When Oliver Spanier of Battenfeld-Spanier married Carolin Gillot of Kühling-Gillot in 2006, it brought together two of Rheinhessen’s leading estates, and created its most glamorous couple. The wines are marketed separately, but he is the winemaker for both.
Kühling-Gillot’s prime holdings are on the ‘Roter Hang’ (red slope), an iron-rich strip between Nierstein and Nackenheim along the Rhine, which include the vineyards of Hipping, Pettenthal, Ölberg, Rothenberg, and Orbel. There are further vineyards in Oppenheim and Bodenheim.
Battenfeld-Spanier lies in the southern-most part of Rheinhessen, and the vines are grown on limestone, which gives them a lifted, citrus character. The estate converted entirely to organic viticulture in 1992, and biodynamic in 1995. Both of them are now farmed biodynamically. If Prüm made wines in Rheinhessen, this is what they would be like: beautifully pure, restrained, and with the promise of a long life.
In late 2019 Battenfeld-Spanier was given the coveted 5 grape cluster award by the Gault-Millau guide, while Kühling-Gillot was promoted to 4 grape clusters. They are now amongst the most highly regarded producers in Germany, a fantastic achievement.