Eco Wine master
The journey there takes us on country roads past settlements where you would think time had stood still. Sleepy little mediaeval walled towns, bakers have closed for lunch, with everything exuding a serene calmness that would leave you to believe high-speed Internet had never been invented. It really is quite lovely here, so peaceful, as if the countryside were, in fact, extending an invitation to make you feel happy. In Wiesenbronn, Franconia, all guests are greeted by Nicole Roth. Forty years ago, her father was one of the first to venture into organic winemaking and was laughed at, she says. That has all changed nowadays – today, we rank among the 100 best wine-growing estates chosen by Germany‘s ‘Der Feinschmecker’ (The Gourmet) magazine.
More than 70% are sold to private households, in the wine house located directly in the vineyard or via the own shop on the Internet.
About the winemaker
For a moment, she looks nothing like a top winemaker, with her cool pilot glasses. But anyone getting to know her, senses what winemaking means for her, and this is something she started to do at an early age. First an apprenticeship and a degree in oenology in Geisenheim, then to a wine-importing company followed by three years at an event agency, responsible among other things for wine purchasing and cookbooks - this is what defined her passion for wine and culinary pleasures, she says. After spending some time as operations manager at a winery in Saxony, her career takes her overseas as marketing and sales manager for wine. Then 2 years in the US with an internship in viticulture, followed by a position as export manager for a German sparkling-wine producer. In 2012 she returned to her parents‘ wine-growing estate which she has been running single-handedly since 2015. Our initial thought, this is wine to the extreme or we have a power woman here. In reality, though, power is not an issue for her. It is the passion for the terroir, for the grapes and for winemaking that drives her. You could say a kind of slowing-down of life or, as she herself says: “The meaning of life is life itself.”
Nicole Roth about wine
Nicole Roth: "“Organic wines may not necessarily be the better wines, but they do have the chance to become ones, to be authentic. They root much deeper, since they are delibarately neither fertilized nor watered. They have to absorb everything from the soil. The long way down through the rock strata simply gives the wine more minerality, and you can taste this in the glass. As far as the wines are concerned, location is crucial. It‘s like property – location, location, location. We have also won the German Red Wine Award – unusual for our region. Our gipskeuperbased wooded slopes are simply ideal for vines to grow on."
Barrique oak barrel, steel or concrete?
Nicole Roth: "The red wines are aged in classic wooden barrels or in barriques. This is where the origin of the wood is extremely important. Our wood is from the region, only coming from Wiesenbronn trees. In most cases, white wine goes into steel tanks, some of them also into wooden barrels or in concrete eggs depending on wine type.
“First and foremost, wine must always leave you with a taste you enjoy ... Wine must never be irrelevant.”