Together with guests from around the world Jens Reidel and Dr. Christine Dinse celebrated the dramatic return to form of their famous wine estate on the Nahe. In 2009 they purchased the former “Königlich-Preussische Weindomäne” – Royal Prussian Wine Domaine – in Niederhausen, later the Nahe State Domaine and renamed it Gut Hermannsberg. Since then they pushed the quality winery back to the very top. Today Gut Hermannsberg is one of Germany’s leading wine producers.
“It’s the most beautiful place in the world,” Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm said in his speech at the 10th anniversary celebration at Gut Hermannsberg on Friday, 30th August, “and we are all happy, that this wonderful place shines again.”
Gut Hermannsberg stands on a hilltop in the Nahe Valley with breathtaking views over the estate’s steep vineyards that all produce GGs (Große Gewächs / “Grand Crus”), volcanic cliffs and the river. The estate gets its name from the majestic Hermannsberg vineyard (a monopol) visitors pass through as they approach the historic estate buildings. On the other side of the complex there is the precipitously steep south-facing slope of the terraced Kupfergrube vineyard.
At a truly exceptional tasting on the day winemaker Karsten Peter opened dry Rieslings from the Kupfergrube going back to 1914. They not only demonstrated the rapid development of the estate during the last decade, but also demonstrated its historic importance.
An exciting decade
Jens Reidel and Dr. Christine Dinse look back on a decade packed with excitement. They invested generously, but with respect for the estate’s unique history and a long-term view. However, that doesn’t mean things moved slowly. “For what was achieved here in ten years, people elsewhere often needed two or three centuries!” Karsten Peter said in his speech. The most important milestones were:
- 2009 Conversion of the 30 hectares of vineyards to sustainable agriculture, reduction of yields and the return to wild fermentation with ambient yeast.
- 2010 Renovation of the former director’s house and its conversion to a stylish guesthouse with 11 rooms.
- 2012 Publication of the history of Gut Hermannsberg by Dr. Christine Dinse after patient and precise work in it’s own and other archives.
- 2013 The Gault Millau wine guide names Karsten Peter Rising Star of the Year.
- 2013 Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate awards the 2011er Kupfergrube Auslese 94 Points making it one of the highest rated German wines of the vintage.
- 2014 After five years of hard work in the vineyard the Steinberg becomes the fourth GG for Gut Hermannsberg next to those from the Hermannsberg, Kupfergrube and Bastei vineyards.
- 2016 With the 2015 vintage the dry Riesling from the Rotenberg vineyard in the Alsenz Valley (a tributary of the the Nahe) becomes the estate’s fifth GG.
- 2016 The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung names Karsten Peter Winemaker of the Year.
- 2017 The 2015 Kupfergrube Trockenbeerenauslese is awarded a perfect 100 Points score by Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. The only Magnum bottle of this wine is auctioned for more than 12,600 Euro.
- 2018 The last bottle of 1921 Kupfergrube Trockenbebeerenauslese is auctioned for almost 15,000 Euro. It was with this vintage that the estate achieved its first breakthrough almost a century before. Gut Hermannsberg now holds the records for both the most expensive young and mature Nahe wines.
At the beginning of the anniversary celebration the new vintage Sekt, a sparkling wine from the Kupfergrube that will shortly be sold at the VDP auction in Bad Kreuznach was poured.
All guests felt the microclimatic factor responsible for the uniqueness of the Gut Hermannsberg wines. As long as the sun shines, as it did that entire day, hot air stands in the stone amphitheatre that the estate’s vineyards form. Then when the sun set the thermometer fell rapidly. It is this daily contrast that gives the wines their raciness and finesse.
The Eagle has landed
“In 1984 when I first tasted the Kupfergrube it was love at first sip“, said wine critic Stuart Pigott in his speech. “I am happy to now serve these wines in the fullest sense of that word,” he continued, referring to his recent appointment as the Riesling Ambassador of Gut Hermannsberg. When he finished speaking Stuart Pigott put on a leather gauntlet and from the slope of the Kupfergrube an eagle flew to him, landing upon it to the cheers of the crowd. Today the Prussian eagle, long the symbol of the Royal Prussian Wine Domaine, stands on the Gut Hermannsberg label.