Riesling has always been Germany’s leading white grape variety. It is therefore not surprising that when Michel Chapoutier and his four friends, who were looking for new terroirs to make wines, landed in Germany (just across the Rhine), Riesling was one of the main varieties they used in their winemaking. However, at Schieferkopf, the name of their project, they did not use just any Riesling; they chose the crème de la crème, the best vines of this variety located in Baden, in southwest Germany.
If there is one region that is benefiting from climate change (if that is possible) it is Baden, an area parallel to the Rhine, in the Black Forest, with a sunny and warm climate that makes it one of the warmest wine regions in Europe. Its plots or grand crus have a great reputation and recognition. This is where they make Schieferkopf Riesling Baden.
On this land, which lies at an altitude of 350 metres (making it one of the highest locations in the area), the most widely planted variety is Riesling. This is due to the high quality and good results that this grape produces in this area thanks to its granitic soil and its southern orientation (which allows the sun to shine on the vineyards throughout the day with about 1,800 hours of light per year). Thanks to this, and to its semi-continental climate with sunny and warm summers, the grapes ripen very well. In order not to compromise this, the grapes are harvested by hand.
The Schieferkopf Riesling Baden bunches are organically cultivated and then taken to the winery where they are pressed directly (without destemming) in a pneumatic press. Once they have made the Schieferkopf Riesling Baden must, it will spend some time in cold storage to allow the solids and bitter substances to precipitate. This is known as racking, and is always carried out before fermentation, ensuring that the yeasts do their work with a good must, in optimal conditions, free of substances or bodies that may sour the resulting wine. Schieferkopf Riesling Baden ferments in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature (between 16ºC and 20ºC), ensuring that the Riesling’s varietal aromas are enhanced. The final touch is no secret: a year of aging, in the same tanks, on dead yeasts (also called lees).