We are delighted to introduce our new Lorenz Riesling, made with 100% Organic Riesling from the Rheinhessen region of Germany, one of the most classic cool-climate regions of the world. Riesling is a cold-hardy grape variety, and German Rieslings are known for their quality, complexity and ability to age over time.
Winemaker Johannes Lorenz elaborates this special Organic Riesling to bring out the very best of the grape and the region, producing a wine that is fresh, crisp, and aromatic, full of bright citrus and stone fruit with deliciously mouth-watering acidity. German organic wines made from grapes grown in Rheinhessen owe their fruitiness and rich bouquet to the mild climate and extraordinary soil of the area.
The Rheinhessen region of Germany contains a great deal of limestone within the soil, as it was once covered by a sea in a subtropical climate. The limestone rock of the region is composed of the skeletal fragments of marine animals and organisms. Today you can still find remains of the marine life and shells within the limestone of the vineyard. This carbonate sedimentary rock gives the wine a great sense of minerality.
The vineyard’s soil is rich loam and clay. Lorenz is committed to Organic production and the responsible care of nature. In addition to growing without the use of synthetically produced insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and artificial fertilizers, they ensure their vineyard maintains a natural and healthy balance by sowing a variety of wild herbs and legumes between the vines, and by using organic humus fertilization. The vines are Dry Farmed, without the use of any irrigation. This forces the roots to seek out moisture deep within the ground, and Lorenz feels this creates more flavorful berries.
The Rich Rheinhessen Region
Lorenz is located in the heart of the Rheinhessen region, located near the Rhine River between the cities of Nierstein and Oppenheim in the Northernmost part of the region. This is a cooler climate area in the middle of Rheinhessen, but with climate change has been seeing 35-40 degrees C (95-104 F) by day and 20-25 degrees C (68-77 F) at night during harvest. The 2018 vintage was a particularly warm year, with early ripening and harvest taking place at the beginning of September. The grapes were harvested between 3-8am to avoid the heat of the day. The temperature difference has been significant over the past several years. Just three years ago, the Lorenz Riesling harvest took place in the middle of October.
Wild Vines for Brilliant Wine
Lorenz believes that “wild vines” produce the very best grapes from the vineyard. The vines grow freely, never cut back in the winter, producing grapes at will. Only the front of the vines is pruned during the growing season to remove some of their leaves, while maintaining the important canopy for cooling and preventing over-ripening of the grapes.
The leaves provide their own shade, producing a smaller berry with more skin-to-pulp ratio. The berries are much smaller than average, with 4-5 Lorenz Riesling grapes equaling the size of one average Riesling grape. Larger grapes contain more water, sugar and less flavor.
“The percentage of the skin to pulp is very important to the quality of the wine. As 90-95% of aroma is situated in the skin, the smaller grapes of Lorenz result in wines that are far more aromatic, with more vibrant character and structure compared to a Riesling that is mass-produced.” -Johannes Lorenz, Winemaker
Bright and Fruity, Full of Phenolics
The wild vine method allows Lorenz is able to get more fruit essence from the grapes compared to many other Rieslings, while still coming in at a very drinkable 12.5% alcohol. Once harvested, the grapes remain on their skins for 12 hours before being pressed. This also allows for more phenolics in the finished wines, which serve as a natural anti-aging agent. The wine is fermented for several months, seeing two weeks of contact with yeast before bottling. The wine continues to develop in the bottle and holds up longer than a typical Riesling. The wine is held back for months before its release to allow a fuller development. The wine continues to age well over time, and as with the very best Rieslings of Germany, the wine is often at its best more than two years from harvest.
Lorenz Riesling is Troken (dry) with 6 g/l residual sugar. The wine is a bright pale straw color, with aromas of green apple, lemon, nectarine, and almond. Its medium body is crisp and dry with a medium-length fennel finish.
Lorenz Riesling is available now for distribution nationwide.
Learn More about Lorenz’s Wild Vines and Organic Winemaking