Today, the winery is directed by proprietor, Dr. Franz Werner Michel, who is assisted by his wife and their daughter Catharina Mauritz. Visitors are welcome - by appointment only - to taste and purchase the wines (English, Swedish and Italian are spoken).
The worldwide first documented mention of the Riesling grape - Germany’s premier white grape variety - dates from 1435 in a site not far from Hochheim. The Riesling wines from the Rheingau region are the foundation of the region’s fame. Hochheim’s soils and microclimate afford optimal growing conditions for Riesling. As such, the profile of the Domdechant Werner estate clearly focuses on this varietal, supplemented by a small proportion of Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) - another grape that is traditional in this region. In all, though, the Domdechant Werner estate numbers among the world’s leading, high-quality Riesling producers.
The estate cultivates ca. 14 ha/35 acres of vines, 98% of which are planted with Riesling and 2% Spatburgunder. The vineyards are located on gentle, south-facing slopes. The mineral-rich soils are predominantly chalky, with an excellent capacity to retain underground water. Therefore, the vines are able remain healthy even during hot and dry weather.
The estate has holdings in the single vineyard sites Domdechaney, Kirchenstuck, Holle, Stein, Stielweg and Reichestal - all of which have met the classification criteria of the Rheingau region’s top quality category Erstes Gewachs, or first growth.
The Rheingau classification is based on many years of scientific research carried out by the Geisenheim Research Institute. Their study confirmed that the the microclimate and soil composition of 85% of the estate’s holdings are eligible for Erstes Gewachs status, compared with 33% of the Rheingau’s total vineyard area.
Thanks to optimal growing conditions, the Domdechant Werner estate is able to produce top-quality wines of all styles, ranging from dry to lusciously sweet wines. Regardless of style, elegant fruit and mineral tones are the hallmarks of all the wines. The finest dry Riesling wines are designated Erstes Gewachs, while the finest sweet wines bear the traditional Pradikat Auslese. The red Spatburgunder wines are carefully aged in mature oak casks. They are velvety smooth, fruity, and show only a hint of oak.
Current vintage Domdechant Werner wines are traditionally presented to the trade and press at the Mainzer Weinborse trade fair in late April, as well as at the most important domestic and international trade forums, such as the traditional auctions of the VDP, or Pradikat Wine Estates. Domestically, the wines are sold to leading hotels and restaurants, as well as upscale wine shops. Some 60-70% of the wines are exported to about 25 countries around the world, making the estate a ”global player” on a small scale.
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