Familie Rauen

The story of Rauen is a familiar one in 20th century wine: the family grew grapes and made wine on a small scale at their home cellar until Harald Rauen and his father decided in the early 1980s to start creating and bottling wine under their own name. Harald and his wife Maria took over the estate in 1990. Thanks to their hard work and success, they outgrew the family cellar—in Detzem, on the old Roman Wine Route along the Mosel river— and in 1997 moved the operation to a larger winery in the neighboring village of Thörnich.

Today the estate makes about 100,000+ bottles from 13 hectares of vines.Their top three top vineyards are all steep Devonian slate with a high percentage of very old vines. Two are right next to the original winery—Detzem Maximiner Klosterlay and Detzemer Würzgarten—and the third is the steep and ancient Thörnicher Ritsch. It is worth noting that the Ritsch, a towering site containing parcels of vines over a century old(!), has an incredible provenance which has gone mostly forgotten. To quote Eric Steinberg from his book Understanding Mosel Wines:

“In his 1965 book, The Great Wines of Europe, Ernst Hornickel classified the best vineyards of each German wine region. Excluding those vineyards that ceased to exist after the institution of the 1971 wine law, most of his choices in the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer are vineyards familiar to German wine drinkers in America even today. One exception is Thörnicher Ritsch (or “Rutsch” according to Hornickel), which until a few years ago, when Carl Loewen purchased a portion, was unavailable to consumers of German wine in the United States. Hornickel considered it a Mosel counterpart of the distinguished Ruwer vineyard Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg because of its peculiar spice and piquancy. While I find differences between the wines of these two vineyards, Ritsch does have a special taste and a strong minerality more akin to wines of the Mosel’s tributaries* than to those of the Mosel proper.”

Weingut Familie Rauen is a modest family estate in possession of extraordinary terroirs charging very reasonable prices for highly delicious and approachable wines; we are pleased to welcome them to the Bowler portfolio.


*The “Mosel tributaries” to which Steinberg refers are the Saar and the Ruwer. In other words, the wines from Ritsch can taste like top-class Ruwer wines (e.g., Karthäuserhof, Maximin Grunhaus, Karlsmuhle et al), which are renowned for their unparalleled delicacy, filigree, florality, minerality and longevity. High praise and powerful company!