The historic Maximin Grünhaus estate lies at the foot of a long, steep south-facing slope on the left bank of the tiny Ruwer river, about two kilometers upstream from where it joins the Mosel. The estate belongs to the family of Carl von Schubert and is divided into three separate but contiguous vineyards: Abtsberg, Herrenberg, and Bruderberg. Each of these vineyards has its own distinct differences in terroir, which explain the unique character of the wines made at Grünhaus.
HISTORY OF THE ESTATE
The first documentary evidence of Grünhaus, then called “Villa ad Valles,” dates from February 6, 966. Emperor Otto I, heir of Charlemagne, confirmed a donation that had been made in the Seventh century by the Frankish King Dagobert. At that time, the buildings, vineyards and surrounding land had been given to the Benedictine monastery of Saint Maximin in Trier. In 1882, it was purchased by an ancestor of Carl von Schubert, who is the fifth generation of his family to own the Grünhaus estate.
The Vineyards And Wines
Wines from this vineyard were originally destined for the table of the Abbot (or “Abt”) of the Abbey of St. Maximin. The site covers 35 acres, parts of which have been planted with vines for over a thousand years. The subsoil is blue Devonian slate and the hillside runs south-east to south-west, achieving a gradient of up to 70 percent. Abtsberg wines are characterised by a finely structured subtle minerality, a racy acidity, generous fruit and great delicacy. They are amongst the longest lived Rieslings of the region.
Wines from this site were made specially for the Abbey’s choirmasters. Extending over 40 acres, the site benefits from deep soils with good water retention, over a base of red Devonian slate. Wines from the Herrenberg show fruit and body early in their lives, but also possess extraordinary ageing potential.
The smallest of the three Grünhaus vineyards, covering just 2.5 acres, the Bruderberg provided wine for the monks (or ‘brothers’). The site has the same Devonian slate soil as the Abtsberg next door, and the wines are very spicy, sometimes with a rustic slate-mineral quality.
THE CORE US SELECTION
These five wines offer a representative cross-section of the Maximin Grünhaus estate’s range of wines. They will be maintained in continuous supply until the vintage is sold out. But the estate also makes a lot of other amazing wines, which are available by special order (see below).
The estate Riesling Trocken (dry) is a blend of the barrels that remain after the single-vineyard dry wines have been selected out of the overall production. The result is an entry-level dry Riesling that shows the characteristic minerality of the area and the refined style of the Grünhaus estate.
The classic Grünhaus off-dry estate Riesling is a blend of the barrels that remain after the single-vineyard fruity wines have been selected out of the overall production. The proportions from each of the three Grünhaus vineyards will change depending on the conditions of the vintage.
The Superior bottling is from old vines in the best part of the Abtsberg. It is fermented with natural yeasts in large oak casks to produce a perfectly balanced, off-dry wine that captures the purity and complexity of the vineyard. The name “Superior” is a reference to the estate’s monastic history.
This wine is a selection of barrels that exhibit the delicate Kabinett style, but also show the distinctive stone fruit flavors and red slate minerality that are typical expressions of this vineyard’s terroir.
The Abtsberg Spätlese is a selection of barrels produced from fruit harvested late in the season. The longer hang time produces more fully developed aromas and flavors, and greater complexity.
SPECIAL ORDER WINES
In addition to the five core wines, these additional Maximin Grünhaus wines are available in limited quantities on a pre-arrival basis, and depending on vintage. Please inquire.
A new Pinot Blanc, fermented and matured in 1,000-liter Fuder barrels that were made from the estate’s own oak trees.
Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling trocken, Alte Reben
These are the dry QbA selections from old vine parcels in the estate’s best vineyards.
Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling “Superior”
The top dry-style selection from the best parcels of the Herrenberg vineyard.
Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Kabinett
The delicate Kabinett style from the estate’s very best vineyard. Always impressive with its explosive fruit, layered complexity and fine mineral structure.
Maximin Grünhäuser Bruderberg Riesling Spätlese
Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese
Late-picked selections from the other two Grünhaus vineyards.
Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Auslese
Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese
Auslese is a special selection of very ripe grapes picked quite late in the harvest, often with a bit of botrytis.
Special Fuder Nr. Auslese
Each year, after continuous tasting in the cellar, a few special barrels of Auslese are chosen for Fuder number designation. The selection changes with each vintage (as do the Funder numbers), but always represents the most dinstinctive Auslese wines of the year.
Eiswein, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese
These are extremely small-production, high-end sweet wines that are only produced when nature provides the necessary raw materials. Naturally, therefore, availability varies with each vintage.
Sales materials for some wines are still in production. If you need something that you can’t find here, please e-mail us and we will get it to you as quickly as possible.