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Meet the Winemakers


Our winemakers are an extension of our family here at The WineBarn. Each one is hand-picked and each has a unique story to tell. Some have a family run business that has been handed down through several centuries. Others are new producers with small vineyards where much of the work is done by hand using traditional techniques. There is no ‘tick box’ approach to how we select our wines. Each producer is personally known to us and we have complete faith in the quality of their wines. Find out about their unique histories and regions below. The nine regions we import from are:

Wine Regions of Germany Map

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Ahr

Ahr Wine Region Map

The Ahr river has its source at western edge of the Ahr Hills and over the course of millions of years the river has carved a near vertical slice through the Rhenish Slate Mountains. In the middle Ahr region the valley is narrow and the banks are steep - this is where the wine region begins with sun-washed terraced vineyards on the southern slopes. The Ahr valley is Germany’s most northern red wine area and with just about 550 hectares, it is also the smallest.  The region is best known for its red grape cultivation and we have selected a fabulous, award winning producer in this region, Meyer-Näkel.

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Meyer-Näkel

Meyer-Näkel Wines

This is a fifth generation family estate. Today’s wine estate was established by the marriage of Paula Meyer and Willibald Näkel. Although Willibald Näkel only cultivated 1.5 hectares of vines he was already a pioneer for the then rather unusual dry red wines from the Ahr valley. Today’s 15 hectare estate is managed by his son Werner Näkel, his wife Claudia and their daughters Meike and Dörte.

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Baden

Baden Wine Region Map

Baden is in the warmest part of Germany and lies sheltered between mountain ranges, with sunny vineyard slopes that provide ideal growing conditions for producing high quality wines. Like a long, narrow ribbon, Baden stretches for 400km along the Rhine and the weather conditions are almost Mediterranean. This is German’s third largest wine-growing region with around 16,000 hectares of vines. Baden is Pinot country: Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) account for more than half of the varieties cultivated here. We have four outstanding producers in Baden.

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Bercher

Bercher Wines

The history of the Bercher family can be traced back to the year 1457 and they have been producing wines in the Kaisertuhl for over 300 years. This family-run estate has increased in size and now cultivates 17 hectares of vines producing some excellent reds and whites.

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Dr Heger

Dr Heger Wines

This is another of Germany’s great wine producing families, started in 1935 by Dr Max Heger, a country doctor who turned to wine making. The estate is now run by Joachim Heger with his wife Silvia. He continues the rigorous attention to quality of his father and grandfather and successfully combines it with modern technology, a great enthusiasm and a determination to produce the very best wines.

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Franz Keller

Franz Keller Wines

A family estate of some 100 acres, Fritz Keller carefully blends a history of wine making tradition with modern technology and methods. More than half of all Franz Keller Schwarzer Adler vineyards are planted to Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), the model varieties of the region. Of course, there also is Weißer Burgunder (Pinot Blanc) and the long underestimated Müller-Thurgau. There are also smaller plantings of Silvaner, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Lemberger (aka Blaufränkisch) - at the Kaiserstuhl these varieties develop interesting and distinct characteristics.

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Franken

Franken Wine Region Map

This wine region lies between the Rhön Mountains and the Tauber valley, the Spessart and the Steigerwald mountain ranges. Most of the vineyards lie alongside the Main river. One highly recognisable feature of Franconian wines is the Bocksbeutel, a short-necked round bottle and the oldest known ancestor of this characteristic bottle dates from around 1400BC! In general Franken’s climate is Continental marked by cold winters and hot summer, but in the valleys along the Main the micro climate is more Mediterranean with perfect conditions for wine production. We have one outstanding producer in Franken, Weingut Wirsching.

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Wirsching

Wirsching Wines
The Hans Wirsching winery ranks among the best known and largest privately held wine estates in all of Franconia, with 90 hectares of vineyards. Now in its 14th generation, the Wirsching family has been making wine since the 1630s. Silvana is the dominant grape variety which is known for being an ideal wine to accompany food thanks to its simple elegance, neutral bouquet and a delicate, mild acidity. The grapes are harvested by hand and processed as gently and carefully as possible.  In this way the freshness and liveliness are preserved in the wines, as well as their vintage and grape varietal character in the form of specific aromas and flavour nuances.
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Mosel

Mosel Wine Region Map

This is Germany’s oldest wine growing region and it’s steep, terraced vineyards call for sure-footed vintners who are not afraid of heights!  It has one of the warmest climate zones in Germany and the slate soil areas provide ideal conditions for Riesling, which puts down deep roots and draws heavily on the minerals in the subsoil.  Riesling accounts for 60% of production in this area and we have discovered two excellent producers in the Mosel to share with you; Weingut St. Urbans-Hof and Weingut Clemens Busch, both of whom produce some outstanding Rieslings.

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Grans-Fassian

Grans-Fassian Wines

The Grans-Fassian winery is located in Leiwen within the Mosel valley. The winery has 13 hectares of cultivated land - 90% is dedicated to the production of Riesling. The remaining 10% is Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. The steep, south west facing slate slopes provide the perfect microclimate for their vines. The Mosel valley’s cool weather conditions ensure that their grapes ripen slowly. As a result, the grapes retain a lively acidity and develop a variety of aromas. Grans-Fassian wines are characterised by elegance and minerality with an intense fruit taste.

Grans-Fassian are proud to be a member of the VDP - Germany’s association of elite wine producers and trademark of exceptional quality wine. Their wines are original, yet true to the region.

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Kochan & Platz

Kochan & Platz Wines

Kochan & Platz are two family businesses Kochan (Lieser) and Platz (Veldenz) that have been cultivating wine for generations. In 2015, they combined their rich knowledge, precise craftsmanship and intense passion for wine under one label. The result - more experience, larger vineyard of eight hectares, increased production and a wider variety of exciting events at the winery. Their vines are grown on mineral-rich slate soil and are harvested using sustainable methods.

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Knebel

Knebel Wines
The Knebel winery cultivates almost eight hectares of vineyards on the steepest slopes of Terrassenmoselle in the Mosel region.
Knebel’s philosophy is based on respect - respect for the land and respect for the winery’s heritage, which dates back to 1642. Their characterful wines are ambassadors of Knebel’s culture, uniting the traditional Riesling grape variety with the steep vineyards, slate rich soil, natural viticulture processes and slow fermentation. The result is a diverse range of Rieslings that have depth, elegance and a distinctive personality.

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St Urbans-Hof

Nik Weis St Urbans Hof Wines
Nik Weis took over the winery in 1997 and in 2000 the estate became a member of the prestigious VDP (Association of German Praedikcat Estates). Nik and his team have 33 hectares of Riesling vineyards in some of the finest sites of the Middle-Mosel and Saar. It is their goal to produce expressive wines that are full of character. Today they export to many international markets and enjoy a great reputation for exceptional Rieslings.
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Vereinigte Hospitien

Vereinigte Hospitien Wines

 The Vereinigte Hospitien (United Hospices) the 25 hectare wine estate is based in the heart of Trier, Germany's oldest city, a former Roman imperial residence and the centre of the Mosel wine region. A sculpture of Saint James is situated at the entrance to the winery and also features on Vereinigte Hospitien's wine labels.

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Nahe

Nahe Wine Region Map

This region boasts Germany’s greatest soil biodiversity. The soils here range from volcanic stones to weathered soils of sandstone, loess and loam to quartzite, clay and slate. The wonderful diversity gives the wines their distinctive ‘terroirs’ and has earned this region the name “tasting bar”. The Nahe enjoys a remarkably mild climate with abundant sunshine and little rain and over 75% of the grapes grown here are white and of these Riesling predominates.  We have two wonderful producers in this region; Weingut Göttelmann and Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich, both of whom produce some outstanding Rieslings.

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Göttelmann

Göttelmann Wines
The estate is located in the town of Münster-Sarmsheim and is run by Goetz Blessing and his wife. The vineyards cover around 13.5 hectares and are planted with a selection of white varieties; Riesling, which accounts for 60%, Silvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Griz and Chardonnay. The red varieties are Dornfelder and Pinot Noir. This family business works with nature and each vintage is carefully nurtured to produce the best flavours and terroir. Most of their wonderful wines are enjoyed in Germany and we are delighted to be able to offer some of them to our UK wine lovers.
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Schneider

Jakob Schneider Wines
Surrounded by the most prized vineyards of the Nahe, the idyllic wine village of Niederhausen is located immediately adjacent to the river and reservoir. Since 1575 it has been the home of the family and vineyard of Jakob Schneider, one of the most long-standing enterprises of the Nahe. There are currently three generations working hand in hand at the vineyard. All the "Schneiders" are jointly committed to ensuring that the high expectations placed on our wines are repeatedly met year after year and if possible even exceeded. The cultivated vine area measures 28 hectares. 85% of this is planted with Riesling grapes, the great passion of the family.

There are 52 rock formations in the vineyards of Jakob Schneider alone, primarily of volcanic origin but also containing slate and river sediments in the subsoil. Thanks to modern, careful grape acceptance and a long and gentle fermentation using the yeasts found in the grapes themselves, the winery produces charismatic wines with immense depth. The grapes of the numerous individual vineyards are matured separately and individually. We make use of both classical maturation in large oak barrels as well as moderated fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Both methods yield wines that perfectly reflect the terroir.

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Pfalz

Pfalz Wine Region Map

Located on the western edge of the Rhine Valley, the grape vines are nestled on the slopes of the Palatinate Forest. It’s vineyards carpet the gently rolling hills and this is Germany’s second largest wine-growing region. Hard frosts are rare and there is abundant sunshine. It has a diverse range of soil types and 45 white and 22 red grape varieties have been approved for growing here. Riesling dominates again with over 5,000 hectares in production and our producer, Weingut Dr Von Bassermann-Jordan is a Riesling expert. We also have another shining star in the Pfalz, Weingut Friedrich Becker who is acknowledged to be one of the best Pinot Noir producers in Germany.

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Dr Von Bassermann-Jordan

This wine estate dates back over 300 years when wine production first began.  The estate covers around 49 hectares with more than 20 different vineyard sites.  One third are top rated vineyards such as Hohenmorgen, Kirchenstück and Jesuitengarten.  Priority is given to the careful handling of the grapes involving painstaking manual work which results in wines of great character.  There is an ethos of working with the land and they only use of natural products for pest prevention.
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Friedrich Becker

Another of our family run estates of 30 Hectares, Weingut Friedrich Becker believe in working in harmony with nature, respecting the different challenges the weather can bring and rising to these challenges to produce some outstanding wines.  Becker believes in a natural fermentation process and produces his wines ‘by instinct’.  Well, his instincts are excellent as are his wines!
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Kranz

Kranz Wines

Kranz are an organic wine producer based in the Pfalz region of Germany. They are committed to sustainable, quality-oriented viticulture that produces VDP standard wines. Kranz specialise in Riesling, Weissburgunder, Silvaner & Spätburgunder. A family-owned and run business with an age-long wine-growing tradition, it was not until the 1970s that Kranz decided to do their own bottling and marketing. The family now cultivate 25 hectares of vineyards - 60% white and 40% red grape varieties. 

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Rheingau

Rheingau Wine Region Map

The vineyards of the Rheingau extend from Wicker on the Lower Main to Lorchhausen in the Rhenish Slate Mountains. Here, on the sunny side of the Rhine, is the home of Spätlese - the late harvest. The heat and moisture-retaining soils of the Rheingau provide ideal conditions for vine cultivation.  Soil types range from slate to sandy loam and the region is dominated by the Riesling grape, followed by Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). We have two wonderful producers in the Rheingau - Weingut Allendorf, which is the largest family owned winery in the region and Sekthaus Solter, whose sparkling wines rival the best French champagnes.

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Allendorf

Allendorf Wines
Allendorf has a history stretching back over 700 years. Careful, traditional work in the old vineyards and modern technique in the cellar ensure that all the wines have their own individual character. Wine consumers in Europe and all over the world enjoy the excellent balance between acidity and fruitiness. The Fritz Allendorf wine estate has 70 hectares of vineyards and is a member of ‘VDP’ - a society of approximately 200 of the leading German wine estates.
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Sekthaus Solter

Sekthaus Solter Wines
One of Germany’s best sparkling wine producers, Sekthaus Solter delivers consistently excellent sparkling wines, on a par with the best French champagnes.  If you’ve never tried German bubbles then this is the place to start.
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Schloss Reinhartshausen

Schloss Reinhartshausen Wines
Legendary Rieslings since 1337 - at one of the world‘s oldest winegrowing estates with 64 Hectares. Chateau Schloss Reinhartshausen has been a pillar of Rheingau wine culture for 680 years. Even today, the spirit of both past and present courses through their walls. All here breathe Riesling! The original Chateau bottlings promise world-class quality, now and forever, from the heart of the Rheingau. We, the Lergenmüller family, honor and cherish our outstanding vineyard sites by respecting the flora and fauna that thrive there. Following each selective harvest, our task is merely to preserve and guide the outstanding fruit arriving from the vineyards. Traditionally considered among the most cellarable bottles in all of the Rheingau, we are honoured to give our wines the time necessary to mature. We hope you enjoy our distinctive, harmonious, and terroir-driven Riesling as much as we do.
Mariannenaue, an island on the Rhine River, is a designated European Nature Reserve and, since 2015, a protected appellation for quality wine. Roughly 10,000 years ago, Father Rhine shaped Mariannenaue Island with his powerful currents, forming a limestone bedrock from sand and stones carried down from the Alps.
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Rheinhessen

Rheinhessen Wine Region Map

Rheinhessen is the largest of Germany's wine regions with 26,758 hectares (66,120 acres) cultivated. Rheinhessen produces mostly white wines from a variety of grapes, including Riesling and Silvaner.

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Bischel

Bischel Wines

Brothers Christian and Mathias (the ‘Bischel Boys’) have been running the Appenheim-based 25 Hectare estate since 2006, having completed vineyard placements in South Africa and New Zealand. Both believe in the ancient art of making wine by hand. Rejecting modern oenological techniques, they focus on the origin of the grape over work in the cellar, which results in environmentally-friendly viticulture and select harvests. Despite their youth, the Bischel Boys have developed unquestionable production techniques, verified by their wines’ VDP classification. Bischel wines are characterful, unique and of outstanding quality.

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K. F. Groebe

K. F. Groebe Wines

K. F. Groebe wine estate was founded in 1763. The nine hectares of vineyards can be found in Westhofen in Rheinhessen. The centuries-old vineyards have been lovingly cared for throughout the generations and produce traditional vine varieties - 75% Riesling, 7% Silvaner and 18% Burgundy. K. F. Groebe, who describe their produce as ‘German wines with character’ take the upmost pride in their craft and use traditional production methods. K. F. Groebe winery is part of the VDP, so you can be assured that their wines are of the finest quality.

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Württemberg

Württemberg Wine Region Map

This region is best known for its red wines which grow especially well on the steep slopes of the Neckar River and its tributaries. These steep slopes have a diverse range of soils which means wines from the Württemberg are widely varied in character. Red wines account for around 75% of the vineyard area and the most important white grape variety is the Riesling which accounts for around 18%. Our Württemberg producers of choice are Aldinger and Jürgen Ellwanger.

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Aldinger

Aldinger Wines
Building on 500 years of wine growing tradition, the current Aldinger family is proud to have one of the finest wine estates in Württemberg. Headed up by Gert Aldinger and supported by his sons Hansjörg and Matthias, the Aldinger philosophy is one of reduced yield and increased quality, something that becomes very apparent when you taste their wines and we have a stunning selection to share with you from entry level to Grand Cru.
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Jürgen Ellwanger

Jürgen Ellwanger Wines

Viticulture has been practiced in the Ellwanger family since 1514. In 1949, Gottlob Ellwanger founded today's Ellwanger Winery. Under Jürgen Ellwanger (pictured above in the centre), the wine estate steadily grew to cover 26 hectares which are spread over five towns. The winery specialises in the finest Riesling, Lemberger and Trollinger wines.
Today, Jürgen's sons Felix (above left) and Joerg (above right) Ellwanger run the multi-award winning winery together. For Ellwanger, tradition is an obligation and they still use traditional processes such as mash fermentation. However, the spirit of innovation and thinking outside the box are also part of their philosophy.
Each vineyard has a distinctive terroir, which differs in soil and micro climate, making every wine unique.
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