The Growers > Shelter Winery
Shelter Kenzingen/Kaiserstuhl (Baden)
Size: 5 hectares
Production: 25,000 bottles
Grapes varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Hans-Bert Espe and Silke Wolf are Northerners who fell in love with wine as teenagers, and with each other at wine school in Geisenheim. On graduation Hans-Bert spent a short time in Oregon, then ran a wine estate in Baden for five years; Silke worked at the state wine institute in Freiburg. In 2005 they decided to go it alone, and bought vineyards in the Kaiserstuhl in Baden, the heart of German Pinot Noir country, which they have gradually extended to five hectares.
The name of the estate comes from its first home in a bunker on an old Canadian airbase, but they now have a purpose-built cuverie in Kenzingen. Viticulture is on the principles of lutte raisonnée: no herbicides or insecticides are used, yields are kept low, and the grapes are harvested by hand. Winemaking is similarly minimalist: the grapes are destemmed and, after a short cold soak, fermented in wooden cuves, then matured for sixteen months in new and old barriques. The wines are neither fined nor filtered.