The Löwenstein family has a close relationship with wine production in the Winningen area, in the northernmost part of the Moselle, for about 500 years, and the winery Heymann-Löwenstein, founded in 1980, is simply the last link in this unbroken chain of 14 winegrowers generations. Although international critics have unanimously recognized, in the production of this winery, one of the most significant examples of German Riesling “Nouvelle Vague”, the air you breathe visiting the cellar or talking to the owners has an exquisitely archaic flavor. The Löwenstein family, in fact, is keen to stress that the work done, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, is inspired by traditional practices perfectly known and mastered, by the winemakers of the area, already in the nineteenth century.
Behind this productive choice lies the idea of a viticulture that embraces an idea of extremely rigorous naturalness, which does not follow the fashion of the moment or the easy convenience, but brings the winemaker to a deeply ethical vision of his work. From this conception comes the will to preserve the tradition, starting from the recovery and protection of terraced vineyards (which now cover less than 1% of the German area planted with vines), combined with the consequent multiplication of manual correct and sustainable work hours, in the vineyard (2000 hours against 300-600 hours of mechanized work). But “tradition” also means giving up, in addition to the ban of chemistry in the vineyard, of excessive consumption of electricity (completely absent 200 years ago), of any operation that releases a significant footprint of CO2, and also of the exploitation of employees with disadvantageous or deceptive contracts.
Among the wines produced it is worth mentioning Riesling Röttgen, a wine that takes its name from the homonymous vine formed in the Devonian period, between 420 and 360 million years ago. On lands with steep slopes, composed of blue slate, so rich in iron to oxidize and become red when it comes into contact with the air, the winery has four plots, for a total of 2.1 hectares, between 100 and 180 meters above sea level, planted with vines over 60 years old. From here, after a careful manual harvest, the grapes arrive in the cellar where they will be squeezed very gently and, subsequently, fermented in wooden barrels by means of their wild yeasts. An aging period on the lees, of 8-10 months, precedes bottling, without clarification, and marketing.
The 2019 vintage shows an intense straw yellow color, with some golden streaks, and an olfactory range that opens on notes of dried apricot, kumquat, peach in syrup and hydrocarbon, followed by mango, herbs, Echiré butter and chestnut honey, with final echoes of nutmeg, wet flint and custard. The palate is rich, dense, creamy and soft, although the beauty of Riesling in general is to always be tense and dynamic thanks to its important acid/ citric component; all accompanied by the return of the overripe yellow fruit and the hydrocarbon that accompany the sip until a good length closure.
Want to find out what I can do for you? Click here!