Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Outstanding Vinothek in Franken
Healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people. These are the three philosophical pillars at Weingut Rothe. The estate is in the winegrowing town of Nordheim, 15 kilometers east of Würzburg on the so-called "Wine Island" formed by a natural bow in the river and the Main canal.
But there's nothing artificial at Weingut Rothe. To the contrary, nature is queen. When Manfred Rothe and his wife Christine adopted the operation more than 30 years ago from her parents, they consciously decided to transition to purely organic methods. At the time, this approach was regarded with deep skepticism by the larger vintner community.
From today's standpoint, it was a brave but necessary step, a bold effort at the vanguard of the organic wine movement. "Nobody wants to argue anymore against the fact that really good wine can only be produced in harmony with nature," says Manfred Rothe. Their well-earned reward: at the 2015 "Berliner Wein Trophy" the estate was proclaimed Germany's best producer of organic wine.
The vineyards are situated on the cliffs above the Mainschleife Bow. At the edges, on the Nordheimer Vögelein and Sommeracher Katzenkopf, they are exposed to the wind, and shell limestone molds the character of the Silvaner there. The Müller-Thurgau, Bacchus and Domina grown in these nutrient-rich soils invariably produce fruit-driven wines. In 2011 Manfred and Christine Rothe added a fourth color to their wine list, Orange Wine. Peels, pulp and pips from the grapes are included in the fermentation for weeks. Tannins and phenols bring shape to the young wines, which then move into wood barrels for aging. A new wrinkle, based on the millennia-old Georgian tradition of vinification in clay amphorae, was introduced in 2013. Two original examples of these 1,200L 'Kvevri,' as they are called, are now in the cellar.
A vinothek was added in two years ago, pleasantly appointed to fit the organic atmosphere but large enough to held 25 guests. It's an ideal spot to relax in the afternoon after a hike along the Main, through this historic landscape of vineyards and broad meadows dotted with fruit trees. And of course to enjoy a glass of wine and nourishment. There's no menu here, just regional 'slow food' – good bread, butter, cheese and sausage. The same ingredients bought by the Rothes for their own consumption. And really, that's all that's needed.
Those interested in an overnight stay can give their custom to the guest house on Zehnthofstraße, in rooms designed with the same timelessly modern wood look as the vinothek. Maria Hör runs the establishment and offers tours of the Nordheimer wine region and estate as well. Don't be surprised if she looks familiar: Manfred and Christine Rothe are her parents.