The Weihbrecht Winery is located near the town of Bretzfeld in northern Germany’s Schwabbach region. Viticulture in this area has been documented since 1528.
A boutique, family-run winery, Weihbrecht Winery is headed by young, ground-breaking winemaker, Simon Weihbrecht. Simon’s approach includes reducing yields to maximize quality. His goal is to harmonize the character of each varietal, merging centuries-old local wine culture with his personal take on winemaking.
As Weihbrecht puts it, “the wines are not simply prepared, but carefully accompanied during their maturation process. This is how handcrafted, individual wines of the highest quality are created.”
Weihbrecht, with his insistence on quality and attention to winemaking detail, seemed an ideal candidate to give the innovative AromaLoc system a try.
Weihbrecht approached Simon Bachmann, Head of Winery for the Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein- und Ostbau (the State Educational and Research Institute for Viticulture and Pomology) in Weinsberg. Founded as the Könligliche Weinbauschule in 1868, it is Germany’s oldest wine and fruit-growing school and research institution. After conversations with Weihbrecht, Bachmann agreed to host a formal trial of the AromaLoc system at the Institute. AromaLoc supported this accredited research initiative, supplying four AromaLoc machines to the Institute’s lab. Trials were conducted using different fermentation parameters on the same juice against controls.
Featuring Riesling grapes, the trial was conducted using two fermentation temperatures (14 & 18 degrees Celsius).
Fermentation is now complete. Next steps include SO2 stabilization, filtration, and bottling of the wines. Initial results are expected in early 2021, after a formal sensory evaluation.
Early results from the Institute’s testing are promising. Here’s what Simon Weihbrecht had to say in a recent message to the AromaLoc team:
We tried the wines at the end of fermentation, and were very surprised by how big the differences were. The [white] wines with the AromaLoc machine went much more in the tropical direction — they are also much more complex and rich. We’re very excited to see how the wines will develop over the next few weeks….
Stay tuned for an update in 2021 from Germany on the Institute’s AromaLoc experimentation.