Rheinhessen, rheinhessen Germany

Jochen Dreissigacker has 45 hectares of vineyards in the Rheinhessen, 55% of which are Riesling. All of his wines are certified organic and he describes his transformation to organic viticulture as “the artisan path to purity”. From 2019, Jochen also started following biodynamic principles in order to create the optimal conditions for the grapes to thrive – an approach that he describes as “a long-term investment in nature and wines”. He reduced the yields in the vineyard by creating a much healthier soil, which in turn was lower in vigour. “The path to any truly great wine is to limit the amount of grapes that are allowed to ripen,” says Jochen.

As expected of an organic estate, his approach in the cellar is as natural as possible, using only wild yeasts to ferment the must and harvesting only fully ripe grapes. All his wines, with the exception of the Auslese, are fermented to full dryness. The felicitous position of his vineyards, low yields and Jochen’s determination to pick at optimum ripeness ensures full flavour and eliminates any need for residual sugar to balance unripe flavours.

The Organic Riesling is ripe, clean, scented and zesty, offering outstanding value. The ‘Bechtheimer’ Riesling, a selection from his vineyards within the village of Bechtheim, is fuller, richer and more complex, but similarly bone dry. The fruit for the ‘Geyersberg’ Riesling is from his best vineyard and shows greater intensity than the Bechtheimer. The ‘Morstein’ Riesling is macerated on skins before fermentation in a combination of stainless steel and 1,200 litre oak barrels. Lean and elegant with citrus aromas, a steely minerality and lively acidity, it is drinking well now, but also has fantastic ageing potential.

The ‘Wunderwerk’ Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is aged for two years in small oak barrels, one third of which are new. It is scented, supple and lively: a wonderfully pure Pinot Noir from this outstanding producer.

Jochen’s Auslese are superb, particularly the ‘Bechtheimer Geyersberg’. The wine was fermented and aged solely in stainless steel to preserve the botrytis-affected Riesling character. With their unique combination of richness, acidity and low alcohol (8.5%), these wines stand among the best in the world to sip at the end of the meal.


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