Weingut Willi Schaefer

Graach, Mosel

Weingut Willi Schaefer always has been run as a small family estate. As documented in a deed of gift, ancestors of the family Schaefer owned vineyards already in 1121. The estate was always led as a tiny family business and the passion for Riesling was handed over from generations to generations. In 2002 Christoph joined his father in operating the estate and benefited from Willis’ treasure of experience. After a long work life, Willi retired in summer 2015 and Christoph took the helm together with his wife Andrea.

The estate’s holdings comprise 4,8 ha of small parcels dispersed among the steep prized vineyard slopes of Graacher Himmelreich and Graacher Domprobst, as well as on the Wehlener Sonnenuhr. The plots are located on steep slate slopes and consist of up to 100-year-old, ungrafted vines.

Weingut Willi Schaefer is renowned for its elegant, distinctive and clarion Rieslings with artfully integrated sweetness and incredible longevity. To achieve this, the Schaefers are dedicated to a meticulous hand harvest, careful winemaking in traditional Fuder barrels and their own instincts. Despite extremely limited quantities, the estate enjoys a stellar international reputation.

Organic Vineyard Management

Wehlener Sonnenuhr

The south-southwest facing site of Wehlener Sonnenuhr is located downriver and borders the Graacher sites. The Sonnenuhr, or sundial, which gave the site its name, was built in 1842 by Joducus Prüm and was originally used for time orientation. The vines grow on a stony slate soil with clay, which brings forth highly fine Rieslings. The wines from this site often have a tender, earthy character, along with slate notes, exotic and peachy fruit, and deep elegance. Wehlener Sonnenuhr is classified as VDP.Grosse Lage, or Grand Cru vineyards

The estate owns 0,25ha of vineyards in Wehlener Sonnenuhr

Graacher Domprobst

Graacher Domprobst steeply rises directly above the village of Graach. Domprobst is an enclave of Graacher Himmelreich, and is thus the core part of the Graach sites. The Trier Cathedral Provost was due one-third of the tithes of wine from Graach – that’s how the vineyard got its name.

Due to the topography, Domprobst is well protected from cold winds and frosts. The warming of the very stony, argillaceous slate causes a uniform and full ripening of the grapes. The many water veins optimally supply the vines with water. The deep topsoil, with plenty of clay, gives the wines from this site its distinctive more powerful character. It needs time to mature, in order to show off even more elegance and mineral finesse. Very often Domprobst wines are more wild, earthy and spicy than the ones from Himmelreich.

The steep slope of Domprobst is classified as VDP.Grosse Lage, or Grand Cru vineyards, and Weingut Willi Schaefer owns just over two hectares of vineyards in Graacher Domprobst

Graacher Himmelreich

The vineyard name of Himmelreich might come from the site’s exposure. Graacher Himmelreich surrounds the site of Dompropst and is also classified as VDP.Grosse Lage. Himmelreich is well protected by wind and frost and has good heating from the slate soil for an even and full ripening of the grapes. The many water veins provide optimal care of the vines here.

Rieslings from Himmelreich mostly tend to be more silky and charming, with a fine fruity acidity and minerality. The aroma is often characterized by citrus and yellow and white peaches.

Weingut Willi Schaefer owns two hectares of vineyards in Graacher Himmelreich.