The van Volxem winery is located in the Moselle wine-growing region, more precisely in the Saar wine region. It is only thirteen kilometers from Trier in the municipality of Wiltingen and is internationally known for its dry Riesling wines. Since the takeover by the owner Roman Niewodniczanski in 2000, the winery has continued the legendary tradition of Saar wines of the 19th and 20th centuries. Weingut van Volxem is home to some of the oldest steep slopes in the history of viticulture.
The Moselle / Saar wine-growing region
According to the last count in 2005, a little more than 5,000 winegrowers cultivated around 8,700 hectares of vineyards in the Moselle wine-growing region. These are located in 125 wine villages on the Ruwer, Moselle and Saar. A total of 670,000 hectoliters of wine are produced in the Moselle wine-growing region, of which only a small proportion, namely 36,000 hectoliters, are red wine. The region is characterized by steep-slope viticulture, which accounts for forty percent of all viticulture in this region.
According to experts, wine has been cultivated in the Saar area for 2,000 years. Until the end of the 18th century, the better vineyards were mostly owned by the Catholic Church. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, many acreage changed into private ownership. Saar wine is synonymous with Riesling wines and is one of the most popular white wines in Germany. It gains its quality from the soil that is excellently suited to this grape variety and the ideal climatic conditions on the steep slopes. Devonian slate soils and the cool but consistent weather give the wine its elegant and complex character.
In fact, at the end of the century before last, the Saar wines were among the most sought-after wines on the world market. Bad investments in level cultivation areas of lower quality and the loss of vineyards in the course of the world wars resulted in both quality and image losses. Reversing this development is the declared goal of the current owner of Van Volxem.
The turbulent history of viticulture on the Van Volxem estate
After the winery had been managed by Jesuits since the 16th century, the Belgian brewer Gustav Van Volxem took over the business in the mid-eighteenth century. It remains to be seen whether the current owner, Roman Niewodniczanski, as a scion of the Bitburg brewery family, was inspired by this story. However, his desire to continue the company's original winemaking tradition not only demonstrates great skill, but also enormous respect for its history.
In view of this, a kind of rediscovery of old wine-growing methods took place in this special region of Germany. First and foremost, they feel obliged to care for and preserve the unique terroir of around 60 hectares. The heart of the cultivation area is about 50 to 100 meters above the peaks of the Moselle, which ensures an above-average cool climate. Here the Riesling is rooted up to ten meters deep in the slate rock, giving rise to the typical minerality of Van Volxems Riesling wines. In addition, extraordinarily long growing seasons allow slow maturation, which is reflected in the high complexity of the white wines.
Biodynamic cultivation is a matter of course for Roman Niewodniczanski. The holistic viticulture method helps to enable wine connoisseurs to taste the proportions of red, blue or gray slate, which gives the Riesling from winemakers Niewodniczanski and Dominik Völk an additional personal touch.
The winery produces a range of Riesling wines, including the legendary 95-point Goldberg Riesling VDP "Großes Gewächs", whose 2017 vintage prompted the Vinum Wineguide to award Roman Niewodniczanski Winemaker of the Year.
Smaller quantities of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay sparkling wine are also bottled at the winery.