Welcome, Mr. Loosen and thank you for taking the time to answer questions.
Do you blend ungrafted vines in a vineyard with grafted vines? Are there any of your vineyards entirely from ungrafted vines? How would you described the wines made from grafted vs. ungrafted Mosel Riesling?
The middle Mosel, due to his enormously drained slate soils, is one of the few areas in Europe which never been hit by phylloxera! We do still have in most of our vineyards still ungrafted vines, with some of our oldest vineyards in Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich, Erdener Treppchen, Ürziger Würzgarten, Erdener Prälat, which are between 70 and120 years old. In some areas, where we had reorganization (Flurbereinigung) we had to replant. Everything before 2010 we replanted with our own ungrafted Riesling cuttings, which we selected out of our oldest vineyards. We do not mix ungrafted and grafted vines in one vineyard!
Ungrafted vines are supposed to produce more density and complexity in the wines.
Thank you very much, Mr. Loosen! So, the effect of Flurbereinigung reduced the age of the vines, but replanting has generally been with ungrafted vines. Do you find that ungrafted vines tend to produce less sugar and thus alcohol, all things being equal?
I am always amazed this fact is not advertised more. I had no idea until relatively recently. While not every consumer would get it, I think many people would be surprised and very interested to try Mosel Rieslings, based on the fact they are made from ungrafted vines.
Thanks again for your time.
I think the question is twofold. Our ungrafted vines that are still planted are older and thus yield less, but more concentrated fruit. Plus older vines have deeper roots and are thus not as affected by drought and tend to produce more consistent quality. If we are talking about grafted vs. ungrafted vines that are the same age that is a different subject! Here we see always a little more density, concentration as complexity with ungrafted vines versus grafted vines. I also do not understand, that this fact is not more recognized? Especially, if you see that Bollinger sells his champagne " Vielles vigne francaise" for $ 300 - $ 400 / btl. with the argument, that the vineyard is still on ungrafted rootstocks, which makes this wine so special. We do have 80-100 year old ungrafted Riesling vineyards, for $ 50 which shows great complexity .