Dorothee Zilliken took over the running of this venerable estate in 2016, the eleventh generation to do so. Eleven hectares of the thirteen-hectare estate are in the Rausch, climbing an impossibly steep hill directly above the town centre. The soil is slate, dotted with quartz and pockets of basalt, and southern exposure ensures it gets a lot of sun. Low yields and painstaking vineyard work, combined with fermentation in old oak casks in a very cool cellar, give a stunning range of classic Saar wines that can take many years to reach their full potential.
It rained every other day in 2021, so the challenge to keep vines disease-free was immense. In the face of disaster, organic methods were temporarily abandoned, and there was very little loss of crop. It was also a relief that vine development was not so explosive – the Zillikens were delighted to tend slow-ripening grapes again. Fine weather in the six weeks before harvest ensured a decent crop of ripe grapes, and after last year’s absence, a GG is a welcome addition to the portfolio. It is juicy, elegant, and ripe, with the typical fine steely notes of the Saar.