Max Frölich & Karoline Linka
Markgräflerland, Baden, Germany
Makalié is a winery founded by Max Frölich and Karoline Linka in 2019, situated in Markgräflerland on the edge of the Black Forest and just 6 km from the French border. "Makalié" is a reference to "Maka" (Indian: earth) and "lié" (French: connected), as well as combining the names of the couple and their shared love of France.
The pair met during their oenology studies at Geisenheim, each having found their way into wine via different paths.
Max fell in love with wine when he was 16. Required to do some work experience, Max took the opportunity to visit a cousin in Tuscany and was introduced to a wine culture there which captivated him.
Karo worked for many years in restaurants, serving, tasting and talking about wine. At some point she began to find the lifestyle toxic and decided to focus more on the practical side of wine, along with the culture and food surrounding it. Although she still works part-time in a restaurant, she has found one that gives her the freedom to pursue her dream.
After completing their studies in 2016, they both spent time in France – separately as well as a stint together in Burgundy – gaining the experience they would need to start their own project in 2019.
Max and Karo are based in Müllheim, sharing a cellar with another winemaker in a village nearby. They work 40-50% with négoce grapes, which they harvest themselves from biodynamic vineyards across the region, working closely with the growers. The rest they farm themselves, including plots in Römerberg and Ölberg. Römerberg is in Badenweiler, very close to Müllheim and one of the steepest vineyards in the region. Ölberg is in Ehrenstetten, 20km from Müllheim. Here they have two plots, one of which is affectionately named ‘paradise garden’ with numerous fruit trees and herbs growing amid the grapes.
Due to the geographical range of plots, the terroir which Max and Karo work with varies widely and includes limestone, marl stone, loess, clay, and volcanic rock.
Currently (2022) they work with Müller-Thurgau, Gutedel, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and are planning to add Pinot Blanc to the mix in the near future.
The first ever vintage from Makalié was released in April 2022. These are lively, clean, terroir-driven wines with wonderful complexity.