16 German winemakers to watch

11th July, 2016 by Darren Smith

1. Christophe Thörle – Weingut Thörle, Rheinhessen

Christophe and his brother, Johannes, have managed the 16th-century Thörle estate in Saulheim since 2006.

Weingut Thörle is in the northern part of Rheinhessen. With vineyards on fine clay, limestone, iron-rich sandy loam, flint and schist soils and, unusually for the region, benefitting from a bit of altitude (120-240m), the Thörles produce wines with characteristic depth and mineral elegance.

All vineyard management is now undertaken organically with biodynamics the end goal. The brothers work meticulously: 110 vineyard parcels are all fermented separately. Fermentation is spontaneous, which Christophe is convinced amplifies the sapid, saline character of the wines.

The Thörles’ Rieslings from the prized Hölle, Probstey and Schlossberg vineyards are marvels – as are the Spätburgunders from Hölle and Probstey.

Having taken over a decade ago, these brothers have been around for a while, but they are still young and have a long way to go. On the evidence so far, in their hands, Rheinhessen’s credentials for producing world-class Riesling and Spätburgunder seems assured.
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7 Responses to “16 German winemakers to watch”

  1. Dear Darren, “16 German winemakers to watch” – and None of them from Franconia. What about the famous Franconian VDP-vintners, who produce wonderful Riesling (and in fact, not less wonderful Silvaner? Please, I’m waiting for the next article: “16 German winemakers to buy”.

  2. Frank Schulz says:

    Thanks for sharing your findings, Darren! It’s fun to work with http://www.generation-riesling.de (.com). More background information regarding “Positive Marketing from Wines of Germany” http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomaspellechia/2016/06/28/positive-marketing-from-the-other-dwi-deutsches-weininstitut-wines-of-germany/#78b8eb723571

  3. Leigh W Dryden says:

    Not only Franken but Rheinhessen as well as notable young Franken wine makers like Andi Weigand and Rhiehessen rising starts like Lisa Bunn and Juliane Eller have all been missed nbnot to mention a whole rnage of new wine guns in Baden, there are a whole lot more than just 15 qwe should be watching as this is a generational up swing for German wines and wine making.

  4. Leigh W Dryden says:

    My apologies as both Lisa and Juliane are here which is great to see, missed these when scrolling through the insight- great to see as these two are personal favourites and we are about to launch both of their wines in Australia in September so I will keep you posted to see how we go with presneting this new and exciting face of German wine. Cheers Leigh

  5. Monsier Loup says:

    Hi Darren,
    Great Selection of fantastic very motivated young winemakers. I like the fact that most of them learned their craft from iconic KP Keller. His winery and his dinners are for sure a good place to be as a young winemaker to experience great wine and not only Reisling!
    Good Luck to everybody of them and hope to see a few more of them at Londons Indepedents!
    Best,

  6. Pfalzwein says:

    really nice selection indeed. Good to see so much talent preparing the German Wine Industry for an international future.

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