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VDP Grosse Lage denotes our absolutely finest vineyard, Kiedrich Gräfenberg. It is the source of Riesling wines that reflect expressive site-specific characteristics and have exceptional aging potential. In addition to the dry Riesling "VDP.Grosses Gewächs®", we produce classic Prädikat wines with natural, fruity sweetness from grapes grown in the Kiedrich Gräfenberg site – wines that have long been highly esteemed in the Rheingau.
Kiedrich Gräfenberg: Steep sites, Kiedricher Kosterberg, Kiedrich Turmberg and Kiedrich Gräfenberg, and their extraordinarily physiological ripe grapes yield truly great crops that promise wines of great extract (substance) and perceptible mineral tones that reflect their appellations of origin.
In the 12th century, the renowned site was still known as “mons rhingravii” (literally, the hill of the Rhine counts). By 1258 and 1259, documents referred to it as “Grevenberg” – southwest-facing site with deep to medium-deep soil, predominantly stony, fragmented phyllite and dramatic inclines of up to 60 %.
Until secularization in 1803, large portions of the Gräfenberg site numbered among the vineyard holdings of the monastery Kloster Eberbach. Even in the decades thereafter, the site was owned by only a few wine estates.
At the end of the 19th century, Gräfenberg began its rise to fame. During this time, when Rhine Rieslings reached the height of their reputation, Gräfenberg Rieslings from the House of Dr. Weil graced the tables of European kings and emperors as well as the wine lists of leading hotels throughout Europe, from St.Petersburg to Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and London. Gräfenberg and its neighboring site, Turmberg, consistently ranked among the finest sites in vineyard classifications of that time.
To this day, Gräfenberg has retained its great renown. At Christie’s rare wine auction in 1999, a 1921 Kiedricher Berg Auslese-Growth Dr.Weil fetched the world’s highest bottle price for a white wine of the 20th century: DM 20,000. In the course of its centennial celebration in 2010, “VDP. The Prädikat Wine Estates” held an auction at which Weingut Robert Weil once again achieved a world record price – this time, for a wine making its debut presentation: 2003 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken - beerenauslese 316°Oechsle Gold Capsule fetched € 5,117.00 per bottle.
Gräfenberg is also the only site in the world in which grapes of every quality category up to and including Trockenbeerenauslese have been harvested every year without exception since the 1989 vintage.
The stony-gritty soils of the Gräfenberg are deep to mediumdeep. Phyllite is a major component, interspersed with loess and loam. This soil composition, with its high proportion of stones and water-retaining layers, provides the site with an optimal and balanced water supply.
Tasting Notes: Stunning Trockenbeerenauslese with beautiful botrytized fruit; deep and opulent flavors accentuate the seductive dance between racy acidity and high levels of natural sweetness; a wine to put down and age for many years to come.
Vintage report 2007
The phenomena of climate change and resultant global warming also affected the year 2007. Once again, weather observations yielded record-breaking data: after a winter that was clearly too mild, spring weather in April and May was extremely warm. Furthermore, even though the summer often did not feel very “summery,” temperatures registered during the growing season were the highest since recordkeeping began (1884), even breaking the record set in 2003.
Naturally, these climatic conditions had a considerable affect on the vines. A very warm April led to an extremely early bud burst. Warm temperatures continued in May, so that vines blossomed during the second half of the month – the earliest blossoming since time immemorial. The warmth lasted through early June and by mid-June, vegetation was more than three weeks ahead of schedule. Rather average weather during the rest of summer reduced this head start. Nevertheless, the grapes began to ripen in the Rheingau on 3 August – precisely as early as in the “record year” 2003. The difference was that the development of the grapes (after early blossoming) continued more slowly and consistently, thanks to a better distribution of sunshine and rainfall than in 2003.
Because of this perfect weather pattern, vines had optimal supplies of water and nutrients, and despite the relatively early harvest (due to early blossoming), Riesling grapes could remain on the vines for a long time – an important factor for this grape variety.
Even the grapes harvested the earliest had exceptionally high extract values (even higher than in 2005 and 2006) and showed a perfect physiological ripeness and well-developed aromas. As such, the early harvest yielded fine Kabinett and light Spätlese qualities that will be bottled as Qualitätswein (Gutsriesling).
In all, ideal weather conditions enabled us to leisurely extend the harvest over seven weeks and selectively harvest the best grapes for other Prädikat wines. For the 19th consecutive year we were able to harvest every Prädikat, including Trockenbeerenauslese with up to 256 degrees Oechsle, in our Grand Cru sites Kiedricher Gräfenberg and Kiedricher Turmberg.
In addition to the exceptionally high quality of the 2007 vintage, the wonderful climatic conditions during the year provided us with a higher yield. After five short years, this brings us back to our long-term average.
It still seems that the Rheingau will be one of the regions to benefit from increasingly warmer weather. In the future, despite higher temperatures, it will still be possible to produce wines with an ideal Riesling profile – finesse, mineral character, and fine acidity – particularly in the stony soils in the higher sites in the foothills of the Taunus Hills. In addition to these natural advantages of terroir, with God’s blessing we were able to harvest our grapes over a long period of time, after a picture-perfect growing season in 2007.