Producer: Peter, Bianka and Daniel Schmitt
Farming: Biodynamic (Demeter), Organic, Natural
Rheinhessen, the largest wine growing area in Germany, has long been a focus of bulk and branded wine made from high-yielding crossings. Since the 1980s, however, more and more growers have realized that by limiting yields and focusing on higher-quality grapes, truly world-class wine can be made in this region. Renewed attention to the traditional Silvaner and Riesling grapes, as well as some red varieties, has begun to reshape the way Rheinhessen wine is perceived.
Flörsheim-Dalsheim, located in the southern part of the Rheinhessen, is an up and coming area due to the efforts of a handful of ambitious young vintners, Daniel and Bianka Schmitt among them. The Schmitt winery was founded over 235 years ago as part of a farm that also cultivated cereals and sugar beets. In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the Schmitt family began bottling their wine for sale, while also opening a guest house and restaurant on the property. The winery was certified organic beginning in 2007 and Demeter Biodynamic® certified in 2012, one of only 75 properties in Germany to hold the Demeter certification.
The Schmitts cultivate 15 hectares of vineyard land and produce 50,000 bottles per year. Their wines are food-oriented and meant to pair with a wide variety of dishes. Continuing to push the envelope of modern winemaking, Schmitt currently has three lines they produce. The traditional line focuses on the quality grapes of Rheinhessen, the “Natúr” line is made without added sulfur, and the line of orange wines are produced using extended skin contact and aging in large wood barrels and amphorae.
Schmitt epitomizes the new wave of German producers who are creating the highest quality of wines from what nature has to offer, with as little intervention as possible. As Daniel puts it, the philosophy of the winery is, “Wine just from grapes!”