GERMANY (Bechtheim) - Bechtheim is one of Rhinehesse's villages that has more than one really good vintners. Probably the most well-known one is Jochen Dreißigacker, who has made his way to the "top ten" of vintners in this wine-growing region. He gained most of his popularity thanks to his successful marketing strategy for Winery Jean Buscher.
Next one in line, who has been making wine for 3 years and who is good friends with Dreißigacker, has something else in common with him: Marc Weinreich and Dreißigacker both play in the Germany's wine soccer team "Weinelf". However, Weinreich has only been playing for the team for a short while, but went through his baptism of fire at the game against SV Lorch in Rhinegau.
What's even more impressive than his soccer talent is his wines, which could cause some consumers to become addicted. He learned this during his training at Winery Wittman in Westhofen (owner Philipp Wittmann is also a "Weinelfer"). Some time later he got his A-levels in Bad Kreuznach and then studied at the Geisenheim College, where he graduated with a Master's degree in viticulture and oenology.
Soon after, he was hit hard by the death of his father in 2009. He has quite a few helpers at his winery, with his wife Nina taking care of marketing and sales and their 1 1/2 year-old son Henri. Mother Ilse and Marc's sister Petra Koch take care of running the adjacent inn.
When the 29-year-old took over 3 years ago, he changed quite a few things. The 15-hectare business implemented ecological production (the final certification will be given with the 2012 vintage) and the product range was reorganized. It was very important for him to discard additives and work mainly with selected yeasts. "I want my wines to have my signature", he says.
It is very obvious what Marc Weinreich (whose name translates to "wine rich" and which is very appropriate for the quality of his wines) would like to achieve: his guide is the classification of the local Association of German Praedikat Wine Estates (VDP), which has a 3-step criteria and which does not want to implement the 4-step system of the federal VDP as of now. The basis of his product line is wines that are crispy, spicy and full-bodied and that were made of Silvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay with Pinot Blanc grapes. His late vintage of 2010 is already of top quality and has a character that so many other vintners can only dream of.
Marc's 2011 product range includes classy, mineraly Bechtheimer Riesling and spicy Chardonnay together with fine 2010 Pinot Noir wines. The top site wines are the Rieslings from the Hasensprung and Geyersberg vineyards, which have proven to be delicate and full-bodied even before they were completed. They have the format of a very good Großen Gewächses and cause vibrations on your tongue. The 2009 Pinot Noir from the rose garden has a great aroma and fine fruit. Further, Mark Weinreich has to offer Riesling and Pinot bubblies, which are just as impressive as his other wines. (r.knoll)