Heymann-Löwenstein winemaker Kathrin Starker – Kaddi to her friends - got interested in skin-contact whites while working vintage in New Zealand years ago. In 2015, Reinhard Löwenstein kindly gave her some Riesling grapes from Winningen’s Schieferterrassen vineyards, to allow her to make an experimental wine.
The experience taught some valuable lessons, as well as giving the team the encouragement to produce a normal-scale batch in 2018. “From the first attempt in 2015 we learned not to go too hard on the phenolic side,” says Kaddi. “So, we decided just to hand-plunge it once a day, pushing the cap down to get it nice and juicy without over-extracting phenolics.” The Riesling grapes were fermented and macerated on skins for three weeks. “We pressed it off to a combination of barrel and tank for a long, long time,” Kaddi continues. “We learned that the wines need time for the phenolics and all parts of the wine come together. So we tasted and tasted and tasted and we made the decision based on taste that we wanted to bottle it after two and a half years.” The wine was bottled in March 2021, with the lowest possible level of SO2 to prevent oxidation.
“We're pretty happy with how it came out,” Kaddi concludes. “Phenolics are there but they're not too harsh. It's still Riesling. It's doesn't show the vineyard, but that's not the idea. It's a facet of Schieferterrassen we're trying to point out.”