Joy of Terroir 2011
September - Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel
This steep, rocky vineyard in Germany’s Mosel Valley is highly prized for its pure, elegant yet powerful Rieslings. Its name refers to a stone sundial installed on the most prominent rock among the vines, which faces directly southwest towards the town of Wehlen, across the river Mosel. It was put there in 1846 by Jodocus Prüm so that growers could keep track of time. The vineyard’s 65 hectares are on blue Devonian slate with very thin topsoil. This gives a lively minerality, crisp acidity and focused peach and citrus flavours to both dry and sweet wines. Harvesting as late as possible is key to getting the best and ripest fruit from vines that are on average 80 years old. The vineyard’s 200 or so parcels belong to some of the area’s leading names, with the biggest sites owned by JJ Prüm (18%) and Dr Loosen (11%).