Materne & Schmitt
- Mosel, Germany
Weingut Materne & Schmitt, on the Mosel river in the town of Winningen, is a harbinger of change in the tradition-bound Mosel. The winery was founded in 2012 by Rebecca Materne and Janina Schmitt. Neither woman came from a winemaking region or family, but both pursued their passion for wine by earning degrees in viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim and mastering their craft at wineries in South Africa, Napa Valley, Provence, Austria, the Rhine and the middle Mosel. In 2012 the friends united to share the position of cellar master for the legendary Heymann-Löwenstein in the Terrassen Mosel, located in the steepest, wildest, northern-most precinct of the river. While there, they plotted for their future by leasing vineyard sites and making their own wine from the nearby villages of Winningen, Kobern, and Lehmen. In 2014 the decision was made to go full time with their own estate, now totaling more than 3.5ha distributed over about 40 different sites. As of this writing, they have moved into their own winery in Winningen. The glory days of this estate have begun.
Materne & Schmitt make Riesling exclusively from steep sloped or terraced slate vineyards, with all work done by hand. They allow no manipulation in their wine. All grapes are hand-selected at extremely low yields (around 20 to 35 hl/ha), macerated on the skins without sulphur, gently pressed, and gravity-run into the cellar. All wines are spontaneously fermented and often go still during winter and begin again in the spring. No additions, reductions or fining of any kind occur. Total sulphur never exceeds 60ppm. All wines are vinified completely dry and bottled 11 months after harvest.
The Materne & Schmitt wines unerringly express the distinct differences in terroir that change rapidly along the twists and turns of the Mosel between Winningen, Kobern, and Lehmen. The wines are seriously structured and exemplary Terrassen Moselers: richly textured, living, breathing, at-times-Burgundian seeming wines, organically vinified with crystalline clarity. Their balanced intensity derives from neither acidity (6-7ish) nor alcohol (11-11.5ish) which are surprisingly modest. Rather, it is the slate expression of the vineyards that etches the wines and renders them with such precision. With their methods worthy of study, Rieslings to pair with great cuisine, and powerful women to admire, we welcome Materne & Schmitt into our portfolio with eagerness and excitement.