Weingut Jakob Schneider (18 hectares)
Niederhäusen / Nahe / Germany
The Schneider family has been making wine in the famed Nahe village of Niederhäusen since 1575. Today the winery is run by Jakob Schneider Jr. who took over operations after graduating from Geisenheim and interning at Knoll in Austria’s Wachau. His wife Laura, sister Monika, and mother Liesel, all manage different parts of the estate.
The Schneiders cultivate 45 hectares, including 18 of their own, in some of the very best sites of the geologically diverse village Niederhäusen. Over 52 different soil types can be found here, mostly based on volcanic rock and slate. The Schneider’s 2 hectare parcel in the Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, in the northeastern corner adjacent to the porphyric Klamm vineyard, was planted in 1939 in an area especially rich in red volcanic soil and grey slate. Niederhäuser Klamm is a tiny, concave gorge 500 meters east of the Hermannshöhle and composed of porphyry rich in ore, with a limited number of owners. Niederhäuser Felsensteyer, composed of melaphyr, benefits from the heat emitted by the surrounding mass of rock. Working as closely as possible to nature in the vineyards, the Schneiders use humus in their very steep vineyards to help absorb and retain water, as well as straw and hay to prevent erosion.
When Jakob Jr. returned from his studies, he felt it was time to bring some modernization to the 400 year old estate. Such innovations have included the purchase of a new tank press and installation of air-conditioning in the cellar. 2400 and 1200 liter casks of oak from the Hunsrück forests around Stromberg are employed in the cellar in combination with stainless steel tanks. 50% of the wines spontaneously ferment with natural yeast, whose must is then used to inoculate any juice slow to begin fermentation. Schneider’s wines maintain an old world charm while showcasing a stalwart minerality only derived from the amazing terroirs from which they hale.
- Vineyard area: 18 ha
- Founded in: 1575
- Annual production: 10,000 – 12,500 cases
- Top Sites:
- Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle: Grand Cru site, slate, sandstone, limestone
- Niederhäuser Felsensteyer: Grand Cru site, Melaphyr
- Niederhäuser Klamm: Sandstone, porphyry, loam
- Norheimer Kirschheck: Grand Cru site, Slate, sandstone
- Norheimer Dellchen: Grand Cru site, slate, porphyry
- Grape Varieties: 85% Riesling, 10% Pinots (Spätburgunder, Grauburgunder), 5% Other