The winery "St. Urbans-Hof Oekonomierat Nic. Weis" is located in the municipality of Leiwen (Bernkastel area) in the German wine-growing region Mosel. It was founded in 1947 by Oekonomierat Nicolaus Weis (1905-1971) and named after Saint Urban (Pope Urban I), the patron saint of winegrowers. Nicolaus Weis founded a wine school at the same time. The company was taken over by his son Hermann Weis in the 1960ies. In the early 1970ies, he went to Canada and planted Riesling vines on a large area called St. Urban Vineyard. Later, the Vineland Estates wine estate emerged from this. Today, Nik(olaus) Weis is the third family generation to run the winery. Nik(olaus) Weis learned the winemaking trade in the USA and at Vineland Estates in Canada, among other places. He joined his parents' winery in 1997 after completing his studies in Geisenheim and, together with his father, carried out a number of quality improvement measures. Kai Hausen and Rudi Hoffmann are responsible for the cellar, Hermann Jostock for the vineyards. The claim to vinify wines of the highest quality with an independent profile and Mosel character is clearly defined in a 10-point philosophy. The winery's own term "wine genesis" was created for the complex development process.
The vineyards cover 45 hectares of vineyards in the single vineyard locations Bockstein (Ockfen), Goldtröpfchen (Piesport), Laurentiuslay (Leiwen), Blattenberg in cadastral location Layet (Mehring), Saarfeilser Marienberg (Schoden) and Schlangengraben (Wiltingen). They are planted exclusively with the Riesling variety, which is cultivated in traditional single-pole training with a planting density of 7,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare. The environmentally friendly and sustainable cultivation of the vineyards, as well as the production and sale of the wines, is carried out according to the certified rules of the Fair'n Green association. This includes, among other things, fertilization with only manure and other organic humus and complete renunciation of herbicides. Great importance is attached to intensive foliage care with the aim of good light supply for the grapes. The grapes from the "Grand Cru sites" Bockstein, Goldtröpfchen, Layet, Laurentiuslay and Saarfeilser are marketed as Grosse Gewächse and Prädikat wines, those from the other sites as local wines.
After a short crushing, the grapes are left to rest for a while before the pressing process begins in order to fully develop the aromas and minerals and incorporate them into the musts. The fermentation takes place spontaneously without the use of pure yeasts. The wines are then aged for several months on the fine lees, mainly in 1,000-litre wooden casks, but also partly in stainless steel tanks. They are then bottled in the dark Schlegel bottle with the typical black and gold St. Urbans-Hof label. A white label represents dry to maximum off-dry wines, a black label fruity to noble sweet wines. The estate's premium wines include WILTINGER Alte Reben, BOCKSTEIN Kabinett and LAURENTIUSLAY Großes Gewächs. The winery is a member of the VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates).
Picture: Credits Peter Kunz