The Löwenstein family has a close relationship with wine production in the Winningen area, in the northernmost part of the Moselle, for about 500 years, and the winery Heymann-Löwenstein, founded in 1980, is simply the last link in this unbroken chain of 14 winegrowers generations. Although international critics have unanimously recognized, in the production of this winery, one of the most significant examples of German Riesling Nouvelle Vague, the air you breathe visiting the cellar or talking to the owners has an exquisitely archaic flavor. The Löwenstein family, in fact, is keen to stress that the work done, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, is inspired by traditional practices perfectly known and mastered, by the winemakers of the area, already in the nineteenth century.
Behind this productive choice lies the idea of a viticulture that embraces an idea of extremely rigorous naturalness, which does not follow the fashion of the moment or the easy convenience, but brings the winemaker to a deeply ethical vision of his work. From this conception comes the will to preserve the tradition, starting from the recovery and protection of terraced vineyards (which now cover less than 1% of the German area planted with vines), combined with the consequent multiplication of manual correct and sustainable work hours, in the vineyard (2000 hours against 300-600 hours of mechanized work). But “tradition” also means giving up, in addition to the ban of chemistry in the vineyard, of excessive consumption of electricity (completely absent 200 years ago), of any operation that releases a significant footprint of CO2, and also of the exploitation of employees with disadvantageous or deceptive contracts.
Among the wines produced it is worth mentioning the Schiefferterrassen (= slate’s terraces) produced by a south facing plot of 5.2 hectares, consisting of 12 parcels Erste Lage (something similar to Burgundy 1er Cru) with vines of 50 years of age, which insist on slate soils, on the hill of Rittersturz, which rises less than 10 kilometres east of Winningen. The harvest takes place in the month of November and the vinification process is done as little as possible, leaving, for example, that the fermentation takes place spontaneously, by means of wild yeasts. A period of maturation of just under a year (part in steel and part in oak barrels) and the wine is ready for marketing.
The 2019 vintage has a brilliant golden color, with greenish reflections, accompanied by a main aromatic kit of lime, kumquat, wildflowers and noble hydrocarbons, accompanied, secondly, by peach in syrup, papaya, strawberry tree honey and saffron. The taste is electrifying, with a soft-glyceric entry that seems almost to give a sugary idea, but that is immediately reached by flashes of citrine freshness which contrast it creating this tasty Pas de deux between sweetness and acidity, while the citrus fruits, honey and hydrocarbon return to play a retro-olfactory role, taking over the center of the scene and remaining there until the good length closure.
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