Olympia Samara & Hannes Hoffmann
Rosswag, Württemberg, Germany

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Olympia and Hannes started their winery in 2014 in Vaihingen an der Enz in Württemberg, just half an hour from our shop in Stuttgart.

The couple met at Geisenheim, Germany’s reputed university for viticulture and oenology. At the time neither of them planned to start a winery but today their finely crafted, fiercely biodynamic wines shine out in a region known for conventional agriculture and still dominated by a large cooperative with 155 hectares.

After their studies Olympia and Hannes worked in wineries across California, France and Austria, always in the same area but never at the same winery, on the basis this would double their experience.

In 2014 they returned to Rosswag where Hannes grew up, a spot surrounded by forest on a sweeping curve of the river Enz. Here they took on 0.5 ha of Riesling and Lemberger from Hannes' grandparents, the latter a variety they had learned to love in Austria under the name Blaufränkisch. Before long, they found a Pinot Noir vineyard.

Having worked in both industrial and small-scale wineries, it was clear to them that they should work biodynamically and have done so from the moment they took over the winery. This dedication to balance and biodiversity requires a lot of manual labour from start to finish: plant-based sprays (aka compost teas) are made from nettle, chamomile, yarrow and horsetail, the tops of the vines are rolled rather than cut, and the harvested grapes are crushed underfoot. Since 2018, Roterfaden has been Demeter certified. 

The vineyards are steeply terraced and south-facing, planted on the same – very unique blue shell limestone found in Jura, and a little in Franconia.

Currently (2024) with 3.5 ha, Olympia is adamant they've reached capacity, despite offers of the many plots being abandoned in the area. While they have found forward-thinking, time-saving solutions, such as distributing compost teas using drones, the couple are determined to maintain quality over quantity.

All wines are vinified in old barrels, are not filtered or clarified and a small amount of sulphur is added at bottling to guarantee a safe onward journey, ensuring that ‘no matter who opens the bottle, it's still the wine we made.’

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