Rudolf FÜTST

Franken, Germany

In the world of German Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), few estates boast the expertise and renown of Weingut Rudolf Fürst. Based in the village of Bürgstadt in Franken, this historic property traces its family winemaking roots back to the mid-17th century, though its modern-day story begins in 1979 with Paul and Monica Fürst.

The property has been spearheaded by the couple’s son, Sebastian, since 2007. All 21 hectares of vines are farmed organically, and a variety of homemade composts and cover crops are used. Of the total hectarage, about 60% of the vines are planted to Spätburgunder, with a decent amount of Chardonnay, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Riesling smattered in. A number of single-vineyard Spätburgunder wines are made, which hail from the Grosses Gewächs of Schlossberg, Hundsrück, and more.

In the cellar, partial to 100% whole clusters are used in the vinification of red wines. All fermentations are done exclusively with native yeasts in open-top wooden or concrete tanks, followed by aging periods of 14 to 18 months in barrels (0 to 55% new) prior to release. No fining or filtration is used. For the whites, grapes are gently crushed, pressed, and fermented with native yeasts in barrels or foudres. The wines then rest in said vessels for eight to 16 months followed by a few months in steel tanks prior. Fining is never done, though light filtrations of white wines are implemented if necessary. Approximately 120,000 bottles of these vivacious family wines are produced annually.