Christoph Wolber & Alexander Götze
Staufen, Markgräflerland, Baden, Germany
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Wasenhaus was founded by Christoph Wolber and Alexander Götze, whose passion for Pinot first brought them together in Burgundy. Alongside their oenology studies in Beaune they gained a wealth of experience working for reputable organic domaines. During this time they became friends, roommates and, eventually, decided to create their own project.
The winery is in Christoph’s hometown, Staufen, in the Markgräflerland of Baden. Here, between the Black Forest and France’s Vosges mountains, the pair had the opportunity to take over some old parcels of Weißburgunder and Spätburgunder (aka Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir). Some of the parcels were planted as early as 1965 at Ehrenstettener Ölberg and Ehrenkirchener Kirchberg, where the soil is similar to Burgundy: limestone, a key ingredient for great Pinot. Others are more scattered, including one plot at the Kaiserstuhl, a bit further from Staufen and planted on volcanic soil.
From the beginning they have worked close to nature, embracing manual labour in the vineyard and low intervention in the cellar. Their first vintage was released in 2016, beginning a series of vintages that put quality above quantity. With approximately 2.5 hectares, it is a tiny production which is supplemented by purchases from organic neighbours.
Wasenhaus wines are a great example of the ‘clean’ side of natural wine: elegant, light, and terroir-driven. A reminder that low intervention winemaking is a craft that requires not only patience and resilience, but a depth of knowledge and attention to detail.