Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Weingut Rainer Sauer
Outstanding Vinothek in Franken
The address itself gives an idea of what lies ahead: Bocksbeutelstraße 15. Welcome to Weingut Rainer Sauer, in the land of Franken wine and the home of the Escherndorfer Lumps. Here, northeast of Würzburg on the banks of the Main, wine has shaped the land and life for centuries, at least since its settlement during the Age of the Carolingians and perhaps even longer.
While Escherndorf and its hills may be old — the weathered shell limestone soil dates back 230 million years — Reiner Sauer's vinothek is modern to the core. Sauer and his wife Helga have run the estate since 1979, but in 2015 restructured their entire operation.
The crown jewel is the new vinothek, completely redone as an architecturally interesting composition focused on the topic of wine. Even from outside in the forecourt, its large, spherical lamp can be seen hanging from the ceiling through the large facade of windows. No surprise, as it measures 160 centimeters across and is meant to symbolize the sun. The incandescent bulbs along the walkway from the ground floor to the second story offer a stylized suggestion of raindrops. The solid steps are comprised of shell limestone, while long, thin iron pillars suggest grapevines. The vinothek serves as a clear, bright yet unobtrusive piece of art that harmonizes quietly with all around it.
When it comes to wine, the family swears by Silvaner, which holds 61 percent of the estate's 14 hectares under vine in this wind-shielded basin. Müller-Thurgau (20 percent) and Riesling (9 percent) are next. Since 2008, the Sauers have been cultivating four hectares of vineyards based on strict biodynamic guidelines. This demands sustainable agriculture, gentle handling of nature and a focus on establishing greater harmony between soil and vine.
The Gault Millau wine guide assigned three grapes, and instructed readers to watch this estate. Alongside the 4.5 star rating he awarded in 2015, Gerhard Eichelmann wrote: "Anyone interested in Silvaner will find all roads lead here, and anyone who isn't yet interested in Silvaner should drive to Escherndorf and visit Rainer Sauer." The fine wines of Rainer Sauer have for many years graced the tables at Munich's famous Dallmayr delicatessens, and in 2016 the estate received the "Best of Gold" for the fifth time in six years. That title is assigned to the ten best wines and vintners in Franken. This time the award-winner came in the Kabinett Frucht category, for the Escherndorfer Riesling VDP.
The future of the estate in family hands seems secure as well. Son Daniel, who holds a degree in oenology, stands for the next generation. Success has come early for him — in 2011 he was proclaimed Young Winemaker of the Year by the DLG. Wine seems sure to shape the future of the Sauer family as well.