The Wines of Maximin Grünhaus

The Maximin Grünhaus estate lies at the foot of a long steep south-facing slope on the left bank of the Ruwer River, about two kilometres before it joins the Mosel. The estate belongs to Carl von Schubert‘s family and is divided into three separate but contiguous vineyards: Abtsberg, Herrenberg, and Bruderberg. Each of these vineyards has its own distinct micro-climate, gradient and soil composition, differences in terroir which explain the unique character of the wines made at Grünhaus. Work in the Maximin Grünhaus vineyards is conducted in close harmony with nature. Fertilisation is organic, and the vineyards have been planted with a cover crop of wild herbs and grasses. No pesticides or herbicides are used, maintaining the health of the grapes through intensive manual work instead. To ensure quality, yields are restricted to around 45 - 55 hectolitres per hectare (hl/ha); other quality estates in the Mosel average around 80 hl/ha. The winery is situated conveniently close to the vineyards so that harvested grapes can be delivered to the press within a matter of minutes. Depending on the requirements of the harvest, the grapes can be macerated or subjected to whole-cluster pressing in a modern pneumatic press. After natural overnight clarification via sedimentation, the musts are fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts in classic large oak casks (called “Fuder”) or small stainless steel tanks. This promotes the optimal development of mineral flavors from the slate soil and ensures the longevity of the wines. Neither the musts nor the finished wines are fined. In the last several years the wood for the Fuder barrels has come from the estate’s own oak forests, and the barrels are crafted by a local cooper.


The Grünhaus estate dates back to Roman times. Artifacts such as Roman flat bricks in the foundations, pottery remains, and roof and wall tiles suggest that a “Villa Rustica” once stood on the site of the present Schloss. There is also evidence that wine was produced on the estate in those days. The first documentary evidence of Grünhaus, then called “Villa ad Valles,” dates from February 6th, 966. Emperor Otto I, heir of Charlemagne, confirmed a donation that had been made in the Seventh century by the Frankish King Dagobert. At that time, the buildings, vineyards and surrounding land had been given to the Benedictine monastery of Saint Maximin in Trier. Until the end of the 18th century Maximin Grünhaus was managed by the Abbey of Saint Maximin. After all church property was secularised by Napoleon, the estate was held under French administration until 1810. In that year, the estate was sold to Friedrich Freiherr von Handel. Forty years later, it passed to his grandson, Friedrich Freiherr von Solemacher.
In 1882 Carl Ferdinand Freiherr von Stumm-Halberg bought the Grünhaus estate which consisted of vineyards, a farm, and extensive woodland. Investing heavily, he transformed it into one of the most modern of its time. A turbine in the Ruwer provided electricity to power countless machines, including the hydraulic presses in the winery. Small locomotives ran on the vineyard roads, and a cable car transported equipment around the vineyard. Dr. Carl von Schubert, who now runs the estate, comes from the fifth generation of the family. He took over management of the estate in 1981, after he completed his doctoral thesis on the economics of steep slope viticulture. At the beginning of 2004, Stefan Kraml took charge of viticulture and viniculture at Grünhaus. Since that time, the wines of the estate have benefited from his uncompromisingly high standards.


Abtsberg: Wines from this vineyard were originally destined for the table of the Abbot (or “Abt”) of the Abbey of St. Maximin. The site covers 35 acres, parts of which have been planted with vines for over a thousand years. The subsoil is blue Devonian slate and the hillside runs south-east to south-west, achieving a gradient of up to 70 percent. Abtsberg wines are characterized by a finely structured, subtle minerality, a racy acidity, generous fruit and great delicacy. They are amongst the longest lived Rieslings of the region.


Herrenberg: Wines from this site were made especially for the Abbey’s choirmasters. Extending over 40 acres, the site benefits from deep soils with good water retention, over a base of red Devonian slate. Wines from the Herrenberg show fruit and body early in their lives, but also possess extraordinary ageing potential.


Bruderberg: The smallest of the three Grünhaus vineyards, covering just 2.5 acres, the Bruderberg provided wine for the monks (or ‘brothers’). The site has the same Devonian slate soil as the Abtsberg next door, and the wines are very spicy, sometimes with a rustic slate/mineral quality. Only one wine is produced from Bruderberg, the Kabinett.

Juicy A$$ IPAs

Juicy A$$ IPAs

I know what you’re thinking... MORE IPAs?! Why would anyone think the world of craft beer needs more IPAs?  It’s already saturated with resin-y, pine tree and citrus pith flavoured options in any level of ABV or IBU anyone could want!  And you would be right. But! Necessity being the mother of invention, the thirst for something different appeared.

First things first, let’s talk hops.  Hops are the little green papery cones whose fragrant and delicious oils are used to flavour, bitter or balance, and preserve beer.  They are one of the 4 ingredients listed on the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) of 1516. So basically, they’re incredibly important to the brewing of beer.  Almost every beer on the market uses hops, but only some of them aim to showcase them.

Mexico City and Mezcal

Mexico City and Mezcal

I recently had the chance to soak in the awesomeness of the Mexican capital city for a handful of days. Friends had shared their overwhelmingly positive stories and I was expecting big things. This charming city did not disappoint. With a staggering 21.2 million people in the metropolitan area, CDMX (as it is known) digests influences from around the world. When 2018’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list was announced recently, Mexico City had 2 restaurants in the top 20.  One more than either New York, Paris, or London. That’s a big deal. Add to this, that in 2017 Licorería Limantour was awarded 14th best in the World's 50 Best Bars. Wandering around the lush art deco neighbourhoods of La Condesa and Colonia Roma, you feel like you’re a world away from the craziness of Centro Histórico. Breaking from the serene, it’s also fun to join the crowds on Calle Madero and be carried along with the tide. Throw in some amazing history and the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and Mexico City stacks up pretty impressively. To top it off, Mexico is home to one of the greatest spirits in the world: Mezcal.


Canadian Wine for Summer

Canadian Wine for Summer

Canada Day on July 1st always heralds the official kickoff to summer’s plentiful festivities, and reminds us to soak up what has to be some of the most fleeting (albeit best) summer weather found anywhere in the world.  While Canada Day has indeed come and gone, it got us thinking about all of the delicious fermented beverages our beautiful country has to offer and thought we would share some of our favourites with you.


Pét Nat - The Other Bubble

Pét Nat - The Other Bubble

She’s been on the scene for centuries now, but is heading into this one completely revitalized by a new wave of young winemakers.  Extremely variable and hard to control, good pétillant-naturel (or ‘pét-nat’ for short, also called méthode ancestrale outside of France) can only be made by skilled winemakers that are able to highlight all of her best qualities. She’s the bubble everyone is talking about, and dying to bring to their next soireé.


Cocktail of the Month July 2018 - Pancake Breakfast

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We have a treat for you this month with a Stampede themed cocktail from our friend Matt Hendriks, master distiller at Park Distillery in Banff! Matt is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic people you will ever meet, and he's gone from a great bartender to running the show at one of Canada's top craft distilleries. This cocktail showcases some of the great spirits that Matt is creating, and is the perfect combination of maple, coffee and a hint of spice to get your Stampede started (or as a hair of the dog option the morning after a big Stampede night). 

Pancake Breakfast

  • 1 oz Park Maple Rye
  • 3/4 oz Park Espresso Vodka
  • 1/4 oz Park Chili Vodka
  • 2 Dashes Park Orange Bitters
  • 2 Dashes Salt Solution

Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a chilled glass full of ice and garnish with an orange zest and Park House Cured Candied Bacon! Bacon is optional of course, and if you're feeling lazy you can just add all ingredients to a rocks glass, fill with ice, stir and enjoy! 

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The Summer of Cider

The Summer of Cider

I personally think cider is a particularly underrated beverage that you should definitely spend some time getting acquainted with this summer. There is so much diversity in cider and here at Vine Arts we’re lucky to get our hands on some pretty unique options. Cider has been around for ages and has been commonly consumed for most of recorded history. Apples, which originate from Kazakhstan, spread across Europe along migratory routes as travellers discarded the cores of the apples they munched on throughout their journey. From those cores, the seeds turned to trees and apples became ingrained in many regions throughout Europe. By the time the Romans arrived in the modern day UK around 55BC, the production of cider was already well established.