Chardonnay Holzfass, Weingut Knewitz 2018, Rheinhessen, Germany


The Knewitz family have been growing vines in the Rheinhessen, southwest Germany, since the 19th century. Tobias, Björn, and Corina now run the 25 hectare estate, with most of their vineyards placed on a long, even, south-facing slope (unusually for the Rheinhessen, which is a region of rolling hills). The Knewitz’s vineyards are actually on what was, forty million years ago, a coral reef, and are almost entirely pure limestone.


The limestone soils, much like the best white wine vineyards of Burgundy, particularly favour Chardonnay as a grape variety, giving richness and tension to the wines. To best suit the terroir, the Knewitz's have planted all French clones of Chardonnay, and raise the wine in 10% new oak for a touch of richness and spice to add to the incredibly lean and pure wine.


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