weingut heinrich // alexander heinrich // weingut am altenberg Obersulm sülzbach

in conversation with alexander heinrich

one part of the winery has been in the ownership of the family for over 250 years but nevertheless this is a very young wine growing estate, so what does that mean?

in 1993 my father decided to open a wine tavern. he sold wine produced from his own grapes, bottled by a cooper here locally and developed in my grandmother's garage. then in 1999 the very first self produced wine from the heinrich winery appeared – from that time on we have expanded and now the winery covers 11 hectares. this also includes plots of land which once already belonged to my grandparents and which we have once more repurchased or leased.

 

even your first wine caused a sensation …

during my training as an oenologist it was drummed into me that you must never develop a riesling in an oak barrel. therefore i decided to do exactly that as my masterstroke (he laughs). and it worked: my oak barrel riesling has been awarded 15 out of 15 possible points. and by the way, there is even more – it has been awarded, with 93 points, the honour of “best of riesling 2016”.

so are you one of the young, wild wine makers?

i do not like the term 'wine maker'. one does not actually make the wine, because as a vintner i cannot influence where the vines are, how the weather is, or what pests may possibly be present. nature does all that. and youth alone is no reason for making better wine. wine comprises 2000 different ingredients, so it also requires experience and knowledge to produce good wine. viticulture is not a technical process, but is rather closely linked with respect and appreciation for nature.

 

your vineyards lie between the "himmelreich" (kingdom of heaven) and "paradies" (paradise), that sounds auspicious…

that's right (he laughs). the kingdom of heaven and paradise are the names of the two outermost separate areas of our vineyards. between them are altenberg, rauberg and dieblesberg. this region is not only a paradise for vintners, also on the rauberg live the last wall lizards in the weinsberg valley, because this area has only been subject to partial agricultural consolidation.

our parcels of land are scattered, we do not have one large single area. this is good because in such situations you can use the good aspects of the respective sites very precisely and select the individual varieties best suited to each parcel of land.

preoceed to part II ...

 

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in conversation with alexander heinrich
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