The Rebirth of a Riesling Legend
It is with great pleasure and with some pride that I would like to inform you about a—in many ways—quite extraordinary vineyard project, which will enhance the range of top sites offered by Van Volxem and Markus Molitor for a long time. Following our mission “Saar wines from great sites,” we at Van Volxem have been looking from the beginning for the best vineyards of the Saar. We recently became aware of Ockfener Geisberg, formerly one of the most prestigious sites of the Mosel region, by sifting through historical documents, such as vineyard classification maps, property tax records, and price lists of wine merchants, restaurants, and luxury hotels from around 1900. In the Middle Ages, Benedictine monks first planted Geisberg, which was later secularized under Napoleon in 1802, and then auctioned in Paris. An expanded Geisberg already achieved great recognition under well-known producers like Freiherr von Schorlemer. This resulted in top prices at the once famous Trier wine auctions, as well as on the wine lists of international luxury hotels. In addition, the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer (VDNV), or Association of German Natural Wine Auctioneers—the forerunner to the VDP—was established in Trier in 1910 and celebrated its founding with a bottle of Geisberger. The vineyard, however, took an abrupt decline and almost lay completely fallow because of the crisis on the Mosel in the late 1970s because of the high operating costs in the steep slope vineyards.
After tasting a 1964 Geisberger, we were fascinated by the quite exceptional bouquet, structure, and longevity of the wines from this site. Because we were convinced of Geisberg’s outstanding quality potential, we informed various authorities about our intention in mid-February. We later acquired, together with our friend and colleague Markus Molitor, from about 50 different vineyard owners parcels totaling 14 hectares in the core part of the site, thanks to the mayor of Ockfen, who was enthusiastic about our project, and our tireless hardworking manager, Dominik Völk. It is thanks to the hard work of the employees of Van Volxem and Markus Molitor that the countless trees and bushes could be cleared so that the re-cultivation of Geisberg with Riesling can be completed in the spring of 2016. Here are some photos of the project:
We are thrilled to be allowed to tap the fantastic quality potential of this legendary great site in the future and thank all those involved, especially the former owners and, of course, our wonderful staff for their great support! Yours sincerely, R.N.