Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Winzergenossenschaft Herxheim am Berg
Outstanding Vinothek in Pfalz
This is as high as it gets, at least in this neighborhood. At 212 meters above sea level (abbreviated N.N. in German), there's a reason why the crown jewel of the Winzergenossenschaft Herxheim (Herxheim Winegrowers Cooperative) bears the unusual name "Vinothek 212 N.N." It describes a brilliant new construction, finished in 2015 and covering 640 square meters, including a 160-square-meter vinothek with space for up to 25 visitors. The large bank of windows provides a seemingly endless view over the sea of grapevines, all the way down to the Rhine Plain, the Odenwald Forest and even the Black Forest.
The Winzergenossenschaft Herxheim am Berg was founded back in 1937, out of dire economic need. It originally brought together 26 winegrowers owning 80 hectares under vine; today the cooperative represents 75 winegrowers and 190 hectares — yet retains its "family" character.
The wines from the cooperative are noted for their minerality and elegance, a marker from the high lime content in the vineyards' soils. Its spectrum is broad, ranging from traditional varieties such as Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Gewürztraminer, Dornfelder and Portugieser to the members of the Pinot family and even new, international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Dorsa, Sauvignon Blanc and Auxerrois.
Herxheimer offers a strong basic liter wine, fruit-driven classics and a variety of lively bottles for celebrating. The most exquisite members of the portfolio, a reflection of their high quality, extra-gentle harvest and unparalleled processing in the cellar, are likely the wines of the "Noblesse" line: Chardonnay and Grauburgunder matured in 500 L oak casks known as tonneaus.
"Vinothek 212 N.N." itself was created during the erection of the new administrative building, a three-story edifice with the vinothek on the ground floor, with the administrative level above and a bistro and event area on the top floor. The building is transparent and airy, with furnishings done in an austere purist style using a winemaker's materials. This includes soils from lime-sandstone, furniture and wall claddings in oak and a bit of steel and glass mixed in as well. The front of the long counter features the greens of the white wine grapes and the violet of red grapes.
There are few better ways to bring a long day to an end than here in the vinothek or the abutting "Alexweinlounge," with a lovely view out into the distance. It's enough to make anyone feel both sublime and weightless. Especially at a few meters above 212 N.N.