The Siegrist Winery in the Southern Pfalz
The Siegrist Winery is located in Leinsweiler, a picturesque village of 400 inhabitants in the southern Pfalz. The 1,200-year-old community is tucked beneath the historic town hall built in 1619 and is also home to the Slevogt-Hof, the summer residence of the German Impressionist painter Max Slevogt.
Leinsweiler is blessed with a mild climate and plentiful sunshine that lets even almond, fig and lemon trees thrive. Nature has meant it well with Leinsweiler and created excellent conditions for grape cultivation.
Aside from the warm climate, the area’s soils consist mostly of lime, marl, loess-clay and decomposed sandstone, which are uniquely reflected in the wines made here.
The Siegrist family makes wines in harmony with nature. They know that there is no other way to bring out all the flavors and aromas that are hidden in each grape. No tools of the cellar can replace the nuances a vine gains in the process of growing and ripening fruit over the years. The Siegrists respect each vine and its origin and acknowledge it for its own character and uniqueness. They are proud of every wine that carries their name and make each and every one based on their own high quality expectations.
History of the Siegrist Winery
Although the Siegrist family has produced wines for many generations, the estate was a mixed agricultural business until 1974 and depended on many different agricultural products. But after vintner Thomas Siegrist and his wife took over the estate from his parents, they gradually changed the business and exclusively focused on making high quality wines.
With time, Thomas Siegrist created a reputation of innovation around the estate, which was one of the first in the southern Pfalz to use Barrique barrels for red wines and prides itself on its environmentally-friendly production methods.
Today, the winery is jointly led by Thomas Siegrist, his daughter Kerstin and his son-in-law Bruno Schimpf.
The estate was inducted into the VDP in 2000, the association recognizing the top estates in Germany. The estate is a member of Fünf Winzer, Fünf Freunde (5 vintners, 5 friends), a group of top producers from the Pfalz, focusing on exceptional quality as a band of brothers.
The Wine and the Vineyard
The Siegrist Winery grows grapes on 14.5 hectares and produces around 100.000 bottles per year. While the focus is on Riesling, Pinot varietals are also very important to the estate, especially Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc.
The estate has substantial plantings in the Leinsweiler Sonnenberg, a Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) site. Additionally, they hold parcels in the prized sites Heidenbäumel, Hagedorn and Rothenberg.
In the German edition of Gault Millau (an international wine and restaurant guide), the winery has held a 3-grape rating for many years, which it awards to excellent producers that produce consistent, high quality wines. Siegrist wines are considered among the best in the southern Pfalz and nearly 80% of their production is sold to private clients. The export market has never been a big focus, so it was a privilege to have the opportunity to represent them here in the US.
For the Siegrists, tradition and technical progress go hand-in-hand with making high quality wines. The whites are fermented in modern temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, giving them a fresh and vital quality. Some white wines are also aged for some time in French barrique barrels.
The red wines go through an extended maceration and are aged in small oak barrels in the estate’s historic barrique cellar from 1555. The Siegrist family brought in these oak barrels from Burgundy to give their red wines their distinctive, exotic flavors.