The Maximin Grünhaus estate lies at the foot of a long steep south-facing slope
on the left bank of the Ruwer river, about two kilometres before it joins the Mosel.
The estate belongs to the Von Schubert family and is divided into three separate
but contiguous vineyards: the Abtsberg, the Herrenberg, and the Bruderberg.
Each of these vineyards has its own distinct micro-climate, gradient and soil composition,
differences in terroir which explain the unique character of the wines made at Grünhaus.
Here are the specific features of the three vineyards:
Wines harvested from this vineyard were originally destined for the table of the
Abbot (or Abt) of the Abbey of St Maximin. The site covers 14 hectares, parts of
which have been planted with vines for over a thousand years. The subsoil is blue
Devonian slate and the hillside runs south-east to south-west, achieving a gradient
of up to 70%. Abtsberg wines are characterised by a finely structured subtle minerality,
a racy acidity, generous fruit and great delicacy. They are amongst the longest
lived Rieslings of the region.
Wines from this vineyard were made specially for the Abbey’s Choirmasters. Extending
over 19 hectares, the site benefits from deep soils with good water retention, over
a base of red Devonian slate. Wines from the Herrenberg show fruit and body early
in their lives, but also possess extraordinary ageing potential.
The smallest of the vineyards, covering just 1 hectare, the Bruderberg provided
wine for the monks (or ‘brothers’). The site has the same Devonian slate soil as
the Abtsberg next door, and the wines are very spicy, sometimes with a rustic slaty
mineral quality. They are classified entirely as Qualitätswein, and have great ageing
Work in the Maximin Grünhaus vineyards is conducted in close harmony with nature.
Fertilisation is predominantly organic, and the vineyards have been planted with
a cover crop of wild herbs and grasses. We use no pesticides or herbicides, maintaining
the health of the grapes through intensive manual work instead.
To ensure quality, yields are restricted to around 45 - 55 hectolitres per hectare
(hl/ha); other quality estates in the Mosel average around 80 hl/ha. The grapes
are harvested by hand and, depending on the character of the vintage, several passes
may be made through the vineyard.
At the beginning of 2004, Stefan Kraml took charge of viticulture and viniculture
at Grünhaus. Since that time, the wines of the estate have benefited from his uncompromisingly
The main grape variety at Grünhaus is, and always will be Riesling, which makes
up 94% of the total. A hectare of Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois was harvested for the
first time in 2008. In 2007, a further hectare was planted with Pinot Noir, for
the first time in 150 years.
The Grünhaus cuverie is sited conveniently close to the vineyards so that harvested
grapes can be delivered to the press within a matter of minutes. Depending on the
requirements of the harvest, the grapes can be macerated or subjected to whole bunch
pressing in a modern pneumatic press. After natural clarifying overnight via sedimentation,
the musts are brought to an optimal fermentation temperature, and fermented with
naturally occurring wild yeasts in classic large oak casks (Fuder casks) or small
stainless steel tanks. This promotes the optimal development of mineral flavours
from the slate soil and ensures the longevity of the Rieslings.
Neither the must nor the finished wine are fined. In the last two years the wood
for the barrels has come from the estate’s own forests, and the barrels are crafted
by a local cooper.
But tasting wine is even more enjoyable than reading about it: we warmly welcome
you to a wine tasting at Grünhaus. No appointment is necessary from Monday-Friday
08:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 17:00, and Saturday 08:00 to 12:00. Visits can also
be arranged by appointment.