Gut Hermannsberg celebrates its 10th Anniversary
Stuart Pigott is Riesling Ambassador
35 years ago Stuart Pigott visited Gut Hermannsberg, then the Staatliche Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schloßböckelheim or Nahe State Domaine, for the first time. That moment is recorded in his diary entry for Thursday, 26th April 1984 where his order for several of the wines he tasted that day is also noted.
“I’ll never forget my very first sip of Kupfergrube, I was totally amazed and fascinated,” recalls the British born journalist. Since then he has devoted himself to studying the Rieslings of Planet Wine, but those from the Nahe have always had a special place in his heart. After many adventures in the big wide world of wine, the last of which was as Contributing Editor for James Suckling, one of the world’s most influential wine critics, Pigott returns to Germany to live out at least a part of his fascination for Riesling in the beautiful and dramatic Nahe Valley.
The Nahetal © Nils Weiler
This decision has a great deal to do with the fact that this year Gut Hermannsberg celebrates an important anniversary. 10 years ago the estate, founded in 1902 by the Prussian State, was purchased by Jens Reidel and Christine Dinse. As a result of many carefully planned investments, and through the sensitive leadership of winemaker Karsten Peter, Gut Hermannsberg has climbed back into the first league of German wine. Stuart Pigott followed this process in detail and he showered praise upon the wines Karsten Peter made from the last vintages (see www.JamesSuckling.com), particularly those from the great Hermannsberg, Kupfergrube and Bastei vineyard sites. In fact, all the estate’s 30 hectares of vineyards are classified VDP Grosse Lage, or “Grand Cru”.
Owners Jens Reidel (left) and Christine Dinse with winemaker Karsten Peter. © K. Baensch
Several months ago Jens Reidel’s son Jasper joined the team directing Gut Hermannsberg. Together with Achim Kirchner (sales) and Karsten Peter (production) the three are planning the future of this exceptional estate.
The winery was founded in 1902.
“2019 is a particularly important year for us, because we have now completed a decade of groundwork at Gut Hermannsberg,” explain Jens Reidel and Christine Dinse, “we converted the vineyards to sustainable cultivation, reduced the yields and successively pushed up the quality. We also constructed a new copper-coloured press house and opened a stylish guesthouse. By the summer the tasting and sales area will also have been modernized. Then everything at Gut Hermannsberg will be ready for a glamorous anniversary celebration and an even brighter future.”
Stuart Pigott will play an important role in that process. His enormous experience with Riesling wines that reflect the geology of the vineyard, and his ability to communicate their qualities outside the conventions of modern winespeak, will be no less important for Gut Hermannsberg than his critical and analytical faculties or his global network of connections.
Riesling Ambassador Stuart Pigott. © Gunnar Swanson
Managing Director Jasper Reidel © Gut Hermannsberg
During their anniversary year in parallel to his journalistic work Stuart Pigott will be Gut Hermannsberg’s „Riesling-Ambassador“. He will bring his skills as a wordsmith to texts describing the development of the estate and its remarkable wines during the last decade, and he will present the estate’s Riesling wines at a series of tastings for professionals in Germany and around the world.
Kupfergrube – like all vineyards of Gut Hermannsberg – is classified VDP Grosse Lage.
Vormals Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne
About Gut Hermannsberg:
Originally known as the Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne, the estate was laid out and constructed in 1902 by the Prussian government – as a ‘model’ Riesling winery.
It is quite impressive for its picturesque location above the Nahe River (ninety minutes southwest by car from Frankfurt am Main). The thirty hectares of the historic estate are all classified as Grosse Lage by the VDP. In 2009 Jens Reidel and Dr Christine Dinse discovered the estate and recognised its great potential. They acquired the property and decided upon the name Gut Hermannsberg, after of one of the best vineyards on the Nahe, also a monopole holding of the estate. The estate’s general managers are Achim Kirchner, Jasper Reidel and Karsten Peter, who also serves as cellarmaster; together and with their team they concentrate fully upon the rich Riesling tradition of the estate, and thanks to the geologic characteristics and orientation of the outstanding vineyards, are able to vinify the finest, extremely impressive Rieslings. These steeply sloped sites – such as the legendary Kupfergrube, the monopole Hermannsberg and the unique Traiser Bastei – figure among the best Riesling sites in Germany and in the world. Achim Kirchner and Tobias Frick are responsible for marketing the wines, both in Germany and internationally.