“Each generation ends up defining its own unique relationship to the Rothenberg. We live on it, from it, with it. It ultimately makes us who we are.”
Few of Germany’s vineyards are more revered than the richly historical ‘Roter Hang’, a picturesque set of steep slopes that rise above the Rhine between the towns of Nackenheim and Nierstein. Its ancient, very special iron-oxide laced red shale and clayey soil known as Rotliegend have taken on an almost mythical status among wine aficionados.
For six generations of the Gunderloch family, that deep tradition is simply and easily voiced as ‘home.’ The 28-hectare Rheinhessen estate and distinctive residence, the Haus am Rothenberg, are the cradle for clear, mineral-driven wines that reflect the family’s unique blend of experience and ingenuity. Working primarily with Riesling but also cultivating regional specialties such as the Pinot varieties and Silvaner, each bottle is an expression of the family’s own dedication to the Rothenberg. And each glass reflects their exploration of its character: a marvelous mix of balance, power and elegance.
Weingut Gunderloch dates back to 1890 when banker Carl Gunderloch purchased the fabled Nackenheimer Rothenberg. It was a bold move, and his pioneering spirit still very much animates the estate. Carl Gunderloch was not content with just making wine; he led the charge toward quality-oriented viticulture within the region and was a fierce proponent of fine winemaking culture. It is no surprise that his estate would become a founding member of what is now known as the Verein Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP), a prestigious association of Germany’s finest winegrowers, and one of only 4 estates to have remained a member for that entire span. Carl Gunderloch’s dedication to crafting world-class Rieslings from the finest officially classified vineyards has been passed down through six generations and 130 years.
These contradictions are even reflected in his background. While born into a winegrowing family, Johannes came to winemaking by choice, after first studying business administration.
That scholarship trained into him a certain precision and analytical bent that continue to influence his winemaking today. And a year of traveling around the world then infused that technical exactitude with the motivation and revelation he witnessed in many of the new world winemakers. It’s not enough to simply savor the taste of the Roter Hang in his wines, he wants to understand it. He wants to pick it up, turn it over, observe it from every angle, and ultimately be inspired by it. He is a curious man, and that curiosity flows deliciously into every bottle.
Aus diesem Grund hat er eine Reihe internationaler Projekte initiiert, bei denen es um Verstehen, Innovation und vor allem um Austausch geht. Johannes betrachtet es als seine Pflicht, die Anstrengungen und Erfolge seiner Vorfahren zu erhalten und zugleich den Betrieb weiter voran zu bringen. Seine Arbeit mit dem Wein wird gleichermaßen von Kopf, Herz und Händen geleitet.