One of Germany’s most iconic producers, Koehler-Ruprecht, has been producing intense dry Rieslings long before it became fashionable. Founded in the 1700s in the village of Kallstadt in the Pfalz, the village includes the iconic Saumagen vineyard, considered by many to be one of the finest vineyards in Germany. This grand cru site is a mix of marl and limestone and wines produced here are intense, mineral, and complex.
Koehler-Ruprecht upholds many age-old traditions, such as adhering to the traditional way of labelling their wines. They continue to use the designations of Kabinett, Spatlese, and Auslese – differentiating the ripeness of the grapes when picked – followed by the word trocken, which means dry. When this type of labelling was banned by the organisational body, the VDP, Koehler-Ruprecht felt so passionately about it, they left the organisation after nearly eighty years of membership.
Dominik Sona now manages the estate, with the help of cellar master Franziska Schmitt, and they are in the process of converting entirely to biodynamics. In the cellar, the winemaking is traditional and low intervention. Hand-picked grapes are spontaneously fermented, and the wines are aged in large old barrels on their lees for at least eight months. There are no additions or chaptalisation and only light filtering. The resulting wines are incredibly age-worthy and beautiful dry expressions of the Riesling grape.