The noble Riesling grape, considered by many to be the world’s greatest white wine varietal, has its first recorded mention in an invoice from the Rheingau region of Germany. Since then, the region’s fortunes have been linked with the grape, which represents 78% of plantings in the area, the largest share in any German growing region. During the late-19th through the mid-20th Centuries, the Rieslings of Rheingau were some of the most sought after wines in the world, with prices sometimes topping those fetched for Bordeaux’s Classed Growths.
Located in Hochheim, with its gently rolling slopes, Domdechant Werner produces the slightly richer Rieslings this area is known for. They own property in three single vineyard sites, all capable of producing Erstes Gewächs wines (known as Grosses Gewächs in other regions of Germany), the German equivalent of Burgundy’s Grand Cru. Kirchenstück grows the more elegant wines, while Hölle and Domdechaney yield more generous examples.
Originally purchased in 1780, the Hochheim wine estate has been passed down through the Werner family for generations ever since. It is currently owned by Dr. Franz Werner Michel and managed by his daughter Catharina Mauritz, the 7th and 8th generations of the Werner family.
Recently Catharina acquired some of Cathedral de Mainz’s buildings, which date back to the 13th century, to add to the estate. This has allowed the winery to keep up with increaded production and take more care with the wines as the grapes come in from harvest. The goal is to continually improve the quality of wines released from this historic estate.
Producer: Dr. Franz Werner Michel