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The founder of the estate, Dr. Robert Weil, purchased his first vineyards on the Kiedricher Berg in Rheingau in 1867, at a time when he was still a German professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. With the approach of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, he was forced to leave France. He settled in Wiesbaden, where he worked as a journalist, and Kiedrich, where he expanded his vineyard holdings by acquiring the best sites on the Kiedricher Berg. Thanks to his unwavering commitment to quality-oriented viticulture, his foresight, and his willingness to invest in the estate, it developed quickly and its wines were soon celebrated in international circles. Spätlese and Auslese wines from Weingut Robert Weil graced the table of many European imperial and royal houses as the white counterparts of the Bordeaux reds.
Terroir: Deep and medium-deep, stony, fragmented phyllite partially mixed with loess and loam, southwest exposure
Today, the estate’s 90 ha (222 acres) of vineyards are planted 100% with Riesling.
Throughout its history the estate has always focused on the Riesling grape and adhered to strict, quality-oriented practices in the vineyard – such as stringent pruning to control yields and selective harvesting by hand – and in the cellar, where the wines are vinified as gently as possible. This unwavering and uncompromising quality management is central to Weingut Robert Weil’s unbroken streak of producing wines at every Prädikat classification, up to and including Trockenbeerenauslese, for every vintage since 1989. The estate’s dedication to Riesling since 1875 has led numerous observers of the international wine world to regard Weingut Robert Weil, with its “château character”, as a worldwide symbol of German Riesling culture.
Vinification: stainless steel tanks
A spring and early summer of record-setting rain led to irregular flowering and triggered widespread outbreaks of peronospora (a.k.a. downy mildew), resulting in sporadic crop loss. August and September set records for drought and heat, catching-up ripening. Leisurely harvest during a chilly, largely clear October and November resulted in outgoing Rieslings of modest but generally lively acidity, moderate alcohol, and understated complexity. (Mittelrhein and Terrassenmosel Rieslings tend toward acid-deficiency.) Few Auslesen and even less botrytis.