Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tasting and Vineyard Visit at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel, with Gernot Kollmann - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Tasting with Gernot Kollmann, Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel

We started the day in the Ahr Valley, visited 3 world class winemakers in the Mosel Valley during the day and finished the day in the 2 star Michelin Restaurant Schanz in Piesport with a fine-dining dinner.

We had breakfast in Bad Neuenahr in the Ahr Valley. From there we drove about an hour for our first appointment at Weingut Markus Molitor in the Mosel Valley. After lunch, we spent the early afternoon at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg with Managing Director/ Winemaker Gernot Kollmann. The third visit was at Weingut Fritz Haag, with Oliver Haag.

The visit at Markus Molitor was tasting only. At Fritz Haag and Immich Batterieberg we also visited the vineyards. All 3 tastings were most impressive.

At Weingut Immich-Batterieberg, Gernot Kollmann was our host.

Picture: Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel

Weingut Immich-Batterieberg

The Big Glue: Immich-Batterieberg is one of the oldest wineries in the Mosel traced back to the year 911. In 1495, the Immich family purchased the property, producing traditional dry and off-dry wines under their name for almost 500 years. After filing for bankruptcy in 2007, the estate was acquired in 2009 by Gernot Kollmann and two Hamburg based investors (Owners: Dr. Volker Auerbach and Roland Probst). Since taking over, the wines are once again produced in a dry or off-dry style, with sugar levels depending on each site, each vintage. All of the Cru wines are once again being vinified separately in old oak barrels; spontaneous fermentations are the norm and chaptalization, re/de-acidification or any other intervention during vinification is forbidden. Sulfur is added in low doses and only before bottling. 80% of the vines are un-grafted and over 60 years old, and everything is worked organically (though not certified).

Picture: Arriving


Gernot Kollmann: Immich-Batterieberg ranks among the oldest estates on the Mosel. The middle portion of the estate’s grounds – still standing today – was first mentioned, in 908 A.D., by Ludwig IV, the last East Frankish Carolingian king, in a deed that confirmed the estate’s transfer to the church.

According to archaeological estimates, the foundation of the building dates from the second half of the 9th century. Especially remarkable is the cellar’s load-bearing basalt pillar, which was “recycled’ from a nearby Roman estate.

In the 12th Century the estate was ceded as a fief to Prince von Esch (hence to day’s Escheburg) and was then remodeled and expanded. The right wing of the property, the “Franzenhaus,’ was not built until the 16th Century and the “Herrenhaus,’ richly adorned in the Mosel-Frankish style and which today makes up the left wing, did not appear until the early 1900s.

It was the Immich family – among the oldest winemaking families on the Mosel, with a history that spans from 1425 through 1989 – that was especially crucial to the history and the development of the estate. We have them to thank for our most famous site, the Batterieberg, which between 1841 and 1845 was formed into one of the Mosel’s top sites by way of ceaseless rounds of dynamite. Batterieberg, along with the older top-tier sites Steffensberg, Ellergrub, and Zeppwingert, are all steep slate slopes and all achieved the highest ranking in the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868. Today they comprise the heart of the estate.

Pictures: Tasting with Gernot Kollmann


Weingut Immich-Batterieberg works four vineyards on extremely steep slopes, all of which were included in the highest class in the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868 (based on Napoleon’s Classification des Vines from 1804).

Just as important to us as the inherent quality of the vineyards is the available grape material. We are delighted to have a very large portion of old, ungrafted vines, from which, because of their genetic diversity and their naturally low yields, the highly differentiated, deep, and site-typical Rieslings that we want can come into being.

Pictures: In the Vineyard with Gernot Kollmann


Gernot Kollamann: With our fresh start at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in 2009, we are looking to connect to the very noble stylistic standards of this tradition-rich estate. For us there is the special challenge among the recognition of the great wines that were made here, our own viticultural and vinicultural ideas, and a respect for the natural conditions defined by our top sites in Enkirch – there is a lot to learn!

What that means for us concretely is an even clearer orientation toward dry Riesling, a style long well-cultivated here, even when the rest of the area was committed to sweeter wines. We stand for a very pure, unadorned, and rather powerful style of Riesling, with ripe, moderate acidity and with the pronounced structure intended for a long aging potential – and also, of course, for a certain ripeness requirement, especially for our top wines.

Our wines are raised without a heavy hand, primarily in barrels (but also in stainless steel), and are left for a long time on their lees. We use no cultured yeast, no enzymes, no protein stabilizers, and no clarifying agents. We do not chaptalize, concentrate, or de-acidify and place ourselves in the tradition of natural wines that – until the 1971 reform of the German wine law – was indicated on the bottle by the phrase naturrein.

Gernot Kollmann

Gernot Kollman hails from Wetter (in Westphalia). In the early 1990s, at Weingut Dr. Loosen in Bernkastel, he began to transform into a career what had previously been an intensively cultivated hobby. After completing his studies in Wine Business Administration in Heilbronn, and after a brief tenure at the Fürstlich Castell’schen Domänenamt, Gernot worked first at the Bischöflicher Weingüter in Trier and then at Van Volxem on the Saar. Since 2004 he has consulted at several estates, both in Germany and abroad, and has enjoyed high praise for his wines in the national and international press.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller with Gernot Kollmann in New York City. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA

In 2009 Gernot assumed responsibility for the direction and the winemaking at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg. He stands for a powerful, sometimes somewhat wild, “unstyled’ style of Riesling (cultured yeasts are renounced for all wines), more on the dry side, and as a rule not intended for immediate consumption.


Gernot led a wonderful tasting of his wines, ranging from a Brut Zero Dosage Sekt an aged Spätlese trocken and an aged Auslese.

2014 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Riesling Brut Zero

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg C.A.I. Riesling

A racy and expressive, mineral-driven Riesling.

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Escheburg Riesling

The name comes from a fiefdom agreement made with Count of Esch in the 12th century. A very elegant, fine and mineral-driven wine.

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Zollturm Riesling

An extremely steep vineyard with meagre soils of grey and blue slate, with perfect south-southwesterly exposure. A prime parcel in the rocky, terraced landscape between Enkirch and Traben-Trabach.

2014 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Ellergrub Riesling

Ellergrub is 150 m to the right of the Zeppwingert. Here, you find the classic blue slate of the middle Mosel.

2009 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Escheburg Riesling

1989 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Batterieberg Spätlese trocken Riesling

Batterieberg is a 1.1 hectare monopole within the Zeppwingert, and also the place that gives the estate its namesake: it was Carl August Immich's decision to dynamite this hill between 1841 and 1845 which permitted him to create terraces and plant vines (Batterieberg translates to Battered Mountain). The slate here is grey and very rocky, with a heavy amount of quartz.

2015 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Zeppwingert Auslese Riesling

The Zeppwingert parcel is to the right of Batterieberg. The soil is darker here.

1991 Weingut Immich-Batterieberg Batterieberg Auslese Riesling

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg

Postings: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

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