In-Tune with Nature Since 1605 – Loosen Bros. USA Monthly Newsletter

Feb 28, 2024 | Fritz Haag, Featured

Nestled in the heart of the Mosel River Valley, the Fritz Haag estate stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of sustainable vineyard and cellar practices. For over four centuries, Fritz Haag has adapted to the ever-evolving landscape of winemaking while remaining steadfast in its commitment to environmentally conscious methods. The estate’s minimal intervention philosophy reflects a deep-rooted respect for the land and a dedication to preserving this way of life for generations to come. Fritz Haag is an excellent example of how tradition and innovation can harmoniously coexist to create wines of unparalleled quality and character.


Sustainability at Fritz Haag

At Fritz Haag, a minimal intervention philosophy has been in place since its establishment in 1605. The estate, a founding member of the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer in 1910 (which evolved into today’s VDP), considers it their duty to maintain a commitment to allowing nature to work undisturbed in the vineyard. Managing the steep Mosel vineyards sustainably, holistically, and with a forward-thinking approach demands dedication and creativity from Oliver Haag and Vineyard Manager Nico Rieb. Fritz Haag’s sustainable, low-intervention farming practices revolve around three pillars: green cover, vine pruning and canopy management, and crop health management.

Green Cover

A diverse set of cover crops are planted in the Fritz Haag vineyards to ensure a sustainable supply of nutrients for the vines. This consists of a mix of grass, clover, wild herbs, and Leguminosae (flowering plant of the legume family). Particularly hard-to-reach parcels benefit strictly from the native flora that provides the needed nutrients for the vines to thrive while protecting against erosion. Additional nutrients are provided from composted material from the winery made of old vine wood and grape pomace.

In winter, hay is spread in the vineyard rows to retain the moisture content in the soil. This mulching process and targeted greening are additional proactive steps taken to ensure the timely delivery of nutrients to the vines and to protect against erosion.

Straw in the Vineyard Improves Soil Balance

Hay is used in Juffer Vineyard rows to preserve soil moisture during winter.


Vine Pruning and Canopy Management

Pruning plays a vital role in the growth cycle, setting the groundwork for a successful harvest by controlling yield to enhance fruit quality and complexity. Fritz Haag employs a delicate pruning technique focused on a modest bud count. Managing the canopy effectively helps achieve the ideal balance between foliage and fruit, providing adequate shade for the fruit without straining the water supply. This meticulous hand-managed process enhances air circulation, reducing the risk of disease and promoting optimal fruit ripening.

Uphill View of Vines

Vineyard workers make careful selections during harvest.


Crop Health Management

Climate change has presented distinct challenges in maintaining healthy and disease-free vines. Fritz Haag addresses these challenges by employing a blend of organic and conventional disease control methods. The team aims for optimal efficiency and benefits while minimizing interference, allowing nature to play its role. For several generations, Fritz Haag has refrained from using chemical pesticides to preserve the natural vineyard ecosystems owned and managed by the estate.

Selecting Botrytis Grapes

Botrytis fruit selection is always done by hand

Nature Continues Its Course in the Cellar

All grapes are harvested by hand by the highly experienced Fritz Haag team ensuring only clean, healthy fruit is harvested which is essential to maintaining the exceptional quality of Fritz Haag Rieslings. In the cellar, only spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts is allowed reinforcing the terroir of the wines. Extended maturation time on the lees, traditional craftsmanship, and minimalist intervention produce wines with typical Mosel character that is reflective of the steep, exceptional vineyards for which this region is renowned.

The dedication to sustainable practices and willingness to adapt and innovate has preserved Fritz Haag’s living legacy as one of the great producers of the Mosel region. The minimal intervention philosophy allows the estate to produce wines that cover the full Riesling style spectrum, from dry to lusciously sweet. Renowned for their elegant and refined Rieslings, Fritz Haag wines stand out as some of the finest offerings in the Mosel region, promising continued excellence for generations to come.


2022 Vintage Highlights from the Press


Fritz Haag Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese 2022 Label2022 Fritz Haag Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese – [95 points] James Suckling

“Super-floral and super-fine with a mountain stream freshness balancing the delicately tropical fruit, the floral honey sweetness underlying all this beautifully. Very long filigree finish with so much spicy subtlety. Very good aging potential.” – Stuart Pigott, September 2023.



2022 Fritz Haag Juffer Riesling Auslese – [94 points] James SucklingFritz Haag Juffer Auslese 2022 Label

“Exotic fruits and flowers, but also a lot of baking spice on the expansive yet delicate nose. Full caramelized peach and pineapple character on the generous palate. Excellent balance of the long creamy finish where there is just a hint of floral honey, yet the composition remains cool.” – Stuart Pigott, September 2023.



Fritz Haag Juffer GG 2022 Label2022 Fritz Haag Juffer Riesling GG – [94 points] James Suckling

“Full crisp fruit with underlying earthy and herbal complexity that expands as this aerates in the glass. Very well structured for the 2022 vintage, fine tannins supporting the long, precise finish. Good aging potential, but already exciting.” – Stuart Pigott, September 2023.