Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Outstanding Vinothek in Pfalz
There's no place else in the area with a view as impressive as up here. One gazes out onto the lovely Zeller Valley, over the Rheinhessen winegrowing region that abuts it to the east, further out across the Rhine Plain all the way to the Odenwald Forest, and of course onto the legendary and beloved Donnersberg. A majestic and distinctive panorama opens up around Weingut Schwedhelm, situated on the highest point of the Zellertal, well outside the community boundaries. The region runs from east to west and draws in a high number of hours of sun — perfect conditions for stunning wines.
The Schwedhelm family is centuries old, and their ancestors are known to have cultivated wine 1,300 years ago. Together brothers Stephan and Georg Schwedhelm, who themselves took the baton from their parents Bernhard and Gisela, run the estate with new ideas and concepts that have brought a fresh wind to many parts of this tradition-rich winery. One such decision involved tearing down the old residence above the existing barrel cellar and erecting a modern vinothek in its place. A new manor was then constructed next to it.
The pair of buildings each have their own architectural highlights: the residence features a gabled roof, while the vinothek sports a 120-square-meter panoramic rooftop terrace
accessible via an external steel staircase. The interior of the vinothek covers 90 square meters and follows the Schwedhelm's broader philosophy of winemaking... minimalist, linear, frill-free and always organic. And just like the wines, the vinothek also draws heavily on the minerality of the region. Clear design through simple but high quality materials. At its core is a sustainable wooden structure with cellulose-based insulation, a stony plastered facade, an untreated, naturally graying larch wood facade and even pellet-based heating for a smaller environmental footprint.
A large bank of glass windows provides a view out on the vineyards where Stephan and Georg Schwedhelm grow their wine. The brothers' 17 hectares are primarily dedicated to Riesling and members of the Pinot family, although their absolute top wine is the Riesling Schwarzer Herrgot trocken, described by wine critic Stuart Pigott as follows: "With a pure mineral nose, reminiscent of ripe apples, vanilla, limestone and ginger. Taut momentum, bracing acidity and notes of ripe apple, that soften on the second day into refreshing, ripe vineyard peach." The name "Schwarzer Herrgott" comes from the ancient, weathered wayside cross made from the vineyard's own limestone. That same limestone in the soil below the vines also gives the Schwarzen Herrgott its notable mineral intensity.