Steep slopes of volcanic residual soils and terrace landscapes of loess soil are what renders the cultural landscape of the Kaiserstuhl so unique. It is also one of the warmest regions in Germany. Wines of the Kaiserstuhl have an excellent international reputation. More than half of the vine surface consists of burgundy grapes. Burgundy wines are highly appreciated due to their rich, mineral and strong character. Besides the Burgundy, Müller-Thurgau and Sylvaner, other grape varieties like the Sauvignon Blanc or the Merlot are also cultivated at the Kaiserstuhl. The wine at the Kaiserstuhl has an approximate 25% share of the wine growing surface of Baden. The wines from Baden have an excellent reputation in whole Germany.
The wine-producing region Kaiserstuhl belongs to one of the most southern growing areas of Germany. Ihringen, with its 600ha of cultivable land, rates among the biggest wine-growing municipalities of Germany.
The link between men and wine can be traced back to a long time ago. They have a common history from over 30.000 years. Wine is reflected in many topics: “wine as a sacred drink”, “wine in poetry”, even philosophers have seen themselves as grapevines. Nowadays this beverage is still honored and enjoys a growing interest.
However, not only the drinking and tasting but also the work with the vines proves to be fascinating. Being a wine-grower is not only a profession, but a passion. Man, landscape, climate and soil contribute to the success of a good wine. All working done in the vineyards are defined by the development of the vines. The growth of the plant defines the working rhythm of the wine-grower, who works with it during the whole year: from canopy management, cutting the vines, soil preparation to the grape harvest. The so-called “Herbsten” (grape harvest) is a real experience in our wine-growing municipality.
The whole village is out, tractors rattle to the discharge points, and everyone is eager to know the Oechsle degree of the grapes (which determines the density of the grape must and thus the alcohol level).
That time is the high season for cellar masters and cellar men, the vinification process requires high concentration and endurance.
Cellar masters nowadays must be capable of producing wines meeting the international standards. Their knowledge is based on their experience, skills and research. But beside their knowledge on micro biology, they must of course be familiar with grapes. The winemaker follows the wine throughout the whole year and has to literally be able to sense the quality of the grapes. A great wine can only by created naturally, that is also why winemakers need to know about the situation in the vineyards.
Every vineyard has its own character. They are marked by soil type, microclimate, orientation and gradient. The location of a vineyard crucially affects growth and maturation of the grape. Especially the southerly exposed slopes which are very important in viticulture, as the southern hillsides attain the highest solar radiation.
The vineyards of Ihringen:
The vineyard of the Forenberg is situated southwards. The big and smaller Loess-terraces of the vineyard Fohrenberg surround the winegrowing village and give it a charming character. Those charming characteristic traits can not only be found optically but also in our wines. Loess has a characteristic of absorbing and dispersing water; it can also store warmth and thus creates a perfect micro-climate. Wines from this vineyard are rich in content and have a rich bouquet.
It is one the most famous vineyards in Germany. On its hillside mature world-wide renowned wines. Its towering and free situation at the south-west corner of the Kaiserstuhl gives the grapes their strong taste. Mineral wines with a notably elegant aroma mature at this vineyard, thanks to its good aeration and steep slopes. It is the volcanic soil with its lava walls that gives the Winklerberg wines their excellent character.
Wasenweiler vineyard locations
The Wasenweiler Kreuzhalde is one of the smallest but also the most valuable vineyard from the Kaiserstuhl. The vines still grow on small terraces nowadays, often with only 2 or 3 rows, and are cultivated by hand.
Those little terraces were already called ‘Halen’ during the Middle Ages, from which derivated ‘Kreuzhalde’. This vineyard is situated southwards with strong gradients in some of its parts. The volcanic sedimentary rocks (containing minerals), in combination with the fertile loess layers and the Mediterranean climate create the perfect conditions for characterful Burgundy wines.
At the western border in direction of Freiburg lays the vineyard Wasenweiler Lotberg. The soils are profound and have a higher water supply, which promotes the fruity and lacy character of the wines. Excellent Pinot Blanc, racy Rieslings and aromatic Muscat grow here.
The blankenhornsberg is a locality of Ihringen, situated in the middle of the Rhine valley, at the southern branch of the Kaiserstuhl, about 25km in the west of Freiburg. The name comes from the oenologist and first German viniculture president Prof. Adolf Blankenhorn. The vineyards of the Blankenhornsberg hold the appellation ‘Doktorgarten’. This vineyard, like the Ihringer Winklerberg in which’s extension it lays, is marked by volcanic sedimentary rocks. Its height is of 200m to 280m above sea level. The south-southwest exposition and gradient of 35% guarantee an optimal solar irradiation which allows a high formation of sugar in the grapes and heat the black rocks. Those rocks thus serve as heat reservoirs. During spring it has for consequence a rapid growth of the vines.
Other climatic data:
Average yearly temperature: 10,5°C
Precipitation per year: 550 – 600mm, about 1800 sunshine hours.