The Dönnhoff family arrived in the Nahe region over 200 years ago, and their modest farm slowly evolved into a wine estate. Helmut Dönnhoff had been making the wine since 1966, and now his son Cornelius is the 4th generation to run this historic winery and their 25ha of Grand Cru vineyards.
Vineyards & Viticulture
Although the Nahe is a dry region, Dönnhoff does not water their vineyards as to encourage deep rooted vines. The soil is covered with organic material like straw and compost to preserve water and to avoid evaporation and erosion in heavy rains.
The vines are all grown on wireframes, low to the ground to benefit from the warmth of the stoney topsoil, and at a density of approx. 6000 vines per hectare. The Riesling vines are old clones sourced from the sites in Niederhausen and Schloßböckelheim.
Grapes are always picked by hand at Dönnhoff over two to three passes through each vineyard.
A BREAKDOWN OF DÖNNHOFF’S TOP SITES
- Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle
Grand Cru site, slate, sandstone, limestone
- Niederhäuser Klamm
Grand Cru site, porphyry, loam, loss
- Oberhäuser Brücke
Grand Cru site, slate, porphyry, sandstone, loam
- Oberhäuser Leistenberg
Grand Cru site, Slate
- Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg
Grand Cru site, porphyry
- Norheimer Kirschheck
Grand Cru site, Slate, sandstone
- Norheimer Dellchen
Grand Cru site, slate, porphyry
- Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl
Grand Cru site, löss, quartzite
- Kreuznacher Kahlenberg
Grand Cru site, gravelly loam
- Roxheimer Höllenpfad
Grand Cru site, red sandstone
In The Cellar
To preserve laser-like focus and clarity in the wines, the grapes are pressed as soon as possible – within 3 hours of picking. Wines are fermented in traditional German casks (1200 L stuck and 2400 L doppelstuck) as well as stainless steel with spontaneous fermentations.
Donnhoff’s cellar is unique in its capacity to hold all of its production entirely in stainless steel or in cask, allowing for the ideal élevage for any wine at any point during a vintage.