After spending some years learning from the legendary Klaus Peter Keller, Jochen came home to take over his family winery and, in a very short time, turn an unknown estate into the talk of the town. The huge quality improvement is a result of laborious work in the vineyards, which has increased from 180 to almost 1000 hours per hectares per year, including, e.g. the introduction of organic practices, lower yield, very late harvest and the picking of only small healthy grapes to produce wines that are concentrated, complex with a distinct character.
What Klaus Peter Keller has achieved with his dry Riesling is extraordinary. His wines have been entitled as “Dry Riesling of the Year” from Gault Millau year in year out. His top wine, the G-Max, is legendary and has twice broken the auction record price, €4,000 for a double magnum of 2009 and over 6,000 for a double magnum of 2012 which was also the first dry Riesling to be given 100 points by John Gilman. His Abtserde, another top wine from one of best parcel in Rheinhessen, has received the highest points from Robert Parker for dry Riesling. Lately, wine connoisseurs have started to realize that his sweet Rieslings and Pinot Noirs are just as good. Klaus Peter Keller is truly the main driving force to put Rheinhessen back among the top wine regions of the world again.
The Diel family bought the castle Layern and its surrounding vineyards in 1802 and have been making wines ever since. But it was Armin Diel, the current owner, who made the estate famous in the late 1980s. This family estate owns 3 top sites in the Village of Dorsheim, the Goldloch, Burgberg and Pittermännchen, all were classified as Grand Cru in the historic Prussian Classification Map from 1901. Schlossgut Diel’s wines are famous for their finest and grace as well as their beautiful harmony between fruit and mineral. The wines are rich yet extremely delicate, a true expression of the estate’s “power without weight” style. Since 2006, Caroline Diel – the daughter of Armin who learned wine-making at Germany’s most famous wine university, Geisenheim, as well as at famous estates such as Château Pichon Lalande and Domaine de la Romanée Conti – has been responsible for the vineyard and cellar work. From then on, the already superb wines from this estate have become even more refined and elegant.
This small excellent family estate is located in Westhofen, a famous wine village in Rheinhessen. The Fauth family, owner of the winery, possesses three excellent vineyard sites in the heart of Westhofen, the Kirchspiel, Morstein and Steingrube. The former two are classified as Grosse Lage or Grand Cru by the VDP. The last site is not classified but lies directly next to the renowned Abtserde parcel of the famous Keller winery. However, since Seehof is not yet a member of the VDP, their wines does not bear the Grosse Lage logo which explains why they are offered at incredibly low prices. Definitely one of the best value wines from Germany.