The winery is located in the municipality of Bönnigheim (Württembergisch Unterland area) between Stromberg and Heuchelberg in the German Württemberg wine growing region. The traditional family has been growing wine since 1510. Ernst Dautel resigned from the local winegrowers' cooperative in the mid-1970s (an affront, as his father was a founding member). As early as the mid-1980s, he began with barrique ageing, which was unusual at the time, planted new grape varieties such as Chardonnay, produced exclusively dry wines and focused on high-quality red wine cuvées. Thus he is considered a pioneer in German viticulture.
In the meantime, the management of the cellar and the vineyards has passed on to the next generation. Son Christian studied viticulture and oenology in Geisenheim and Bordeaux. He also gained experience through numerous internships in South Africa, the USA, Australia, Austria and France. His teachers included the Austrian expert for biodynamic viticulture, Franz Weninger, and one of the world's best Chardonnay producers, Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Meursault. Since 2010 he has been working in the winery together with his father and in the meantime the 21st generation of the family has taken over the business.
The vineyards comprise around 13 hectares of vineyards in the individual sites of Sonnenberg with the two Gewannen or VDP.Große Lagen Schupen und Steingrüben (Bönnigheim), Forstberg (Oberstenfeld), Michaelsberg (Cleebronn) and Wurmberg (Besigheim). Half of them are planted with the red wine varieties Lemberger (Blaufränkisch),Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Trollinger(Schiava Grossa), as well as the white wine varieties Riesling, Chardonnay andPinot Blanc. The vines are grown consistently in a near-natural way with natural greening, organic fertilization and integrated use of beneficial insects to control pests in order to promote biodiversity and stabilize the ecosystem.
Only ripe and healthy grapes reach the cellar through multiple selective manual harvesting. In accordance with the VDP classification model, the wide range of products is divided into the following categories: Grosse Lage and Erste Lage (golden capsule), local wines (black capsule) and estate wines (white capsule). The dry wines of the Grosse Lagen Michaelsberg, Schupen, Steingrüben and Forstberg are called Grosse Gewächs. The high quality white wines are fermented spontaneously and stored on the full yeast for up to a year. The red wines are aged for up to 24 months exclusively in 300-litre barriques, with special attention paid to the sensitive use of new barrels. The winery is a member of the VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wineries), as well as the German Barrique Forum and Generation Riesling associations.