Stuart Pigott

Our local wines 2018

Stuart Pigott writes about our 2018 local wines "Vom Schiefer" and "Vom Vulkan"

Vom Vulkan Riesling
Vom Schiefer Riesling

The Orstweine or village wines from the members of the VDP wine estate’s association often struggle to achieve the appreciation they deserve, because the names of many German wine villages are not well-known. Thankfully GHB doesn’t have that problem, because of the names we gave these wines. For several years our Ortswein Vom Vulkan, or From the Volcano in English, a powerful and expressive dry Riesling has been almost too successful. The 2017 vintage was sold out before the 2018 was released on the 1st May 2019 and the 2018 is now, in turn, almost sold out. There’s a good reason for this and it’s called Kupfergrube: the legendary vineyard site within the commune of Schlossböckelheim is the exclusive source for this wine. We own fully 12 hectares in this steep site, all of which are classified for GG/”Grand Cru” production by the VDP. We therefore separate the wines from the plots  with different vine age. Those from the oldest vines are normally used for our Kupfergrube GG, those from the youngest vines going into our 7 Terroirs cuvée and those wines from vines in the 12 to 30+ years age group are blended together and bottled as Vom Vulkan.

Year in, year out and in spite of all the vintage variations we experience, Gut Hermannberg’s Vom Vulkan always tasted as dramatic as the steep terraces of the Kupfergrube separated by mighty stonewalls look seen from our terrace. The pronounced grapefruit and smoke aromas come from the volcanic melaphry soil that’s always stony and seldom as much as one meter deep. Due to the exceptional ripeness in 2018 there was a hint of pineapple aroma and a slightly warmer and spicier feel to Vom Vulkan than usual. However, it still retained the sleek and racy profile that’s typical for the Kupfergrube wines. 

Our other Ortswein or village wine, Vom Schiefer, is a complete contrast to it. The Gut Hermannsberg "Vom Schiefer" comes exclusively from our 5.25 hectare monopole Hermannsberg within the commune of Niederhausen, the only one of our 7 Terroirs (sites classified for GG/”Grand Cru” production by the VDP) with a clay slate soil. This refined and elegant wine comes from those plots where the vine age is in the 12 – 30+ range, just like its sister wine.  The 2018 Vom Schiefer has fine Mirabelle and peachy notes with a minty freshness, great finesse and a long cool mineral finish. The 2017 and 2016 vintages are also still available directly from us in small quantities.

Since the 2015 vintage both these “second wines” wines have consistently offered almost-GG quality for a very friendly price. They are very food friendly wines and neither of them has any trouble with hot East Asian or Latin American spices.


Von Stuart Pigott