking culture, is the spicy-fresh 2011er Riesling "Unplugged" (8 Euros ex winery). The name reflects Tesch’s deep interest in and knowledge of rock music. Already in 2009, he toured with his "Rolling Riesling Show" Germany, a successful combination of his Rieslings and rock concerts. He has gradually redefined the role of the winemaker”.
See: Martin Tesch, Weingut Tesch, Winemaker of the Year (Germany, 2012) - Stuart Pigott/FAZ
Minimal Intervention - "Unplugged"
Martin Tesch: For rock and pop music, the term ‚unplugged‘ stands for acoustic musical performances that allow the performer to reach the audience in a personal and intimate manner. With the electronic amplification and distortion switched off, the musicians are forced to develop a pure sound. In the age of mechanical reproduction and mass produced goods, the „Unplugged“ principle stands for the attention to craftsmanship and technical skills, and the recognition that not every innovation and new trend automatically makes music better. At Weingut Tesch, we have embraced this philosophy within own medium: Riesling. The white peach nose is contained within a finely woven net of acidity. Racy, refined and refreshing on the palate, the wine is a testament to the philosophy: pure, honest and dry.
Martin Tesch: The crown jewels of our collection are the single vineyard Rieslings, easily recognizable by their brightly colored labels. No other varietal provides a clearer sense of place than Riesling. And each color in the series reflects the soil it grew in, known as the terroir. The red-brown of „Karthäuser“ represents the iron-rich earth; the fiery orange of the „St. Remigiusberg“ recalls its volcanic origins; the thick green of „Löhrer Berg“ mirrors the opulent fertile humidity; the bright yellow of the sun is a reflection of the dry climate of „Krone“. This illustrious line of character Rieslings is rounded off with the blue „Königsschild“. The wines are as diverse as their labels promise. And it is a real delight to taste the differences between them.
Weingut Tesch does several rounds of picking. The first round is for the basic Riesling. The second one for the Riesling Unplugged and the last round for the 5 single vineyard wines. All wines are fermented in stainless steel. All bottles are closed with screw caps.
2014 Weingut Tesch Riesling Unplugged
Martin’s signature wine is “Riesling Unplugged”. "Unplugged" by Eric Clapton has always been one of my favorite albums. Clapton recorded the album for the MTV unplugged series. This was a series of CDs recorded live with as much authenticity as possible. Martin Tesch's "Riesling Unplugged" is - like Eric Clapton’s “unplugged” music and the music of the other unplugged CD series artists - a natural wine, with minimal intervention, just as Mother Nature nature intended it.
In the Glass: Unplugged - Eric Clapton and Martin Tesch
Tesch Riesling Unplugged 2010 and Duo Favo FAVOriten
2014 Weingut Tesch Riesling Löhrer Berg
Martin Tesch: The LÖHRER BERG (= empty mountain) in Langenlonsheim is one of the oldest Riesling vineyards in the Nahe. In 1688 Elector Philip William of the Palatinate ordered the planting of Riesling here to the exclusion of all other grape varieties. Numerous natural springs nourish and enhance the loamy, gravel-laden soil and help make it exceptionally fertile. The vines, in place for more than 40 years already, produce juicy and apple-laced Rieslings that often develop subtle earthy notes with a bit of age.
2014 Weingut Tesch Krone Riesling
Martin Tesch: The KRONE vineyard in the town of Laubenheim lies directly next to the LÖHRER BERG. Geographical proximity is, however, pretty much all these vineyards share. The steep southeast slope of the KRONE is characterized by a mix of light and coarse soils from decalcified loess and weathered sandstone that lend its Rieslings a highly complex character. Dramatic temperature extremes due to the exposure to the westerly winds, most pronounced at night, give the wine a somewhat edgy disposition with a pronounced citrus aroma.
2014 Weingut Tesch Königsschild Riesling
To the south of the LÖHRER BERG we find the calcareous limestone mixed with loess and river loam that form the KÖNIGSSCHILD. The roots of the old grape vines follow the seeping water as far as 15 m (50 ft) into the ground, helping to keep the soil loosely packed. The Rieslings grown here flaunt a bouquet of floral scents and a coy nature, especially in their youth. The flavors are soft, elegant and refined. The vineyard’s name likely comes from its former ownership to the Imperial Palace in Ingelheim, the winter residence of Charlemagne.
2014 Weingut Tesch Karthäuserhof Riesling
Situated above Laubenheim, this southwest-facing vineyard is formed in the shape of an amphitheater. The weathered sandstone soil collects and stores warmth efficiently, ensuring that the grapes planted here ripen first. The Rieslings produced from KARTHÄUSER grapes are almost as imposing as the vineyard itself: ripe, quiet, powerful, and spicy, with a tight structure and admirable acidic restraint. The name comes from its medieval owners, a cloister of Carthusian monks known for their vows of silence.
2014 Weingut Tesch St. Remigiusberg Riesling
Martin Tesch: Directly adjacent to the Karthäuser lies one of the smallest of the single vineyards in the Nahe, ST. REMIGIUSBERG. Weathered volcanic rock and iron-rich clay are the defining characteristics for the soil here. With low yields and high extracts, these wines are not for the faint of heart. Opulent fruit in their youth often develop significantly mandarin notes with age. A structure both deep and elegant gives these rieslings an unmistakable silkiness without ever compromising their inner tension. Historically, St. Remigiusberg was associated with the Benedictine monks of Laubenheim and their Prince-Abbot of Reims, who was canonized after his death.
Riesling and Rock 'N' Roll
Martin Tesch: Two groups were instrumental for our success - chefs and musicians.
Riesling People Vol. 1
Martin Tesch has documented his passion for wine and Rock and Roll in a book entitled Riesling People Vol. 1.
This is an unusual book. It explains in a straightforward way, without words, what makes Martin Tesch tick and the wines he produces so special. As a picture-book and travelogue, Riesling People Vol. 1 differs dramatically from the usual wine books. Almost without words, the book tells the story of Martin Tesch and his love for Riesling and Rock and Roll music. It is narrated by black and white photography, printed on glossy paper, and showcases the ecclectic mix of wine and music in Martin's world.
The central theme of the book is the Rolling Riesling Show, which was jointly organized by Martin Tesch and the guitar manufacturer Gibson. Martin Tesch took an audience that was not necessary knowledgeable about wine through six different dry Rieslings and their soil-specific differences. In addition to the Rolling Riesling Show events, the book includes pictures from London wine bars, from Hong Kong, New York, Jancis Robinson and Stuart Pigott, proud Australian importers with the first container of Tesch wines, Martin Tesch at the concert of the Tote Hosen in Trier and backstage with the Düsseldorfer Punk Rockers at Rock am Ring.
See: The Avantgarde Wine World of Dr. Martin Tesch
Picture: Riesling People Vol.1 and Vol.2
Riesling People Vol. 2
With the 2010 vintage, the Riesling Unplugged, the signature wine of Martin Tesch, Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim (Nahe) in Germany, celebrated its 10th anniversary. At this occasion, Martin produced the audio book Riesling People Vol. 2. It is a medley of diverse contributions of a group of friends of Martin Tesch - sommeliers, customers, journalists, writers, chefs and musicians. The sommeliers Natalie Lumpp, Jürgen Fendt, Billy Wagner and others comment on Riesling Unplugged of each of the 10 vintages; Stuart Pigott talks about hunting sharks on the Nahe river. The Rock and Roll Band Die Toten Hosen – Martin Tesch produced the wine Weisses Rauschen with them (see below) – contributed a song to the Riesling People Vol. 2, as did Koester + Hocker and the Group Les Sauvignons. All in all, a highly entertaining and informative audio book about Martin Tesch’s Riesling Unplugged.
See: Wine Maker Martin Tesch: Riesling People Vol. 2, Germany
Riesling Weißes Rauschen
In a joint venture with the Die Toten Hosen, Martin Tesch produced the wine "Weisses Rauschen". Of course, Martin is in the lead, but Martin told me that the band played an active role in the selection of wine, the name of the wine and the design of the bottle. The wine was named after a song of Die Toten Hosen from the album Zurueck zum Glueck (Back to Happiness).
Die Toten Hosen is the leading German punk band. The members of Die Toten Hosen are Campino (Andreas Frege), Kuddel (Andreas von Holst), Vom (Stephen 'Vom' Ritchie), Andi (Andreas Meurer) and Breiti (Michael Breitkopf).
The band has existed for over 20 years. The debut single "Wir sind bereit" (we are ready) was released in 1982. Their 1000th concert was on 28 June 1997, in the Düsseldorfer Rheinstadium, and was attended by more than 60,000 fans.
See: In the Glass: 2009 Weisses Rauschen – A Joint Venture of Winemaker Martin Tesch and Punk-Rock Band Die Toten Hosen
Picture: Die Toten Hosen
Thank you Martin for a great tasting.
schiller-wine: Related Postings (Martin Tesch)
In the Glass: Unplugged - Eric Clapton and Martin Tesch
Impressions from the Riesling + Co World Tour 2010 in New York
In the Glass: 2009 Weisses Rauschen – A Joint Venture of Winemaker Martin Tesch and Punk-Rock Band Die Toten Hosen
The Avantgarde Wine World of Dr. Martin Tesch
Tesch Riesling Unplugged 2010 and Duo Favo FAVOriten
Wine Maker Martin Tesch: Riesling People Vol. 2, Germany
Martin Tesch, Weingut Tesch, Winemaker of the Year (Germany, 2012) - Stuart Pigott/FAZ
Winemaker Martin Tesch, Weingut Tesch in the Nahe Valley, and Rock ‘N’ Roll, Germany
German Star Producer Weingut Martin Tesch Leaves Prestigious VDP – The Association of German Elite Winemakers, Germany
Postings: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)
Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir
Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger – Germany-North 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch and Tour: Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Bourgogne in Riesling Land: Tasting at Chat Sauvage in Johannisberg, Rheingau, with Winemaker Michael Städter – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Ralp and Bernd Schönleber - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut August Kesseler in Assmanshausen, with Winemaker Simon Batarseh – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Weingut Matthias Müller in Spay, Mittelrhein, with Johannes and Matthias Müller - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Visit and Tasting at Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss, Ahr – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
Tasting at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
Tasting at Weingut Markus Molitor – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours2016
Tasting at the Legendary Weingut J.J. Prüm with Amei Prüm – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany
Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany
Tasting at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser with Owner/ Winemaker Thomas Haag – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken with Hanno Zilliken - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe: Remembering Klaus Peter Wodartz' Ente vom Lehel in Wiesbaden – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Wine-pairing Dinner at Weingut Kruger-Rumpf's Wine Tavern Altes Rathaus in Bingen, with Stefan Rumpf - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim, Nahe, with Martin Tesch
Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang in Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps