Egon Müller’s wines are all made using estate-grown fruit from two parcels: 8.3 hectares of Scharzhof and 4 hectares of Le Gallais. The Scharzhofberg, or Scharzhof Mountain, is among the finest Riesling sites in Germany and is considered Grand Cru. As such, it is allowed to be labeled with its vineyard name, or “Einzellage”, rather than its village name. The Müller holdings here include a parcel of un-grafted vines that were planted in the 19th century. These wines deliver at the highest level of quality and are without question among the world’s great wines. They are fine, balanced, authentic, and enjoyable young as well as after many years of cellaring.
At the Scharzhof we favour a traditionally minimalist approach to winemaking. Our work continues to be based on the quality-driven philosophy of the late Egon Müller III.:
"One hundred per cent of the quality of a wine is generated in the vineyard. It is impossible to reach even 101 per cent in the cellars but it is a great achievement to pack the full potential of the vines into a bottle".
We believe that it is the quality of our vineyards that allows us to produce the best grapes and we go to great lengths to fully exhaust this potential.
Our Northern climate is characterised by great annual fluctuations, which means that every year is full of new challenges. However, the foundations for our work remain the same:
- Old vines of which some have ancient roots that originate from the 19th century.
- Low yields that never exceed 60 hl/ha and frequently are as small as 30 hl/ha.
- Intensive ploughing up to six times a year.
- Very restrained use of chemicals: no chemical fertilisers, no herbicides, no insecticides and as few fungicides as possible.
We still ardently believe in the philosophy of natural wine which,
unfortunately, has been abandoned by the German Wine Act of 1971.
Jean-Jacques Koch, Egon Müller's great great-grandfather acquired the Scharzhof estate from the "République Française" in 1797 after the French Revolution and the occupation of the West Bank of the Rhine River by the revolutionary government. The Scharzhofberg vineyard was likely planted by the Romans and belonged to the Monastery "St Marien ad Martyres” in Trier from its founding around 700 A. D. through the Middle Ages.
Egon Müller's vineyards are exposed to a northerly climate. Consequently, much depends on the vintage and on late harvesting. Regarding the winemaking process, however, Egon Müller's family's philosophy is based on the belief that the best wines are the ones that "make themselves”.
The Egon Müller-Scharzhof family lives in its own vineyards and oversees the day-to-day operation at the estate.
All of the family's wines are Rieslings. "Scharzhof” is their most basic wine. Qualitätswein by German legal standard, it is made of the grapes from their vineyards in Saarburg, Kanzem and Wawern and from the Wiltinger Braunfels and Wiltinger Kupp vineyards. Only the "Prädikat" wines from the Scharzhofberg and from Wiltinger braune Kupp carry vineyard designations. The Kabinett wines, made from ripe grapes with low alcoholic content constitute the backbone of the production. Spätlese is made from overripe grapes while Auslese and higher qualities are made from grapes attained by noble rot.