Renowned for modernity and innovation – the Steitz Wine Estate in Rheinhessen
Steitz stands for elegant wines with a mineral character, cultivated on volcanic rock soils
The roughly 14 hectares of vineyard acreage owned by the Steitz family are situated in the village of Stein-Bockenheim in Rheinhessens far western corner, bordering the wine-growing regions Nahe and Pfalz. The vines are cultivated on soils that are almost 300 million years old and contain porphyry as well as andesite. They are unique in Rheinhessen and shape the special character of the wines.
Christian Steitz, born in 1971, is a trained winemaker and viticulturist who acquired international experience in France and California before he joined the wine estate in 1994. Since 2015, the estate has been run by Christian and his wife Diana, who have transformed the entire business into a modern, avant-garde enterprise. The winerys trendy minimalist vinotheque embodies the estates dedication to focus on essentials: the perfect cultivation and vinification of wines. Outside the vinotheque, an ample protected courtyard with a lounge area creates another perfect setting for the enjoyment of a tasting. And all those who wish to bask in this vinophile atmosphere for a bit longer need to look no further than the newly opened bed and breakfast with its five exclusive bedrooms and relaxed ambience.
Genuine and sustainable wines
“We focus on making the best of the given natural conditions each year,” says Christian Steitz. And in this way the enthusiastic winemaker habitually succeeds at bottling wines of original character, one perfect example being the entry-level product line ROARR (white and rosé wines as well as semi-sparkling secco) that skillfully plays with the stylized lion present in the Steitz crest and logo.
The Steitz range includes authentic estate wines, village wines of individual character and award-winning single site wines cultivated on the premium vineyard parcels. Christian Steitz points out: “The Riesling for our village wine is cultivated on the best volcanic rock sites of Neu-Bamberg, and the soils of Stein-Bockenheim are home to our Pinot Blanc. Selected, fully ripe grapes are the basis for our village wines which – as a rule – spontaneously ferment in large wooden casks. They perfectly express the predominant rock of their soils, either porphyry or andesite.”
Characterized by their individual vintage and volcanic soil, estate wines represent the winerys diversity. The estate cultivates the white varieties Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc as well as the red varieties Pinot Noir and St. Laurent. Well-known names associated with the exclusive single site wines are HEEKRETZ (Riesling), EICHELBERG (Pinot Noir), SONNENBERG (Chardonnay) and GOLDENES HORN (Silvaner). These wines always spontaneously ferment on their natural yeast strains. They are individually vinified from the grapes remaining at the end of the wine year, which are cultivated on the very best parcels. Since these grapes have achieved a maximum degree of ripeness, the wines have a great maturation potential.
Steitz transitioning to organic cultivation
“We put great emphasis on working sustainably, in harmony with the environment, and aim to produce elegant wines mineral in character with moderate alcohol levels, increasingly vinified in wooden casks,” states Christian Steitz. “Consequently, in September 2019, we finally started the process to have the estate officially certified as an organic winery, after 13 years of living in an illegitimate relationship with organic winegrowing.”
Steitz wines enjoy great appreciation
Experts take a very positive stance on Steitz wines as well, as verified by numerous recognitions in renowned wine guides. Only recently, the 2020 edition of Gault&Millau awarded the estate 2 red grapes for being a rising star.
In the HAPERS Wine Stars competition, the winery won the “Star of Rheinhessen” with its 2018 HEERKRETZ Riesling, which also made it into the highest category of 5 stars. And the 2019 edition of Mainzer Weinführer (Mainz wine guide) distinguished the 2015 EICHELBERG Pinot Noir as the best in the premium category for the grape variety.
Further information: www.weingut-steitz.de
About the Steitz Wine Estate
Since July 2015, the Steitz Wine Estate in Stein-Bockenheim (Rheinhessen) has been run by Christian and Diana Steitz. In collaboration with the renowned Darmstadt-based architectural firm DIA Design, the winerys historical building structure was complemented by state-of-the-art design. The results of this refurbishment are exemplified by the completely new courtyard space including a sun deck and lounge area, the tasting room and the winerys office. In 2019, the estate opened a small bed and breakfast featuring five bedrooms with premium amenities. In the same year, the estate officially transitioned to organic winegrowing. The winery is planning to redesign and expand its aboveground cellar in the year 2020/21.
The Steitz Wine Estate creates mineral wines of unique character, cultivated on roughly 14 hectares of vineyard acreage. Of the estates vineyards, 80% are dedicated to the cultivation of white grapes, the remaining 20% to red grape varieties. Cultivation mainly focuses on classic Pinot varieties and Riesling. The dominant red varieties are Pinot Noir and St. Laurent.