Rolf Wegeler did not wish to produce modern wines, since they can be copied. Wegeler attempted to go back to an essential characteristic of the dry Riesling: a mere shadow of residual sweetness balances the fine complex acidity of the Riesling, within the realm of dryness. Therefore the Riesling’s delicate fragrance and structure can unfold even after centuries, and with it, it ascertains the highest appreciation to the Rhinegau soil in this climate well beyond borders.
The “Jot” is composed from one variety, Riesling, but not only from one vineyard. The grapes come from the best Rhinegau sites, such as Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Berg Roseneck and Berg Rottland or Geisenheimer Rothenberg and Oestricher Lenchen. The wines are fermented and vinified separately according to the sites; they are blended in the spring that follows the harvest and composed to become the Geheimrat J. It consists mainly of the three elements that are characteristic of its sites’ soils, which determine this Riesling’s structure and taste: slate, quartzite and loamy loess. The Ruedesheim slopes are characterised by slate with a high content in iron oxide, and the Geisenheim sites contain mainly Taunus quartzite. Both of these contribute to a stony character which creates the impression of sturdiness. The Oestrich sites with their fertile loess and loam soils, by contrast, give a mellow and voluptuous though entirely charming note to this Riesling. The “Jot” is not merely mineral and steel; there is also something floral and a conciliatory resonance in this wine.
At the Rheingau estate, we select and harvest most of the grapes by hand. Because the vineyards of our Mosel estate are extremely steep, the harvest at the Moselle is done 100% manually.
From the vineyard, the grapes are immediately brought to the estate for processing. The most important aspect is their gentle treatment.Because we use the gravitation principle, the grapes do not suffer any mechanical strain. After having been unloaded at the receipt station, the grapes are gently pressed.
The grape must is then left to sediment overnight. During this process, the solids deposit at the bottom, and the must clarifies naturally. The next step for the Moselle wines is the fermentation in cooled stainless steel tanks with the addition of cultured as well as wild yeasts. In the Rheingau estate, specially selected wines are additionally matured in large barrels of aged oak. Reductive maturing in the stainless steel tank, i.e. under exclusion of oxygen and free of micro-oxidation, preserves the prevailing fruit perfumes, the so-called primary aromas, together with the wines' distinct character and elegance. Wines matured in large barrels of aged oak are subject to micro-oxidation caused by the oxygen penetrating through the pores of wood. Wines aged in this way excel by their maturity and multi-facetedness, and above all by their extraordinary creaminess. In general, we mature wines in barrels from 15 to 6000 liters of size.
Following the fermentation - which will not be completed before springtime for most wines -, the new wines are left in contact with the fine yeast for some time. Depending on the type and selection of the wine, they may remain on the fine yeast until the summer months. Before bottling, they are filtered once. Pursuant to their aroma profile, the wines retain their natural residual sweetness. Bottling starts in spring and lasts till summer. After its second fermentation, the Geheimrat "J" Riesling sparkling wine brut is put on the fine yeast for 3 to 5 years, for special editions even up to 10 years.