About Signature Quality
Selbach-Oster Riesling vineyards lie on a 4-mile / 7 km stretch along the Mosel starting in Zeltingen, upstream to Wehlen, Graach and Bernkastel. Vines have been cultivated here since Roman times. Every single vineyard on that short stretch of river has its own special environment and microclimate—its terroir. Each single lot of wine in the cellar shows its own individual, complex "fingerprint". No single day
is alike and each year, each vintage has its own unique character, its "signature". The grapes mature slowly in a very long, temperate growing season. All the above represent traditional "values" which we at Selbach-Oster cherish; we try to refine and preserve the liquid result in the bottle, the sleek, tall green Mosel-bottle. All this in order to present you with Riesling the way we like it: with elegance, complexity and depth of flavor. With the subtlety and fragrance of flowers and the intense mineral quality from our slate soils. With the taste of delicate fruit and a lingering, crisp finish. The way it has always been.
Our assets have much to do with our hands. Since several generations. Since 1660 in our family ownership, as a matter of fact. Our main treasure is simply what nature presents us with: excellent vineyard-sites in the heart of the Mosel region, old, ungrafted vines on steep, south-facing slopes planted on heat-retaining, mineral-rich, rocky slate soil. Granted, these "assets" bring various risks year-in - year-out... but also great opportunities. Most important, however, are the results.
About Nature and Handcrafting
Wine is Nature: a multifaceted, living creation. As wine producers, we have not forgotten that we are people who live from the land, who are dependent on nature. Wine is more to us than just business or a source of income. It happens to be our passion, too. A part of ourselves goes in every wine we produce. As you might expect when looking at our vineyards clinging to precipituous slopes, everything from pruning to harvesting is done by hand in an "old-fashioned", labour-intensive process. We can proudly present our customers with truly handcrafted wines. Our philosophy of winemaking is "hands-on" in the vineyards and "hands-off" in the cellar. When this motto is put to use it creates the best possible conditions for making truly fine wines while always leaving the "making" to the wine itself. This means we try to realize the full potential the individual soils, vineyards and vintages have to offer. It starts with labour-intensive work in the vineyards from pruning (low yields) through careful canopy-management to the culminating point - meticulous, rigorous selection at harvest. It ends with the gentle pressing of the fruit. A slow, cool fermentation with the grapes' own natural yeasts then "makes" the wines in our cellars. "Hands-on" is needed again for getting the wines ready for bottling. We believe that minimal handling (i.e. pumping and filtering) is rewarded by a maximum of flavor, freshness and delicacy. We strive uncompromisingly for top quality. And it is quality which speaks for itself. Most of our wines are still fermented and matured in the traditional oak "Fuder"-barrels supplemented by a small number of stainless-steel vats. We do not use new oak for Rieslings to preserve the delicate structure of subtle fruit and crisp acidity as purely as possible.
Our philosophy is to make elegant, crisp, low-alcohol but full-flavoured wines which the Mosel has become famous for. Our ideal is to make wines that reflect the “parents” of the wine, i.e. the mineral-rich slate soil and ripe, juicy Riesling fruit. In order to do that, it takes excellent vineyards, careful vineyard and yield management, very selective handpicking and, if necessary, making three passes through the same vineyard.
The grapes are gently pressed at low pressure, the juice settles by gravity, not by centrifuge and is then fermented in a cool cellar at cool temperatures, mostly with it’s own, wild yeast. Only for wines which must ferment to total dryness we do add yeast.
We produce Riesling in all styles, from very dry to lusciously sweet, from elegant and light to complex and rich, depending what Nature allows.