Weingut Meyer-Nakel

Dernau, Ahr

The name of the wine estate goes back to the marriage of grandparents Paula Meyer and Willibald Näkel in 1950. They cultivated an area of just 1.5 hectares, yet were able to make a name for themselves because Willibald’s production of dry red wines represented thoroughly pioneering work at the time.  The Ahr is situated just north of 50˚ latitude, which most people consider to be the boundary for viticulture.

Like many wineries in the Ahr, Meyer-Näkel focuses mainly on Pinot Noir (or as it’s known locally, Spätburgunder). The secret lies in an ideal micro climate found in the Ahr due to special geological conditions. The steep south-facing vineyard slopes are perfectly angled towards the sun, providing additional warmth and sun exposure in one of Germany’s most northerly winegrowing regions. The soil formed from weathered slate and Greywacke warm up easily and are able to store heat. Hence, the grapes grow in an ideal biotope of the narrow Ahr valley that is protected by the Eifel Hills. The unique microclimate is reflected in Meyer-Näkel’s red wines – fruitiness and full body in the foreground, and a slight herbaceousness and minerality on the palate.

Today, the winery is run by 3rd generation Meike and Dörte (with their parents Werner and Claudia Näkel), who have embraced their family’s passion and skill for winemaking, with a fresh take on the River Ahr, Slate and Pinot Noir…


The area lies in the rain shadow of the Eifel and the High Fens, which means that we have more hours of sunshine throughout the year. All of this contributes to the fact that an almost Mediterranean climate prevails here in summer - perfect for the perfect ripening of red grape varieties. That's why the Ahr is the third smallest wine-growing region in Germany, but the largest contiguous cultivation area for red wine.

The majority of their vineyards are in Dernau, with additional plots in the communities of Neuenahr, Ahrweiler and Walporzheim. The top locations Pfarrwingert, Kräuterberg, Sonnenberg and Silberberg are among the best in Germany with very special geological and climatic conditions and are classified as VDP.Grosse Lage. The best wines with a complex taste, expressive character and special aging potential mature here. Dry wines from VDP.Grosse Lage are referred to as VDP.Grosses Gewaches.

Sonnenberg, Bad Neueunahr (VDP.Grosses Lage)

The name Sonnenberg speaks for itself: Due to its southern orientation and the favorable slope, this excellent location benefits from optimal sunlight and a favorable microclimate. The soil: a skeletal-rich conglomerate of greywacke and greywacke schist mixed with clay components, hanging clay, loess and loess clay. Pinot Noir feels particularly at home here and thanks us for its place in the sun with voluminous wines that retain a fruity, elegant character thanks to the stone content of the soil.

Pfarrwingert, Dernau (VDP.Grosses Lage)

The Catholic parish church in Dernau is still the landowner in this parcel today - hence the name. The particularly favorable southern exposure and the slope, in combination with the easily warmed soil, lead to an advantageous microclimate. The greywacke found here is a granular rubble sediment that is caked with shale fragments to form a sandstone-like structure. The Pfarrwingert produces extremely fragrant wines with subtle fruit and fine spice.

Silberberg, Ahrweiler (VDP.Grosses Lage)

The Silberberg location in Ahrweiler is 100% steep, with the focal point facing south like a parabolic mirror. The vineyards are located at an altitude of 110 to 180 m above sea level. This south-southwest exposure offers optimal conditions for growing Pinot Noir. The location forms the transition from the upper Ahr with its slate and greywacke weathered soils to the loess and clay soils of the lower Ahr. In the Silberberg you will mainly find greywacke, with sandy loam at the base with little slate and loess. The Pinot Noirs grown here are full of character and delicately fruity thanks to the Grauwacke and have a complex body due to the loess. The name of the Silberberg location probably goes back to the Romans who settled nearby. During excavations, smelting furnaces were discovered that confirm the mining of silver ore at this site.

Kräuterberg, Walporzheim (VDP.Grosses Lage)

The wide, lower valley of the Ahr ends in Walporzheim. The slopes become steeper and turn into terraces, which give rise to the excellent reputation of one of the most noble locations in the Ahr. The name may go back to the Romans, who settled nearby and, due to the good climatic conditions, grew herbs here as well as wine. The soil made of stony, fine sandy clay with slate and greywacke weathered rock, the slope and the intense sunlight create an almost Mediterranean microclimate, especially here. The result is a bouquet-rich, powerful wine with a typical “herbal aroma”, which of course could also have served as the namesake.