In the vineyard
The vineyards, which gently nestle into the landscape, are gilded and glowed by the September sundown. In the middle of this splendid scenery stands a beautiful Florentine style palace, the “Villa in Paradise”. There, in Deidesheim in the Palatinate, you will find the Motzenbäcker Sparkling Wine Manufactory, one of the best addresses in Germany.
This is thanks on the one hand to the tradition that has been carefully cultivated here since the 18th century, and on the other hand to the enthusiasm of Marie Menger-Krug.
Already in the 19th century Deidesheim was known for its excellent vineyards, at that time the Seyler family lived in the palace and – how could it be otherwise – of course was wine-growing. A frequent guest and a friend of the family was Karl May, who made himself immortal with his characters Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. His passion for good wines repeatedly drew the writer to this palace, where he could enjoy his passion to his heart’s content and let himself be inspired. The composer Johannes Brahms also had the pleasure of staying at the mansion for one night.
In this atmosphere of candlelight and beauty, Marie Menger-Krug welcomes us cordially, she develops her sparkling wine to perfection with great intellect and passion.
Marie loves her vineyards, knows every grape, every path. She patiently recites to me about the roses, the lavender, the mallows and the clover, the fruit trees that flank the vineyards in a gentle order. Incidentally, the roses have a practical function today as they did in the past: They show us whether the grapes are threatened by an insidious mould fungus, if the rose is infested, the vineyard is also in danger!
Already at the beginning of September the grapes are in full bloom, Climate change has done its part to push the harvest forward year after year, which is both a blessing and a curse.
I learn something about the different locations on the Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad, where the vineyards line up like a pearl string. Each of them has its own history and even its own nickname. At the top is “Die Mauer”, there is “Den Jungen”, the “Himmel so Nah” and the “Trimm Dich”. The last one is by the way a steep vineyard leading into the height, which was formerly gladly called “Bück Dich”. In the time of the grandfather only the prettiest women were sent there, in the course of a correct semantics the name was disarmed a little bit!
In the wine cellar
Just at the entrance of the impressive cellar there stands the large moon oak barrels, the wood for them is lumbered after the first full moon, it is more durable and harder than conventional barrel wood. Marie Menger-Krug observes nature very closely, lives with it, learns from it. These barrels contain the very best wine, Chardonnay and Riesling. Only the best grapes find their way into these exclusive barrels, where they are allowed to ripen for 11 months, mostly on the first yeast and naturally fermented spontaneously, this is the secret, this is the key to success!
We drink a Rosé Brut from the Spätburgunder grape, delicious golden pink, tender mousseux, subtle fruit, everybody’s darling!
Marie likes to work with the wood, The Winemaker likes to work with the wood, the Red Wine barrique degustation is a special challenge, on a longer distance each barrel is tested and tasted individually! Every year the winemaker have to develop a new feeling for her sparkling wines. The weather, wood, grapes, everything is in movement, everything changes, a constant cycle.
In keeping with the tradition, Marie Menger-Krug cools the cellar with water,, samples are taken daily to monitor the development of her “cellar children”, and this is how she tenderly calls the barrels.
The fermentation behaviour is difficult, astonishingly, some barrels behave quite differently than their neighbour, a secret science!
Marie painstakingly observes the development of the barrels and discovers weaknesses and strengths at an early stage.
She works with the «Méthode Rurale», a traditional process in which the very best grapes are first harvested, the soul of the Sparkling Wine! The grapes are then fermented with champagne yeasts in the tank when they finally have the right amount of residual sugar. Once the correct pressure is built up in the bottle, they are filled from the yeast down to the sparkling wine. So the route does not go via wine, but directly to sparkling wine.
This is a risky process that regularly drives sweaty beads onto the winemaker’s forehead.
By the way, all wines are organically cultivated, all from their own vineyards.
Finally, we can admire the 30 year old bottles, which could be opened immediately to drink them empty with the greatest pleasure.
The sparkling wine collection:
- classic bottle fermentation
- Ecologically grown and cultivated
- individual, lots of terroir, inimitable elegance
- Motzenbäcker Brut Nature
- Motzenbäcker Riesling Brut
- Motzenbäcker Blanc de Blancs
- Motzenbäcker Rosé Brut Nature
website: Sektgut Motzenbäcker
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