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723 YEARS OF WINE-GROWING AT BURG SCHAUBECK

Here at Burg Schaubeck, we have over 700 years’ worth of wine-growing experience to draw on. This long-standing tradition – first mentioned in a document dated 1297 – is the foundation, but of course we’re constantly evolving, and pioneering new advances. Thanks to the initiative and dedication of Count Michael Adelmann, we have been using the barrique to mature our finest red wines since 1981 – a time when woody tones were frowned on in Germany. Other developments included a targeted thinning-out of the yield, electronically controlled fermenting temperatures, whole-cluster pressing and, in 1989, the long-awaited arrival of our first cuvée. Such ideas and techniques are now standard in many places, and are fast becoming traditions in their own right. Yet just a few years ago they were shunned or even unknown, at least in Germany. The estate has been in the hands of the Adelmann family since 1914 – at which point the vineyards themselves had been used for the cultivation of wines for almost 1,000 years.

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OUR PHILOSOPHY

 

Our primary goal is to produce distinctive, high-quality wines, without imitating foreign styles or other regions. We long ago decided to prioritise elegance and complexity over crude power or “volume”. When things get loud, the gentler tones are lost. That’s why we choose to focus on the sheer pleasure of drinking, and on making sure the second bottle tastes as great as the first. “Fat” wines are not really our style.
 

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TRADITION? INNOVATION? EVOLUTION!
 

Some things will never change – they don’t need to. We consider ourselves a wine-growing estate blending modernity and classic features, with a deep-rooted tradition that we fully intend to carry forward and continue to honour. We’ve never been afraid to optimise our processes – but first and foremost, we see wine as a cultural asset, not an industrial product. So you can be sure certain production techniques, be they ever so widespread – such as using oak chips to add an artificial “barrique” flavour, or heating red grape must to intensify colour – will never find favour with us. Yet the old-established methods are not always the best ones. Just because specific practices are “handed down” or “passed on” (Lat. “traditio”), this does not mean everything is written in stone – quite the reverse, in fact. Here, nature shows the way: evolution is the key. For a system to survive and endure, it is vital for its weak points to be recognised and corrected. When you stand still, you’re falling behind. This is why, from time to time, any enterprise must jettison familiar processes and techniques in order to innovate and improve – there is no other way to ensure its continued survival.

 
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THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE WINES

 

The loveliest vineyards, the finest weather, the most nourishing soil, the most exciting grape varieties … it all counts for little without the skilled, caring hands of genuine wine enthusiasts. Motivated men and women of action whose sole aim, throughout the year, is to nurture the grapes while ensuring they are well prepared for the coming autumn. Because unless the original source material is up to scratch, no amount of winemaking artistry is going to help.

 

In short, be your skills ever so impressive, quality begins on the vine. Always. Once in the cellar, the trick is to make the most of that quality – ideally, through “controlled inaction”.

 

Terroir is an over-used term, often leading to one vital factor being overlooked: human beings. There’s more to terroirthan just the “soil”, or how this is expressed in wine. Rather, it is the individual outcome of a complex equation: a specific grape variety, cultivated and developed in a specific vineyard during one particular year by a winemaker with a clear, individual aim in mind. If you would like to learn more about us, visit one of our monthly wine tasting sessions or book your own, custom-tailored event.

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THE ESTATE IN FIGURES

 

Back in 1914, the estate owned just ten hectares of vineyards. This has now grown to 21, comprising 60 percent steep slopes with inclines of up to 75 percent – ideal conditions for high-quality wines with real character. 65 percent of the vine area is planted with red varieties, mainly Lemberger and Pinot noir. As to whites, the principal varieties are Riesling, Pinot gris and Pinot blanc.

 

We are the sole owners of two outstanding vineyards: Kleinbottwarer Oberer Berg (Lemberger) and Kleinbottwarer Süßmund (Riesling). Our premium wines are “HADES”, a Pinot gris, “Der Schwarze Loewe” (“The Black Lion”), a Lemberger, and “Vignette”, a red cuvée.

 

Major vintages: 1911, 1917, 1921, 1959, 1971, 1989, 1997, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2018