Scharzhofberg is one of the most famous sites in Germany and was probably planted by the Romans. Situated in Wiltingen, it is removed from the Saar in a side valley and faces due south. It is both very steep (30-60% grade) and high (590-918 ft.). The soil, formed from gray Devonian slate decomposition, is very deep with no bedrock. Like many of the best European vineyards, Scharzhofberg is very well drained but still holds sufficient moisture.
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.