16 German winemakers to watch

11th July, 2016 by Darren Smith

7. Tobias Rickes – Weingut Tobias Rickes, Nahe

SONY DSCOne of the youngest winemakers from the Generation Riesling group, at 22, Tobias Rickes hasn’t even finished his studies at Geisenheim yet, though he has had time to gain experience with winemakers of the calibre of Johannes Leitz in Rheingau.

Tobias took over the winery of his maternal grandparents, while his parents still make wine from their own winery. He made his first vintage at the age of 19. He works alongside his grandfather – the pair actually feature on the label for Tobias’s entry-level wine range.

On around 10ha, Tobias cultivates 50% Riesling, 35% Burgundy varieties and 15% native grapes such as Scheurebe and Kerner.

His formula for precocious success is low yields, grapes in an optimum state of health and ripeness, and a bare minimum of interference in the cellar.

The estate make around 80-100,000 bottles per year, including single vineyard bottlings from Gutental in Kreuznach and Backofchen in Wallhaus.

Stuart Pigott was so impressed with Rickes’s first ever vintage Riesling, the 2012, that he was moved to describe it as the best that he had tasted from Bad Kreuznach “for….

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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!

  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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