GEORG ALBECHT SCHNEIDER   Rheinhessen  -  GERMANY

Wine & Spirits.  In the 'Year's Best German Riesling' 

Albrecht Schneider's maxim has always been absolute devotion to his vineyards and wines, whilst marketing was considered less important. He had to take over the "reigns" at an early age in 1967 after his apprenticeship at the Langwerth von Simmern estate, and even in those early days, he realized that only healthy soils could allow the cultivation of fine wines, and began with interrow crops while modernizing from horse to special light tractor. The estate has been owned by the Schneider family for 7 generations, and today at vintage time, three generations are at work. 15 hectares (37 acres) in Nierstein belong to the estate, over 40% of which are planted to Riesling. Red sandstone soils are predominant in the best sites that yield rich and spicy wines. 1995 marked a step forward for the estate, with more spacious underground cellars and warehousing facilities purchased in Nierstein. The old underground cellars provide ideal conditions for modern production methods.

The steep Hipping vineyard, known as the red slope, der roter Hang, is rated as one of the best in Germany, producing Riesling with spicy mineral flavors, exotic and pronounced ripe fruit with excellent maturing potential as the site sometimes produces a wine that is slow to show its true promise. The slope itself is warmed by the early morning sunshine and the red sandstone soil retains the warmth. The proximity to the Rhine protects the foliage from early fall cold nights and allows for a long growing season.

Since vintage 1997, temperature-controlled cold fermentation in stainless-steel vats has been introduced. Albrecht's wines now display even more richness and clear, ripe fruit. They are well structured with individual characteristics derived from their various single vineyard sites. The higher pradikat wines are loaded with exotic fruit flavors. The stelvin closure has been introduced since the 2007 vintage, especially for QbA and Kabinett level qualities.