The Estate & Background
Perhaps it can be viewed as a small natural wonder – but in any case, it is remarkable: For its entire length of nearly 560 miles, the Rhine flows north with one exception – a 28-mile stretch where the river changes its course. Here, it flows to the west, thereby enabling both the river and the vineyards facing it to bask in the warmth of the sun all day long. This is the Rheingau, one of the smallest and one of the finest wine-growing regions of the world.
Within this little paradise there is one place that is especially blessed by nature: Hattenheim. For it is here, in the heart of the Rheingau, that the Rhine reaches the broadest point along its entire course. It is not surprising that Hattenheim has outstanding vineyards that are world renowned and highly esteemed. Nearly half of them have been classified as top sites.
The Estate & Its History
The Barth estate is located in famous Hattenheim, overlooking the Rhine near some of the areas best sites, including Wisselbrunnen, Schützenhaus and Hassel. The winery is a young and dynamic family-owned company, founded in 1948.
In 1987, Norbert Barth took over the family winery and enlarged production. Today, the winery owns 11 hectares of land on the sunny, wind-protected slopes of the Rheingau and produces 80,000 bottles a year. Under the guidance of Norbert Barth, the wines of this estate have developed remarkably well.
The Barth winery is a member of the renowned VDP and produces First Growth as well as Charta Rieslings. Barth wines are served in top restaurants across Germany and on Lufthansa flights. The winery is also well known for its Champagne production through traditional bottle fermentation and hand riddling.
The Winemaker's Philosophy
“Make the best out of something good. Coax everything from the grape that can impart the distinctive character of Hattenheim’s vineyards, so blessed by nature. Create wines and sparkling wines that are racy and elegant and that lend a festive touch to every occasion. They’re good for body and soul and add pleasure to life.
Science and technology notwithstanding, the “good” and the “best” products are ultimately a result of the winemaker’s dedication and attention to detail.
Wines that really stand out always reflect the commitment and personality of their producer. A unique, unmistakable creation requires the winemaker’s fine hand and input – all with heart and soul.”
The Wine & The Vineyards
The Barth estate produces mostly Riesling (70%), followed by Pinot Noir (20%) and a few other varieties on vineyards of clay, black loess, marl and slate soil, creating elegant and well-structured wines.
The main sites are known as Schützenhaus and Hassel, some of Hattenheim’s best sites and particularly conducive to Pinot and Riesling, as well as Wisselbrunnen, which is classified as a First Growth vineyard by the VDP.
Sparkling Wine Production
Aside from growing vines in some of the Rheingau's famous vineyards, the estate is particularly well known for its stellar sparkling wines or Sekt, produced according to the traditional champagne method.
After the first fermentation, the base wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle. It is then stored for 24 months and hand riddled, creating a full-bodied Sekt of highest quality.
The Production Method
Environmentally friendly viticulture is of utmost importance to the Barth family, who shows great care towards the vine, the soil and nature. Time-consuming vineyard work like harvest reduction and the harvest itself are all selectively done by hand for optimum ripeness and flavor. And after fermentation, the wine stays on the yeast as long as possible, so that the wine can clear naturally through sedimentation.