Origin: Württemberg, Germany
Grape: Pinot Noir
Andi Knauss, who now is in his thirties, started to work together with his father at their family estate in the Remstal region, east of Stuttgart, in 2004 as the fourth generation. Vineyard land here is expensive, but Andi has slowly built up the estate parcel-by-parcel, sometimes just a row, and today he works 15 hectares of vineyards.
He was just out of wine school and had finished a short vineyard-practice in Austria, where he learnt how to work organically, before taking over the winery. He makes wine from over 18 different plots in Strümpfelbach (the village where the winery is located), Beutelsbach and Endersbach, in the hills around the river Rems.
Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit. Pinot noir's home is France's Burgundy region, particularly in Côte-d'Or, however it is planted internationally and thrives in cooler wine regions. Typically, Pinot Noir is dry, light- to medium-bodied, with bright acidity, silky tannins and alcohol that ranges between 12–15%. The best Pinot Noir taste has complex flavors that include cherry, raspberry, mushroom and forest floor, plus vanilla and baking spice when aged in French oak. It is a very versatile variety that is used to make still red wine, but also is a key component for Champagne and other spakrling wines, and is used for rosé.
Württemberg is known as Germany's premier red wine region. Nearly 70 percent of its 11,461 hectares is planted with red grape varieties, the most famous of which is Trollinger, Lemberger, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir. The wine-growing region is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. The vineyards cover 11,461 hectares of vines, stretching between Lake Con stance and the valley of the Tauber below Rothenburg (Taubergrund). The geographical and climatic conditions are shaped by many river valleys. On its very winding course, the tributaries Rems, Enz, Kocher and Jagst flow to the Neckar. On the riverbanks are many south-facing slopes with widely spaced vineyards. In summer there is enough sun to give red wines strength and colour. Two thirds of the vineyards are steep slopes or hillside sites.
The vineyards are situated at 300-400 metres above sea level and are composed of different types of limestone, basically layered on top of each other. The work in the vineyards has been naturally since he started and the winemaking careful and precise. Natural fermentations and minimal sulphur are the norm throughout the range and some wines see no sulphur at all – which is a bit of a rarity in Germany.
Andi’s Pinot Noir is from young vines grown on sandstone slopes, 350-400 metres above sea level. Grapes are 70% destemmed and 30% whole bunch with fermentation for 14 days before pressing and ageing for 8 months in old 300 & 500 litre oak barrels.With its gentle extraction, the Pinot is aromatic with notes of spiced cherries.