Monday, September 18, 2017

Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau: Tour and Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau: Tour and Tasting

Following lunch at Kloster Eberbach, a tour of the abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with a tasting, we drove over to Schloss Vollrads for the final event of the day. Christian Cavallo was our host. He gave us a tour of the private quarters of Schloss Vollrads and led an impressive tasting with wines going back to 1971. General Manager Rowald Hepp welcomed us.

An 800-year-old Wine Tradition

Schloss Vollrads is one of the oldest wineries in the world, with trading in wine first documented here in 1211. The core of the estate, with its romantic location in the Rheingau wineries near the Rhine river, is a tower house built as a castle surrounded by a pond so that it can only be accessed over a bridge. In the 19th century, the famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832) enjoyed a drop of good Rheingau Riesling.

Schloss Vollrads was owned since 983 until 1218 by the Archbishop of Mainz and since then until 1997 by the family of Greiffenclau. In 1997 – in view of unsurmountable debts - Count Erwein Matuschka-Greiffenclau committed suicide and since then the Nassauische Bank, a government-owned bank, is the owner of Schloss Vollrads.

Pictures: Arriving at Schloss Vollrads

Despite its long tradition, Schloss Vollrads is above all a modern winery which was also designated a separate municipal district in 1971, which means that the wine from here can be labelled »Schloss Vollrads« without any additional village name.

Schloss Vollrads is a rather large estate by German standards, with 60 hectares of vineyard land, and produces exclusively Riesling wines. Some of the vineyards were already in the possession of the Greiffenclau family in 1300.

Today, Rowald Hepp is the Managing Director of Schloss Vollrads and Christine Müller his Deputy.

Picture: A Schloss Vollrads Riesling at the Tower House

100% Riesling

Rowald Hepp: We believe that an outstanding Riesling makes you happy. That’s why we only grow Riesling grapes – deliberately, with special care, and with love. We cherish our vines. We pick our grapes very carefully by hand – and that several times per season – in order to collect them at precisely the right degree of ripeness. We make use of our knowledge and a tradition of over 800 years of viticulture, so that our grapes can become the very special Riesling that will make you happy. On some 80 hectares of vineyards we make unique and authentic wines. Nature is on our side as all vineyards around Schloss Vollrads descend down to the Rhine in a southerly direction. Our capital does not only rest in vines and soil alone: Particularly valuable are our staff with their years of experience, because a vineyard is like a living being and wants to be treated accordingly. Schloss Vollrads and its staff will do everything they can to make wine an experience for you. Here, art, culture, cuisine and wine cellar complement each other. Please visit us and find out more.

Pictures: Managing Director Roland Hepp Welcoming us

The distinctive flavour of the Schloss Vollrads Riesling wines can be attributed to our unique terroir: In the Rheingau, six different geological formations form layers of one structure which provides the vine roots with a variety of minerals. We make ten to fifteen different wines from our Riesling grapes per year, from estate wines to Kabinett and Edition to Spätlese (late harvest) and Auslese (special selection). If the conditions are right, we also produce wines of special quality such as Trockenbeerenauslese (dry berry selection) or ice wine. Even in our simple estate wines we wish to demonstrate class and offer a quality wine which will succeed in making those love wine who hitherto have only drunk wine occasionally.

Pictures: Touring the Private Quarters of Schloss Vollrads

Incidentally, the tradition of the Kabinett wines was established at Schloss Vollrads in 1716: Particularly good wines of a vintage were stored in the “Cabinet” cellars. Even today, internationally renowned Riesling wines mature to completion in the winery.

Wine Tasting

At the end of the tour of the private quarters of Schloss Vollrads we sat down with Christian Cavallo and enjoyed an impressive tasting of 10 Schloss Vollrads wines, going back to 1971.

The Wines

2016 Schloss Vollrads Estate dry
2016 Schloss Vollrads Estate Kabinett dry
2015 Schloss Vollrads Riesling Alte Reben dry
2015 Schloss Vollrads Schlossberg VDP:Grosses Gewächs dry

1989 Fürst Löwenstein Riesling Auslese weissilber dry
1990 Fürst Löwenstein Riesling Charta Spätlese
1979 Fürst Löwenstein Riesling Hallgartner Hendelberg Kabinett blausilber semi dry

1971 Schloss Vollrads Estate Kabinett
1997 Schloss Vollrads Estate Spätlese
2015 Schloss Vollrads Estate Spätlese

Pictures: The Wines


Thank you very much Rowald Hepp, Christiane Müller and Christian Cavallo for a most enjoyable afternoon at Schloss Vollrads.

Pictures: Christian and Annette Schiller with Managing Director Rowald Hepp and Deputy Managing Director Christine Müller at the 2017 International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau. See: The III. International Riesling Symposium (2017) in the Rheingau, Germany

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