The area of the Mandelgarten site classified as VDP.Grosse Lage can be found in the land register under the name “Meerspinne”. This portion of the highly-valued Mandelgarten terroir has a reputation that dates back as far as 1456, when it appears in the interest books kept by the monks of the Weißenburg monastery in Elsace. Even then this site was known for outstanding yields and today this vineyard continues to be the best site in Gimmeldingen.
The vineyard lies in the foothills of Gimmeldingen, sloping towards the Rhine in the southeast. Lying at the end of the Gimmeldingen Valley, the microclimate surrounding the vineyard is defined by the stark contrast between day and night temperatures. This contrast is caused by the cold night air from the Palatinate forest and leads to subtle acidity and freshness.
The midpoint of the site lies at 170 – 200 metres above sea level and the subsoil is composed of solid limestone. A mixture of loess and eroded red sandstone were deposited over the years by the winds on this foundation of limestone. This combination gives wines from the Mandelgarten a fascinating combination of fruitiness and minerality. Fastidiously straight-forward and almost puritanically so, yet the wines contain gentle citrus notes which come to the fore. The wines are always complex but never flabby or heavy.
Whilst young the wines delight with their youthful aromas but the wines’ truest qualities are released only after being stored for some years.
An early harvest selects grapes that are already ripe and these grapes are used for the VDP.Gutswein. The Grand Cru harvest of the Mandelgarten site takes place after this early harvest. During one or two rounds of picking the grapes are selected according to strict criteria, taking only healthy grapes at the peak of ripeness. The yields are generally around 40hl/ha so that the grapes achieve optimal taste.
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 using yeast produced by our winery. Until it is ready to be bottled, the unfined and untreated wine is left to mature on the lees and fine lees in both stainless steel vats and large, traditional wooden barrels.