Jochen Dreissigacker

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Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
    Let us journey to a lovely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
    And the vines are calling, calling . . . let us go.  
– in admiration of Robert Service

In 2001, Jochen Dreissigacker heard the whisper from his family’s vines in Rhenhessen’s hamlet of Bechtheim and followed the gleam to grow some of Germany’s finest dry Riesling. First, however, the doubts of others had to be faced and overcome.

His neighbors couldn’t understand why he would exchange his family’s parcel of young, high-yielding Dornfelder vines for a plot of old-vine Riesling in Bechtheim’s Geyersberg vineyard (pictured below).

 Other growers looked on skeptically, as Jochen (pictured below, right) and his brother Christian (pictured below, left) ended the use of all conventional vineyard treatments and began working the soil – tripling their hours between the rows.

Even his father had moments of doubt, as the Dreissigackers lost 70% of their traditional customers when their style of wines changed from off-dry and fruity to ultra-dry and mineral-driven.

The dreams of most growers would have died after that first challenging year, but Jochen had known hardship before his life between the vines. During his last days at university, he suffered a thigh fracture, but still managed to ace his finals from his hospital bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Jochen meticulously works 14 hectares of organically certified vineyards around the villages of Becthheim, Westhofen, and Monzernheim (shown above). Strict pruning, canopy management, and highly selective harvesting ensure staggeringly low yields (often 15hl/ha) and grapes that reach the cellar free from breakage and early fermentations.  Some of his top sites include Hasensprung (north-west of Bechtheim), Geyersburg (north-east of Bechtheim), and Kirchspiel (north of Westhofen). Also, it should be noted that Jochen holds parcels in the top sites of Aulerde (north of Westhofen) and Morstein (south-west of Monzernheim).

In greater detail, the loess, loam, and clay subsoils of Hasensprung render powerfully broad, dry Rieslings, which benefit from time in the glass. While the crushed marl and loess of Geyersberg offer fantastically high-toned and lacey Rieslings that are electric on the palate. Finally, Kirchspiel is a pure limestone subsoil vineyard that can render wines that chase after the very heart heart of great dry Riesling. Under Jochen’s guidance, the 2013 Kirchspiel shows an ethereally wrought concentration that culminates in one of the longest and most beautiful finishes of any wine on our shelves.

Jochen’s wines speak to what focus and commitment to vines can gift in the glass. We’re delighted to offer a wide range of his most magical dry Rieslings.

 

-David Salinas

**** Please join us at the shop today, 9/25, from 5-7pm for a full tasting of Jochen's Rieslings with an epilogue tasting of Leitz's 2013 Kaisersteinfels "Terrassen" poured from a magnum!

****Please join us on Monday, 9/28, from 5-7pm for a special tasting of 8 back-vintage Austrian wines from top growers (Knoll, Alzinger, Prager, Bründlmayer, and more)

Dreissigacker 2014 Rheinhessen Riesling Trocken

Jochen’s 2014 organically farmed, Riesling Trocken is one of the most aromatically complex and lip-smackingly delicious, dry Rieslings we’ve ever carried. The grapes are sourced primarily from the Heilig Kreuz, southwest of Becthheim and this fruit renders a pale golden color in the glass. The nose unfolds with aromas of sage, heather, tarragon, caraway seeds, and lime blossom; while the palate shows a razor-sharp minerality that is counter-balanced by a mouth-coating richness. Notes of lemon sorbet and Granny Smith follow through to a grippingly dry, white truffle finish. Bring on the tower of shellfish! - David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.99

Dreissigacker 2013 Rheinhessen Bechteheimer Riesling Trocken

Bechtheimer is Dreissigacker’s village wine with fruit from sites in the Stein and Rosengarten vineyards, but the majority of the grapes come from Jochen’s 7 hectares of Riesling in the Geyersberg vineyard, east of Bechtheim. Deep golden in color, the expressive nose offers aromas of white iris, honeysuckle, juniper, and flint smoke. The palate is ethereal with a minerality that twists and turns with finely pointed aromas of spearmint, tangerines, and a hint of petrol. Elegant and enticing dry Riesling!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

Dreissigacker 2012 Rheinhessen Bechtheim Hasensprung Riesling Trocken

The clay-based soils of Hasensprung (north-west of Bechtheim) mean that this is one of Jochen’s later ripening sites, offering up a brooding, mercurial, and dry Riesling.  Aromas of lilacs, chestnuts, clover honey, bees wax, and a touch of petrol reveal themselves with each breath. The palate is broad and weighty, but held aloft by a finely wrought minerality, which carries notes of lime blossom, almonds, and Charentais melon through to lengthy, savory finish. A perfect pairing for roasted poultry and autumnal game! - David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

Dreissigacker 2013 Rheinhessen Bechtheim Geyersberg Riesling Trocken

At 7 hectares, Geyersberg represents the lion’ share of Jochen’s vineyard holdings. This parcel is mid-slope and south-facing with soils of crushed marl and loess; it tends to ripen a week earlier than Jochen’s other sites. Brilliantly golden in color, the 2013 Geyersberg parades aromas of sea salt, brazil nuts, flinty smokiness and umami tones. The palate begins with a rush of minerality, carrying aromas of lemon sorbet, lime zest, and Mirabelle plums through to a fine, savory, mesquite finish. - David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

Dreissigacker 2013 Rheinhessen Westhofen Kirchspiel Riesling Trocken

I remember the first time I saw a no-hitter, a feeling of elation at watching a perfect confluence of raw talent, preparation, determination, and grace. The 2013 Kirchspiel is Jochen’s no-hitter. From his tireless vineyard work to his deft hand in the cellar, he has managed to guide his grapes into fine wine, while expertly avoiding all the pitfalls that would have made this simply a nearly great dry Riesling. In so doing, he has coaxed something glorious out from the sheltered, amphitheater shaped, limestone subsoils of his site in the Kirchspiel. Radiantly golden in color, this wine offers aromas of lemon blossom, linden, tea roses, bergamot, and verbena. The palate is concentrated, refined, powerful, and held high with banners of anise, pink salt, verbena, and licorice through to a salty finish that flies straight and true for a beautiful moment in time. Congratulations, Jochen!

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

Dreissigacker 2013 Rheinhessen Riesling Trocken 1.5 L

This shows all of the minerality of the 2013 and all of the aging potential of a magnum. A finely expressive nose of sage, honeysuckle, caraway seeds, and orange blossom float up from this deeply golden, dry Riesling. The palate is towering with minerality and carries notes of anise, licorice, and cardamom. This is the kind of bottle that leaves a lasting impression.

- David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $56.99