The goal is to find a way between the tried and true tradition and modern winemaking.
Situated in Assmannshausen in the Rheingau region, the wine estate of August Kesseler consists of vineyard sites in Lorch (for Riesling and Silvaner wines), on the slopes of the hills around Rudesheim and in the area called“Assmanshauser Hollenberg”August Kesseler took the estate from his parents in 1977 as a young man and has qualitatively expanded the best area under vines to 18 hectares. The manor house and cellar are situated directly on the slate outcrops of the“Assmanshauser Hollenberg”. Experience gained in winegrowing regions in the USA and France has taught August Kesseler the value in placing great importance on quality - improving measures in the vineyard and in the cellar, which retore the characteristic flavour to the Assmanshauser Spatburgunder - a flavour which once made it world - famous - and which give the Riesling from the Rudesheimer Berg a good balance between the typical acidity and the natural residual sugar.
The Vineyard Sites
The quality of a wine has its origins in the vineyard. As well as the reputation of a vineyard site, which is historically, climatically and geographically, founded, the crucial factor here is the rigidly controlled quality-oriented running of the vineyards. The sight of the terraces with their steep slopes shows that these vineyard sites facing west and south-west represent an ideal position for producing unique wines.
The“Assmanshauser Hollenberg”is built up of heatstoring slate-phyllite. Its microclimate and the porosity of the soil make an ideal site for the Spatburgunder wines which enjoy a long tradition in this vineyard site. From the central vineyard site of the Hollenberg Kesseler obtains the grapes for the classic Spatburgunder wines with a high level extracts and concentrated fruit aromas. The weathered slate of the Rudesheim hills, due to their extremely steep nature and the associated high temperatures in the vineyards between the rows, as well as the porosity of the soils, produce Riesling wines with a concentrated fruit rich in nuances which contains a spirity yet stable acidity.
The maturing process of the Kesseler wines takes place in a double-storied wine cellar, which was carved out of the slate of the“Assmanshauser Hollenberg”in 1793. Low cellar temperatures provide for ideal fermentation of the Riesling wines, which is carried out reductively through stainless steel tanks. The Spatburgunder wines age and ripe in traditional wooden barrels (600 and 1200 litre barrels) as well as in single batches in 225 litre Barrique barrels after malolactic fermentation. An individual composition after some 14 months brings both types of wooden barrels together.
The segment of the line of estate wines, the best of selected vineyard site wines of a vintage, conveys with the wine type of the estate. At the same time it opens the door to other quality wines of one vineyard site and as such is created according to the same quality criteria. Silvaner wines from the a Lorch region, Rieslings from Rudesheim and Assmanshauser Spatburgunder are distinguished from each other on the otherwise uniform estate presentation by a colour difference on the label and the capsule.
The quality wines of one vineyard site of the estate, which are based on the line of estate wines come from the yield-reduced vineyards where the grapes selectively picked such as those on the Rudesheim hills“Berg Schlossberg”,“Berg Roseneck”,“Bischofsberg”, as well as the Spatburgunder from“Assmanshauser Hollenberg”.
Although tartrate crystals do not influence the quality of a wine, there is an interesting corelation between the two. Slow fermantation at low temperatures helps conserve a wine’s aroma compounds. It also results in tartrade deposits developing later, in the bottle, rather than while the wines is still in cask. As such, crystals can be regarded as the mark of a good winemaker and a wine of quality.