Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Weingut J. Neus
Outstanding Vinothek in Rheinhessen
It's been over 200 years since Goethe was here, if the legends are to be believed. On 4 September 1814 the great German poet paid a visit to the "Zur alten Post" inn, enjoying the fine "rothen Ingelheimer." Whether the wine alone drew him to this city on the Rhine is unclear. But it's no surprise either.
Ingelheim's reds have been famous for centuries. Josef Neus contributed to that reputation, ascending here into one of the "Kings of Red Wine." Neus was born in Niederfell on the Mosel, but came to Ober-Ingelheim in 1881, opening a wine store on Bahnhofsstraße — and soon thereafter beginning with his own cultivation. His efforts proved extraordinarily successful, and not just because his red wine in 1888 was declared the second best in Germany by Meyers Konversation Lexicon. There were other awards too: first in Paris, 1900, then in St. Louis four years later at the World's Fair.
Neus chose Spätburgunder as his flagship variety. It was an odd choice at the time, as numerous other estates had forsworn it due to grape phylloxera and other vine blights. He instead launched into research, a novel approach at the time and one that paid massive dividends. He successfully developed a resistant clone that even today is used in many winegrowing regions.
The estate remained in the family's hands until 2013, when the Schmitz family of entrepreneurs from Mainz acquired it. Together with Managing Director Lewis Schmitt and Cellarmaster Toni Frank, owner Christian Schmitz has now set the goal of preserving the grand history and tradition of Weingut J. Neus and promoting quality as the path to restoring his winery's Ingelheimer Spätburgunder to its legendary glory.
It also helps explain why the estate's two Großes Gewächs wines are both Spätburgunder, from the Pares and Horn sites in the Mainzer Berg vineyard. Neus red wines are matured in 1000L fuder casks in the largest vaulted cellar in Rheinhessen. The building itself is impressive as well: built in the late 19th century with an outer facade of limestone, magnificently appointed spaces and wood parquet floors.
The new vinothek has been carefully, and successfully, designed in high-quality oak to fit perfectly into the overall picture. At 30 square meters, it is highly compact and perfect for small tastings. Two additional rooms, 20 and 25 square meters respectively, can also be opened up as needed. That provides more than enough room for even Goethe to feel at home and enjoy the "rother Ingelheimer."