Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Outstanding Vinothek in Pfalz
No, he doesn't want to call this space a vinothek. "We are a wine bar," says Georg Meier, 36, a fifth-generation winemaker in the 500-strong village of Weyher in the Palatinate Forest. He knows how important a unique selling point is in the much-visited growing region of the Pfalz. That's why he didn't call the vaulted cellar, which was lovingly restored over a year, a vinothek, but rather what he believes is appropriate for a baroque building with an art nouveau top: a wine bar - refined in a modern way, but embedded in the historical tradition.
In 2019, the basement (consisting of vaults), a second guest room and an apartment for himself, his partner and their three children above, was opened. Not without initial difficulties. Initially, the plan to build an extension on the winery founded in 1885, which father Helmut Meier and his wife Barbara had handed over to their son in 2005, had failed. The district administration had vetoed the project. So, Meier Junior looked for an alternative in Weyher itself, and found "Haus Zahn".
The old sandstone walls were refurbished, and a lot of wood as well as modern materials such as untreated steel and exposed concrete were used. An imposing oak counter, perfectly illuminated by pendant lights and with its simple smoothness a worthy counterpoint to the strikingly grouted stone walls, leads to the actual showpiece: the baroque vault, whose steel lighting strips on the ceiling harmonize with the modern wooden tables and chairs. The polished stone floor is warmed by underfloor heating. Ceramic ornamental floor tiles adorn the floors of the washrooms. This historic space without people appears surprisingly puristic. Yet it's easy to imagine cheerful guests enjoying Flammkuchen (tarte flambée) with perfectly aged wines hailing from the granite and Rotliegend soils.
The house specialty is taut, mineral Rieslings with an angular edge. "We know every vine personally," says Georg Meier, who grows some 17 grape varieties on 20 hectares and, as a member of Forum Pfalz, an exclusive vintners' association, is dedicated to preserving and creating winegrowing quality.
That he would one day follow in his parents' footsteps was not clear at first. It is true that, like all children on wineries, he helped with the grape harvest at an early age and especially loved driving a tractor. But it wasn't until no one else from his generation could warm to the idea of continuing the legacy, that he then learned from the greats of his guild and was quickly considered one of the most promising winemaking talents on the Southern Wine Route. His next goal: "By 2022, we want to have converted to organic viticulture." Success and sustainability can be siblings after all.