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Established in 1890, Gunderloch today is a thriving estate of approximately 25 hectares of vines in some of the top vineyards of the Roter Hang (red slope) area on the banks of the Rhein river in Rheinhessen. In Nierstein, they make GG and trocken wines from grand crus Pettenthal and Hipping. In Nackenheim, they own the lion’s share of the grand cru Rothenberg from which their third and most famous GG comes, as well as resplendent Spatlesen and noble sweet wines. 85% of production is Riesling, accompanied by a colorful array of other grapes, including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Scheurebe, and an exquisite dry Gewurztraminer: one of the best in Rheinhessen!
The Rieslings from Gunderloch, particularly those from the lurid red slate of the Rothenberg, are universally acclaimed as some of the finest in Germany. These are full, elegant wines full of yellow fruits, exotic spice, great structure and fine acidity for long aging. The average yield is held to 45 hl/ha, amongst the lowest in Germany. Minimum ripeness for the various quality levels is significantly above the requirements of the German wine law. The wines are never de-acidified and in high acid vintages, bottling is often delayed to allow the wines to harmonize and soften.
Now, over 125 years after its founding, the story here is suddenly evolving. What used to be a reductive cellar is now seeing more barrels, more spontaneous fermentations, less handling of the wines and less “winemaking" overall. The wines are getting drier, more focused, and less baroque. The changes happening here are cause for real excitement, and all of them are springing from the restless mind of Johannes Hasselbach, the master and commander of the estate since 2012. He is taking Gunderloch in a new direction, and the resulting wines are achieving levels of grace, balance, and natural energy they have never seen before. If you do not know the wines of Gunderloch, you are long overdue to explore this benchmark estate. If you think you know Gunderloch but have not tasted the recent vintages, GET READY! This is a winery in the midst of a renaissance.