2018 Weingut Staffelter Hof Rizzy Star Must14132862
WINEMAKER: Jan Matthias Klein
REGION: Mosel Valley, GER
VITICULTURE: Certified Organic
Certified organic & handpicked from two vineyards – Kirchlay & Letterlay, both on a combination and grey and blue slate. The grapes are a mixture of a couple of different harvest times to ensure the perfect balance of fruit and acidity.
The grapes were destemmed and underwent a 24-hour maceration before being pressed. Wild fermentation took place in a double fuder (2000L barrel) and lasted over 6 months. At that stage, the wine was bottled where the ferment continued as per the ancestral, or Pet-Nat method finishing at approx 8g/L RS. In total the wine has spent a little over 24 months on lees in bottle for added autolytic complexity & mouthfeel. Unfined, undisgorged & preservative free.
At almost 1,200 years old, Weingut Staffelter-Hof is THE oldest working winery in the world & subsequently it is also one of the oldest companies of any kind in the world. Records show that this estate, long owned by the Belgian Benedictine Abbey of Stavelot (hence the “Staffelter” name) was established in 862AD! At the onset, wine production was exclusively for the monastery until the French Revolution. It was then later secularised in the early 1800's under Napoleon's rule and has been in the Klein family ever since.
The vineyard holdings span 10.2ha of diverse vineyards such as Paradies, Kirchlay, Letterlay, Steffensberg, and as far south as the Dhroner Hofberg. The winery itself is located in Kröv, a village in the heart of the middle Mosel on a sweeping 180⁰ curve of the river between the old, quiet winemaking villages of Wolf and Kinheim. This is not a hotbed of avant-garde creativity. Yet Jan Matthias Klein, a 7th generation winemaker at this estate, is doing something extraordinary here, crafting naturweine the likes of which have rarely been seen in the history of the Mosel.
A member of the Klitzekleine Ring, a group of about a dozen winemakers dedicated to saving steep slope Mosel vineyards that would otherwise be abandoned. Jan’s farming on the steep slate hills of the area is strictly organic—practicing since 2011 and certified organic since 2014 — which is a very hard and expensive commitment to make in the region. It is far easier to spray pesticides from a helicopter, for instance, than to scramble up and down 60⁰-70⁰ gradient slopes.
Hard work is an intrinsic part of the winery’s founding legend. Centuries ago, a donkey was originally the laborer of the steep slopes in Kröv until a wolf killed it. Legend has it that the Stavelot monks caught the wolf and made it do the vineyard work after it killed the donkey. Wolf “Magnus” is still the mascot of the winery today & as such, he features on a few labels of the estate grown wines within the portfolio...