Based in the German village of Schliengen, Thomas Harteneck is paving the way for organic and biodynamic farming within his small village. Located just across the Rhine from Alsace in the southwesterly region of Baden, Thomas farms 10 hectares of vines planted to Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Chasselas, Müller-Thurgau, and more.
Although he fully took over his family’s estate in 1997, Thomas’ family’s viticultural roots date back to 1847. This area of the Baden has long been deemed one of the best places for making wine in southern Germany, thanks to the region’s signature loess soils and favorably warm climates. Thomas has long been a fervent believer in organic and biodynamic farming—so much so, that his winery was actually the first in all of Germany to receive Demeter certification.
Beyond biodynamics, Thomas is equally passionate for encouraging biodiversity amongst his vines, which now average about 25 to 30 years in age. In the cellar, all fermentations are done with native yeasts, and the majority of wines are bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with little to no sulfur. As Thomas describes it, this natural approach to vinification allows each wine to be independent and unique, as well as reflect the vintage and variety/varieties from which it is produced. The uniting thread amongst these wines, however, is their fresh and high toned flavor profiles, as well as their remarkable ability to reflect the magical, hidden gem place in Germany from which they come, that still somehow remains wildly underrated.