Weingut Josef Leitz   ,    
  Under the direction of Johannes Leitz, Weingut Josef Leitz has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top Rheingau producers, as Johannes has grown his estate from 2.6 hectares to over 40 in mostly Grand Cru sites on the steep Rüdesheimer Berg.  Once the home of the world’s most sought after and expensive wines, in the past 50 years the region has been dominated by mediocrity. Leitz’s estate vineyards lie entirely on the westernmost part of the Rheingau in the Rüdesheimer Berg – a steep, south-facing hillside of extremely old slate and quartzite planted entirely to Riesling.  The estate, established in 1744, was taken over by Johannes Leitz in 1985 after finishing his studies at acclaimed winemaking school Geisenheim.

Leitz carefully manages a strict collection of first growth Riesling vineyards in Rüdesheim, including Schlossberg, Rottland, and Roseneck.  Leitz trains his vines in a single-cane system, differing from the majority of Rheingau growers where the practice has long been a double-cane system. With the 2011 vintage, Leitz began to also designate the pre-1971 parcel names on select bottlings, highlighting his distinctive terroirs in parcels ‘Hinterhaus’ (Rottland), ‘Ehrenfels’ (Schlossberg), and ‘Katerloch’ (Roseneck).  The soils on this westernmost side of the Rheingau are composed of quartzite, very old gray slate, as well as some iron rich slate.  Johannes Leitz succeeds in producing wines that reflect the distinct terroir of his vineyards, wines of dense minerality that remain buoyant, fragrant, and texturally complex.

Leitz believes the most important steps in winemaking occur in the press house, choosing whole cluster to make the wines more opulent in leaner vintages. Because Leitz bottles his wines directly off of their gross lees from the casks in which they were fermented, it is most important to clarify the must as purely as possible before fermentation. “A lot of people talk about ‘yeast-contact’ but I think I’m the only one who actually does it.” Johannes Leitz chooses closures for each wine to reflect, and more appropriately serve, the cellar practices utilized for them in the cellar.  Stelvin closures are used for wines raised in stainless steel and fermented with inoculation, to preserve the freshness of their fruit and crisp nature; wines raised in cask and fermented spontaneously are bottled under cork to allow for more oxygen to develop each wine as it ages.  In 2011 Johannes was recognized by the esteemed Gault Millau as Winemaker of the Year.

•Vineyard area: 40 hectares
•Annual production: 30,000 cases

•Vineyard holdings:

Rüdesheim - Berg Schlossberg (red slate, quartzite), Berg Roseneck (quartzite), Berg Rottland (grey slate), Dragonstone (loess-loam, quartzite), Klosterlay (loess-loam), Magdalenenkreuz (sandy loess)

For more information, please view the Terry Theise catalog on this website. 
  Website: http://www.leitz-wein.de
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