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'When I was a landscape architect I used to sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day. Now I am outside 12 months of the year. I really learned that I needed to be exposed to the seasons — everything from flowering in springtime, to combing back to the rain and quiet in fall after harvest.'
When we last visited Christoph Wolber and Alex Götze from Weingut Wasenhaus in October 2019 they had just finished a long but rewarding harvest in the little town of Staufen, a mere half an hour away from Alsace and the French border. To the East, the rolling hills of the Black Forest influence their South-East exposed vineyards with cool winds during the night, allowing them to pick grapes with perfect ripeness but high natural acidity. Weingut Wasenhaus (orginally the old name of the farm Christoph and his family grew up in in the area) was founded by Alexander and Christoph after many years working for Burgundian estates such as Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Comte des Armand and Domaine de Montille. After working alongside some of Burgundy’s greatest producers, Alexander and Christoph decided to set up shop back home and apply their knowledge and experience to the impressive terroir of Baden. Their old vine parcels are located in and around the town of Staufen, as well as in the nearby Kaiserstuhl appellation. Alexander and Christoph work along biodynamic principles in the vineyards and keep their influence in the cellar to a minimum.
”It’s a place with huge potential. We have some vineyards of Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc reaching 100 years,” says Christoph when we walk through the vineyards last year. “Today, most people do not farm the steep plots on the Ölberg vineyard anymore. It is just too much manual work, and the cooperative which takes most of the grapes doesn’t pay enough for all this effort.”