Weingut Gunther Steinmetz Piesporter Treppchen Riesling 2016
Heavily weathered silver-gray slate floor. A 90-year old terrace plot of ungrafted vines. Delicate and multifaceted. Yellow fruits, very ripe yellow pears, violets, lilacs, acacia honey and steel construction. So inaccessible steep, machinery is impossible.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Stefan Steinmetz was born in 1978 in Bernkastel-Kues, Germany to Hans Guenther and Edith Steinmetz. He began his first 3-years of education in Viticulture at the Weinbau Schule in Bernkastel-Kues, followed by a 2-year work-study program at Nationally Certified Staatlich Geprüfter Wirtschafter Weinbau and Hochschule in Trier. Weingut Günther Steinmetz was founded in the 1900s and overseen until 1938 by Stefan’s great-grandfather, August Steinmetz. Augus’s son, Wilhelm Steinmetz ran the winery from 1938 until his death in 1958 when the winery was passed on to his son, (and father of Stefan) Herr Hans Guenther Steinmetz. Stefan would take the reins of Cellar Master and cultivation manager in 2000 along with his mother, Edith, when his father became ill. His first vintage would follow the very next year. Stefan’s dedication to traditional winemaking practices and “working as close to nature” is well known.
Following the Mosel River as it slithers and weaves dramatically through the Eifel Mountains in Germany’s far west, the Mosel wine region is considered by many as the source of the world’s finest and longest-lived Rieslings.
Mosel’s unique and unsurpassed combination of geography, geology and climate all combine together to make this true. Many of the Mosel’s best vineyard sites are on the steep south or southwest facing slopes, where vines receive up to ten times more sunlight, a very desirable condition in this cold climate region. Given how many twists and turns the Mosel River makes, it is not had to find a vineyard with this exposure. In fact, the Mosel’s breathtakingly steep slopes of rocky, slate-based soils straddle the riverbanks along its entire length. These rocky slate soils, as well as the river, retain and reflect heat back to the vineyards, a phenomenon that aids in the complete ripening of its grapes.
Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically on the desirable sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type and altitude. The best Mosel Rieslings—dry or sweet—express marked acidity, low alcohol, great purity and intensity with aromas and flavors of wet slate, citrus and stone fruit. With age, the wine’s color will become more golden and pleasing aromas of honey, dried apricot and sometimes petrol develop.
Other varieties planted in the Mosel include Müller-Thurgau, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), all performing quite well here.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.