The historic Fritz Haag wine estate is located in the heart of the central Mosel River Valley. The earliest documentation of the estate dates back to 1605. At that time, the village in which it is situated was known as “Dusemond.” In 1925, this village was renamed “Brauneberg” (“brown mountain,” a reference to the color of the slate soil in this area of the Mosel) in an endeavour to further promote the reputation of its world-renowned vineyards “Brauneberger Juffer” and “Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr.”

For many years, the Fritz Haag wine estate was successfully headed by the endlessly energetic Wilhelm Haag, and achieved under his guidance a world-renowned reputation. Wilhelm Haag was the first to be named Gault Millau’s “Winemaker of the Year,” a highly coveted accolade introduced in 1994. Since 2005, his son Oliver has taken over the reins and has followed his legendary father in leading the estate into the future.

The Fritz Haag estate produces wines that cover the full style spectrum, starting from a dry style and ranging to lusciously sweet. A mineral “slate” character and a pronounced and fruity acidity give the wines their sleek sophistication and their great aging potential. The estate’s graceful, well-refined Rieslings are rated as impressive examples of the finest wines the Mosel region has to offer.

APPELLATION(S) Bernkastel (Mittelmosel)

The Fritz Haag estate owns 17.5 ha (43 acres) of vineyards which are all exclusively planted with Riesling. The excellent micro-climate and the deep slate soils of the Brauneberg hillside yield some of the most intensely flavored and elegantly-structured Riesling wines of the Mosel region. Oliver Haag rigorously selects the clones most suited to the microclimate of his vineyards in order to achieve the maximum potential in the grapes. His wines, which display a pleasing subtle color, show a well-defined palate that reaches from honeysuckle to pears and apples. They are laced with citrus and underlying mineral tones, reflecting the slate vineyards of Brauneberg.

The name “Juffer,” which translates as “old maid” in the local dialect, goes back to 1790. The proprietor of these exceptional vineyards at the time, the aristocratic Kurpfälzische Kammerherr Wunderlich, had three daughters who all remained unmarried and lived the lives of spinsters. As a consequence, when they took over the vineyard management from their father, the name “Brauneberger Juffer” was born and the wines soon became famed throughout the wine world.

The Juffer site comprises ca. 32 ha (nearly 80 acres). It completely surrounds the 10.5-ha (26-acre) top site Juffer Sonnenuhr, which lies within the heart of the rocky slopes. The hillside is marked by inclinations of up to 80% and gentle wave troughs as it rises vertically. It provides a sustainable microclimate that stamps the character of the wines produced from the grapes that grow here. The terroir of the slaty, 100% south-facing Brauneberg sites is composed of fine, weathered Devonian slate that seems almost oily and seems to continually regenerate itself from the depths of its soils.

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- Kim Marcus, 2012-04-13