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News

Wijnfestival Zwolle with Van Volxem Master Classes  9. June 2015

 

The fourth Wijnfestival Zwolle took place in a romantic spot in the middle of a beautiful medieval small town near Amsterdam under the most gorgeous summer weather with many good-humored, mostly young wine enthusiasts and lots of tasty wines.
The party atmosphere was contagious! Thanks to the organizers Arjan Broekman and his team from “Wijnhuis” for the excellent organization of this casual wine party and my two master classes, where I was able to talk about the rich history of Saar and Mosel wine to sommeliers, journalists, and wine lovers. It’s great to see such enthusiasm, once again, for top German wines among Dutch wine lovers and especially in first-class restaurants here! A great discovery for me, besides the delicious lemonade by Pinky Rose, was the modern architecture of Zwolle. In addition to the spaceship-like city museum, I was impressed by the perhaps most beautiful bookshop in the world, which was housed in a recently renovated Gothic church. Chapeau! RN

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History

Located in the historical center of Wiltingen in the Saar Valley, Weingut Van Volxem dates back to Roman times. At this site was a Roman villa, whose fragments are still visible today. The vineyards of the estate—which were already planted in the best slate slopes in the 3rd century—are among the oldest in the region. Monks rediscovered the estate in the 11th century, and the Society of Jesus cultivated the vineyards in the 16th century. In 1743, a monastery for producing wine was built here.



In wake of the French Revolution, the property was secularized and finally came into the ownership of the immigrant brewer from Brussels named Gustav van Volxem. The visionary van Volxem recognized the potential of the privileged vineyard sites and developed in the subsequent years one of the most prestigious wine estates in Imperial Germany. With the rise in popularity of Mosel wine as a coveted worldwide luxury item, van Volxem had its heyday. Its Creszenzen, or “growths,” were internationally known on numerous wine lists.


After four generations in the van Volxem family, Roman Niewodniczanski took over the estate, which was subsequently restored in its original state. He also expanded the vineyard holdings, including parcels in various superb sites. In 2004, the estate director Dominik Völk joined the team, which is committed to making Van Volxem a leading international estate for white wine.

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Vineyards

Since Roman times, wines have been made here from the steep slate slopes of the Saar, which are among the best in the world. In the tradition of natural wines, our mission is also to maintain our unique cultural landscape with hard work in the vineyards.

In 1896, the well-known German terroir expert Franz Schneider wrote in the Trier-based wine journal Der Winzer: “In choosing a piece of land in which the most noble and healthy—the crown of all agricultural crops—the grapevine is to be planted, the first step must be a good site…. Just as in choosing a vineyard site, the same care must be taken in regard to the soil type. Both form the foundations of viticulture!”


The Devonian slate is the basis for our work. The aspect and soil of the hillside vineyards go together with the relatively cool climate of the Saar region to make a distinctive composition—perfect for our wines.

With mainly ungrafted, old vines, we have small berries and highly aromatic grapes because of the genetic diversity, which is responsible for the differentiation of each site and the complexity and timelessness of our wines. This is exactly what we want: “cool-climate wines” with moderate alcohol, good structure, complexity, and concentration, but also wines that are very precise and that bring the magic of each individual site spot-on into the glass.

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Winemaking

The focus of our time-consuming work is a conscious return to a traditional, artisanal approach and a respect for the distinctiveness of our steep slate slopes. It is this Burgundian idea of terroir and cru, or “growth,” for designating the top vineyard sites, which formed the basis of the worldwide success of the wines from the Mosel and Saar during the period of the German Empire. We are committed to this heritage.



According to the “ideas on natural wine” in 1904: “Natural wine is a pure product of the vine without any additives, and only such natural wine is wholesome and has no harmful side effects. Each natural wine stands out with its low alcohol content, more intense aroma, pleasant fruit flavor, and fresh acidity, plus it is refreshing and stimulating.” We could not come up with a better definition for the passion of our product than that of the highly respected Wiesbaden-based wine merchant Wilhelm Ruthe.

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Inside information

Following the long tradition at Van Volxem, our wines are mostly fermented dry or off-dry. These are wines to be consumed with food. They are moderate in alcohol, ripe in acidity, and complex in structure. Their special character comes from the stony, mineral-rich slate soils of our fascinating steep slopes—relics of over 400-million-year-old marine deposits. It is the pursuit of harmony and balance in the glass that forms the style of Van Volxem. The wines animate and have a distinct sense of place to go along with great aging potential—Rieslings in the style of the famous Saar wines around 1900.

 

These are wines that challenge in every respect: from the many helping hands doing the hard work on the steep slate slopes, to the cellarmaster carefully handling the wines in the cellar, to the connoisseur enjoying these complex and ever-changing Saar wines.

Low yields per vine, strict selection, harvest (if possible) not before mid-October, physiological ripeness, spontaneous fermentation—of course, also for our entry-level estate wines.

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13 different wines with 37 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  4 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  31 wines 

The tasting “VDP Grosses Gewächs” presented the vintage 2018. On this year’s tasting I was mainly concentrating on the northern wine areas for Riesling: Mosel, Saar, Ruwer, the Rheingau, Nahe and Mittelrhein. The vintage is rather successful although water stress and heat have been the main topics and made the live for the vintners not easier. However the results are very convincing.

1y 1m ago

 Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  15 wines 

F.X. Pichler 2017 Ried Steinertal Riesling Smaragd is intense and flinty on the dark and stony, very flinty and coolish nose with its concentrated white peach and lime aromas. Full-bodied, sharp, super pure and mineral on the palate, this is a full-bodied, tight, fresh and serious wine with a long and tensioned but still terribly young finish. Great complexity and tension! One of the finest Rieslings from the Danube River in 2017. Tasted in Oberloiben/Wachau, September 2018.

1y 4m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  5 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Weingut Grans-Fassian Apotheke Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2017 / Bright yellow colour with green hue. Aromatic nose with ripe peaches and apricots, citrus fruit and hints of grapefruit peel. On the palate quite elegant spiciness, aromatic herbs, ripe apricots and hints of citrus fruit, juicy and balanced character with good length.  


93 points

2y 3m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  5 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  76 wines 

VDP Grosses Gewächs 2016 - vintage tasting was hold on August 21 and 22 at Wiesbaden.

3y 6m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  3 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  135 wines 

As every year on the last Monday and Tuesday of August, the VDP showed a huge array of over 500 wines from the german Grand Cru vineyards, designated as Grosses Gewächs, in a preview tasting for professionals and the press. The tasting was hold on August 29 and 30, 2016.


As the sheer quantity of wines available was too much for a short tasting session, I focussed on the grape variety Riesling and on the rather classic areas such as Mosel, Saar, Ruwer, Pfalz, Rheingau, Nahe and Mittelrhein. From these wine regions I have tasted all Rieslings available. In addition I also tasted a small selection of Riesling from Rheinhessen. The tasting showed a very high and rather homogenous quality level due to good conditions in 2015 but also applied experience and knowledge of the vintners. A very successful tasting with highly recommendable wines.

4y 4m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  3 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  17 wines 

“2015 Grosses Gewächs Preview Tasting of the VDP Part I / As every year on the last Monday and Tuesday of August, the VDP showed a huge array of over 500 wines from the german Grand Cru vineyards, designated as Grosses Gewächs, in a preview tasting for professionals and the press. The tasting was hold on August 29 and 30, 2016. As the sheer quantity of wines available was too much for a short tasting session, I focussed on the grape variety Riesling and on the rather classic areas such as Mosel, Saar, Ruwer, Pfalz, Rheingau, Nahe and Mittelrhein. From these wine regions I have tasted all Rieslings available. In addition I also tasted a small selection of Riesling from Rheinhessen. The tasting showed a very high and rather homogenous quality level due to good conditions in 2015 but also applied experience and knowledge of the vintners. A very successful tasting with highly recommendable wines.”

4y 6m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  5 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  16 wines 

“Every year the VDP presents its Grand Crus called VDP.GROSSE LAGE. The first presentation was hold in Berlin presenting over 460 wines from the different regions of Germany. Five hours for this tasting allowed only a selection of wines to be tasted. However these wines presentet itself as perfect examples for the vintage 2014. Initially thought to be rather difficult, the wines tasted showed a quite homogeneous and convincing level. All dry wines originating in a VDP.GROSSE LAGE bear the initials GG for Grosses Gewächs, the off dry wines bear the additional quality designations of Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese etc.
Here are the first notes…more to come.”

5y 5m ago

 Marie Ahm, Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Van Volxem . In a tasting of  11 wines 

“Expressive nose of white flowers, fresh almond, dried orange peel, peach stone, freshly cut green grass and a dense minerality. A complexity so profound that it is almost impossible to grasp the potential of this wine. So harmonious for such a young wine. This a one of the most sensual and tempting young Rieslings I ever tasted. So complete, hugely structured and elegant at the same time! What an emotional experience!”

8y 2m ago

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