The heart of the Ölberg vineyard in Königsbach is the area around the Ölberg chapel, designated as VDP.Grosse Lage in 2013. The vineyard is one of the highest-rated sites in the Palatinate and can be found in the Royal Bavarian Soil Survey (Kgl. Bay. Bodenbewertung) of 1828, listed even then as one of the best sites in the Palatine region.
This unique wine has been produced using a selection of grapes from the oldest vines in the vineyard. The wine is available exclusively at the traditional VDP wine auction in Bad Kreuznach and availability is therefore extremely limited.
The ground is comprised mainly of limestone marl, the so-called “terra fusca”. In the upper layers of the soil this is mixed with red sandstone, eroded from the Haardt hills over millennia and deposited on the hillsides of Mittelhaardt. The vineyard is situated high up on the Haardt hillside, at the end of the Klausen Valley that runs through the Palatinate Forest. As a result of this favourable position the vineyard enjoys sunlight from early in the morning. In the early evening, at the end of a hot day, the vines can recuperate in the shade provided the hills. At night a cool breeze blows from the valley through the vineyard. All these factors combine to produce a denseness and complexity that nevertheless reside within a delicate wine, full of minerality.
The peach and apricot flavours that are typical of Palatine wines are present in the Kapelle wine in a reduced form. These flavours are complemented by delicate notes of flint and the minerality, lending the wine its depth and a more serious elegance. Whilst young the wine does of course delight with its youthful aromas but the wine’s truest qualities are released only after being stored for some years.
Grapes that have ripened early are generally harvested first and used in the production of the VDP.Gutswein. The harvest for the Kapelle Auction Wine takes place after this early harvest. The grapes are selected according to strict criteria, taking only perfectly-formed grapes at the peak of ripeness.
This site yields only 35hl/ha which ensures that the grapes achieve their optimal flavor. The whole grapes are carefully transported to the pressing room, the “Kelterhaus”, where they are crushed. After a short period of maceration lasting between 3 and 6 hours, the grapes are slowly and carefully pressed. The must is left to settle overnight and is then fermented by the indegounus yeast from the vineyard. Until it is ready to be bottled, the unfined and untreated wine is left to mature on the lees and fine lees in a 600 l l traditional wooden “Halbstück”-barrel.