Ernst Loosen was born into a great tradition of German winemaking. Since the Dr. Loosen estate on the Mosel River has been in his family for over 200 years, you’d think it only natural for Ernst to take up the family legacy as a profession. The truth is, though, that as a youngster Ernst was more fascinated by the numerous Roman ruins in the area than by the family vineyards. So he went off to college to study archaeology. In the mid-’80's, however, Ernst was faced with a decision. His father was ready to turn the estate over to the next generation and none of his brothers or sisters were old enough or interested enough to take it on. We could be melodramatic and say that it was time for Ernst to face his destiny, but really it was more of an odd-man-out decision. Happily, as it turns out, Ernst found his true calling among the broken slate of his family’s vineyards rather than the hewn stones of an old Roman ruin.
What has impressed me most about the great wines of the world — aside from the immense pleasure of drinking them — is the deeply rooted, fiercely held philosophies of the people who create them. The great winemakers I have met invariably possess a clear concept in their minds — before the first grape is picked — of what their wines should be. It’s a vision that places terroir over technology, and grape quality over quantity. Their wines are great because they share a dedication to producing intense, concentrated wines that proudly proclaim their heritage. This is the level of winemaking that we pursue at our two estates: Dr. Loosen on the Mosel and Villa Wolf in the Pfalz. Our goal is to make wines that are delicious to drink and true to their roots. When I drink a Riesling from a grand cru vineyard like Wehlener Sonnenuhr, I want to smell the blue slate soil that nourishes the fruit. I want to taste the depth of the old vines. I want to experience the character of the vintage. I want authenticity; without it, a wine is simply another beverage. Of course, the measure of any great wine is not where it begins, but where it ends — in your glass. I hope you enjoy drinking the wines as much as we have enjoyed making them.