The steep formidable slopes of the Mittelrhein are dotted with abandoned vineyards, the hazard and cost of viticulture here has pressed the Mittelrhein’s production into decline – the region itself only maintains 430 planted hectares today. Florian Weingart’s basic philosophy to vineyard approach is “based on selection of grapes in the best sites, and extremely low yields, sometimes well below 50 hectoliters per hectare.” He also believes in high density planting to force the vines to grow extremely deep roots. His 4.5 hectares are divided between 3 sites on the Bopparder Hamm, a south facing stretch with an incline of 50-70% along the Rhein where a kink forces the river to flow west to east. Here slate is layered with various sedimentations and volcanic ash spattered during eruptions of Eifel Mountain over 10,000 years ago. The Engelstein vineyard sits on old terraces that Weingart and his cousin own, in the easternmost corner of the Hamm. Here Weingart has completely converted his vines to post-training, a training system that requires substantially more work than most and is common on steep slopes in the Mosel. Other parcels that Florian cultivates are the Feuerlay, which many consider the best exposure in the middle of the Hamm with layers of weathered slate, loess and quartzite; and, the Ohlenberg, with its layers of shale and quartz rich sandstone. The wines are fermented utilizing ambient yeasts and are kept on their lees for an extended period of time in stainless steel tanks. Ensuing wines show characteristics of the combination of slate and volcanic material that they are grown on.
Vineyard area: 4.5 hectares
Annual production: 3,300 cases
Bopparder – Hamm Ohlenberg (devonian slate, loess)
Feuerlay (devonian slate)
Engelstein (loess, limestone, slate, volcanic ashes)
For more information, please view the Terry Theise catalog here.