Riesling help: Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Hoheburg

I haven’t had much riesling aside from Donnehoff and Prum.

Any info on this producer, specifically the TBA?

Thanks in advance!

Burklin-Wolf is a good, established producer in the Pfalz, but I don’t think anyone would say they’re on the same order as Donnhoff and Prum. I don’t know this wine. I visited the estate in 1997 and 2001 but I haven’t had a B-W in a long time.

FYI, the Pfalz wines are rather different in style than the those from the Mosel and Nahe, where Prum and Donnhoff are, respectively. The Pfalz is protected by the Haardt Mountains to the west and is the warmest, sunniest part of Germany, so the acids are generally lower and there is more emphasis on dry wines and non-riesling grapes. (On my first visit in 1997 the climate difference was quite dramatic. I drove 90 minutes or so from the Mosel, where it was gray and rainy and arrived to sun and balmy temperatures in the Pfalz.) You can see it on the map below on the center left:

I would absolutely say that they are on-par with Dönnhoff and Prüm as far as quality goes, but in a different style (actually you could say that if Prüm made dry wines in the Pfalz, they would pretty much be Bürklin-Wolf). Bürklin-Wolf is an iconic producer in the Pfalz and with Koehler-Ruprecht and Rebholz, probably the top 1-2-3 in the region. They are mostly a dry-riesling house and the wines can age beautifully for decades. Certainly better known for dry, terroir-driven wines than TBA.


Sorry if I didn’t give them enough credit. They aren’t so well distributed here.

By the way, how many producers would you put on the level of Prum and Donnhoff, Bill? I don’t mean that facetiously. There’s way too much fetishizing of those too here in the US when there are so many first-rate German winemakers. (And I don’t mean this as a knock on Prum and Donnhoff.)

Thanks guys.

Much appreciated.

Hi John,

It’s a good question. Overall, I think it would be fair to say that the Mosel in general is far more popular in the US than in Germany where a lot of people consider it old-fashioned stuff that their grandmother drank. The Pfalz is ‘Wine-Country’ to Germans and it’s a far bigger tourist destination than is the Mosel, which is less accessible and also more known for sweeter wines which simply aren’t as popular these days. Even in the Nahe, there are some people who consider Emrich-Schönleber and Schäfer-Fröhlich to be better names than Dönnhoff who is WAY more popular than the other two here thanks to Terry. You could make the same case in Alsace where Zind-Humbrecht is a much bigger deal in export markets than in France (maybe a little different because it’s Alsace).

There are other very famous German producers who aren’t well-known here. Knipser is one for sure and so is Christmann. Georg Breuer and Peter Jakob Kühn in the Rheingau. Pretty much every top Franken producer like Horst Sauer or Weingut am Stein, Ruck, or Fürst.

Are they all on-par with Prüm? Depends on your perspective. I’d say that some of them are. Mosel/Saar producers who I’d put on par with Prüm would be Egon Müller and Van Volxem.

I’m interested to hear what other say.


What vintage and grape variety? I’ve had some wonderful TBA’s from Burklin-Wolf from both Riesling and Scheurebe. These tend to be big and broad wines relative to the Mosel.

It’s the 1994 Riesling TBA. Priced nicely so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’d say that Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, Keller, & Wittmann are all on the same level as Prum & Donnhoff. I’m speaking of all their GG wines…but to me they are among the best white wines in the world.

You can get an idea of how things are looked at from inside the country by checking out some of the guides on German wine made for Germany, e.g., Eichelmann or Gaullt-Millau (German edition). Both rank the producers on a five-point scale. You can search the Gault-Millau on line based on producer rankings here.

In the 2016 edition, six producers managed the highest rating (five clusters): Fürst (Franken), Keller (Rheinhessen), Knipser (Pfalz), Prüm (Mosel), Rebholz (Pfalz), and Weil (Rheingau). Another 53 were given four clusters, and quite a few of these are arguably on about the same level as the first six. Among these you find, for example, Breuer (Rheingau), Bürklin-Wolf (Pfalz), Christmann (Pfalz), Dönnhoff (Nahe), Emrich-Schönleber (Nahe), Peter Jakob Kühn (Rheingau), Horst Sauer (Franken), Schäfer-Fröhlich (Nahe), and Wittmann (Rheinhessen).

Now the rankings are, I think, primarily based on the very top wines of each estate and unless it’s those you are after, you might be as well or better off elsewhere. Further, as Bill pointed out, it’s also a matter of which style you are after. Prüm is of little interest to me, for example, since I usually want my Riesling dry. On the other hand, Theo Minges (Pfalz), with three clusters in the guide, is a personal favorite since I much like their (very fresh) style and the QPR is excellent across the entire range all the way down to the one-liter Riesling and Scheurebe bottlings at five or so euro a piece at the cellar door.

94 is a long time ago, I wouldn’t necessarily judge based on today’s reputation.

The GGs are very popular (end expensive) in Germany.

The GCs are indeed pricy but I find the PCs to provide great value for money, often already when they hit the shelves. I personally love the wood-fermented style that they represent, creating that interplay between tension and airiness.

I’ve had Burklin-Wolf back to the mid-80’s. Still have a few. Very nice BA’s and TBA’s from 89 and 90.

Apropos of that, Diel & Payne in German Wine Guide (English edition, 1999) say: “With the outstanding 1996 vintage this highly traditional estate moved to the top of its class in the Pfalz … with Christmann and Muller-Catoir.”

What about the Kabinetts?

I don’t know the last year they made one. Probably pre 2000. Sometimes they make Auslese and above, but that’s it for Prädikatsweine.


I’ll pile on here and say I also think Burklin-Wolf is one of the top producers of dry Riesling in Germany and the world. Their Kirchenstuck GC is one of the most expensive GG-type wines for a reason.