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Weingut im Zwölberich
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Terroir: Lower Nahe
Hartmut Heintz took over the Zwölberich vineyards from his father Walter in 1985 and pushed the estate's natural approach towards organic and then biodynamic certification. With just 80 acres (33 hectares) of the fertile Lower Nahe that had been producing wine since 1711 the estate's renewed dedication to natural production seemed to fit with the family's guardianship of their domain.
Hartmut's dedicated pursuit of natural cultivation and production has been recognised by multiple honours and awards and, most impressively, by the recognition by the Vienna International Wine Challenge as the Best Organic Wine Producer of the Year in October 2014.
The estate produces 16 grape varieties, including Riesling of course, but with rarer varieties including Auxerrois and St Laurent too. (In particular, Hartmut's Auxerrois is a triumph of his determination, following a successful ten-year battle to receive Qualitätswein status.) With unusually wide vine planting and natural, hand-pruning and maintenance, yields are low and the harvested grape quality is enormously high. The same care is then lavished on the wine production process, with variety-specific handling all completed with the objective of delivering the highest quality wine the team can achieve with minimum environmental impact.
Hartmut quietly runs an exceptionally impressive operation and the wines that the Zwölberich team produce are of a conspicuously high quality. Historic, natural deliciousness.