Alfred Graf Erdender Treppchen Riesling

The Erdener Treppchen Vineyard and a barge.

The famous Erdener Treppchen vineyard rests across the Mosel river from the small town of Erden, from which it takes the first part of its name.  Treppchen means little staircase in German.  Steep slopes are a common vineyard feature in the Mosel valley, as are stone steps and other engineering feats developed to make wine growing a little easier here.  The Erden stairs were originally built in the middle ages, though the vineyard has been worked since at least the 3rd century.

The story behind the Erdener Treppchen name is fun and interesting, but the vineyard earned its fame by consistently producing some of the most delicious, memorable Rieslings in the world.  The south facing slopes are steep enough to suck up all the sunlight they need, both directly and indirectly from the river below.  This allows the grapes to ripen slowly and perfectly over the long German growing season.  The red slate soils, intermingled with iron and compact clay underneath stony, gravely top soil, makes the wines distinctively full-bodied and strong, with minerality and punchy, clean fruit.

2016: 89 WE

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