Years ago, I used to be one of those people who thought all Riesling was sweet. Boy, was I glad to be wrong. Over the years, I’ve tried many styles of Rieslings from different regions. One of my latest bottles (a whole liter) was Weingut Brand Winery Riesling Feinherb 2018.
Founded in 1891, Brand winery has been producing wine in the Pfalz for five generations. Today, brothers Daniel and Jonas Brand manage the estate, after taking over from their father, Jürgen, in 2014. The brothers have consistently focused on organic viticulture and ecological management of the land. They don’t use any fertilizers or pesticides, relying instead on the power of natural extracts and teas in addition to biodiversity that helps keep the vines and soil healthy. I always love when winemakers give love to the land.
They farm 18 hectares and focus on grapes Riesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Dornfelder, and Pinot Noir, among others. The vines vary in age, with the younger vines (5-20 years) being used for liters and the older vines (20-80 years) being used for other cuvees. Their wines, in general, are fermented spontaneously with wild yeasts and they decide to bottle wine based on what the wine tells them and not by a fixed date. The natural wines are produced without any additives and without any filtration.
I first gravitated to this bottle because of the label—it’s flowery print with modern typography, and its size—a whole liter! I’m not sure if she still designs them but they boast on their website that their grandmother, Oma Helga, draws the illustrations for the wines.
Now, onto the wine! There were notes of petrol, green apple, lime, lemon. It’s off-dry in style (similar to Halbtrocken). There’s a nice oily, weight to it but high acidity and nice salinity that balances it out. I got it at Vinya but I don’t recall the price (I think sub $20). A perfect one for shellfish or spicy food, or on its own at the beach or by the pool.