The little village of Wiltingen, Saar , about 9 km southwest of Trier, is one of the most famous “terroirs” for Saar Wine. It has about 1400 inhabitants and is the heart of Riesling production. The area under vines is 160 ha only and rather small one might say but these vineyards produce excellent wines.
The location (terroir) ‘Scharzhofberg’, for instance, produces outstanding Rieslings which are world renown and regularly win international awards as best wines.
Wiltingen is home to many famous wineries. I cannot name them all. There is for instance the “Riesling pope” Egon Müller who has his family business there, so has Roman Niewodniczanski’s winery Van Volxem, and many others.
Wiltingen at the Saar river in March, photo taken from the Schoden side
Wiltingen is a jewel also for tourism
It was a rainy day when we visited Wiltingen. However, we wanted to pay a visit to Van Volxem and maybe purchase a couple of bottles of the finest Saar Riesling. Well, we met the winemaker, a very friendly young man from Franconia, as I could identify from his accent, and he invited us in, mentioning in passing that if we came to buy wines, we would have to come again, because they sold out completely. Nonetheless, he made us sit down, served us a very good cup of coffee and told us the story of the Van Volxem wines.
Spring is a busy time in the vineyards. We were told that Van Volxem has about 30 ha under vines and that they are in the process of planting another 6 ha in prime locations, usually on very steep slopes along the Saar river.
Also Ms. Niewodniczanski showed up and took her time fro a friendly chat; she urged us to come again later in the year when they new vintage would be released. She promised she would show us around, not only to the cellars but also the vineyards could be part of our visiting program. We left our addresses and promised to come again. Who could resist such friendliness, a treatment so warm, only expected to be extended to family members.
Van Volxem, entry to the cellar door
In the historic tasting room
Postscript: A couple of days later, I sat in the Weinhaus, one of my favorite wine bars in Trier, and witnessed the sale and hand over of two 6-bottle boxes of Van Volxem Riesling wines to customers.
Well, I thought, I cannot complain since I still have some bottles in my “cellar” in Jakarta, and the next vintage will certainly make a wonderful buy.
Weingut Van Volxem
54459 Wiltingen, Saar
The estate is member of the VDP (Verband deutscher Praedikats- und Qualitaetsweingueter), the association of German prime wine estates (www.vdp.de). Today the Association has 200 members and covers about 3% of the German viticultural area.