The Schlossgut Diel vineyards, castle and winery are of great historical significance. The winery was purchased by the Diel family in 1802 from the Baron Dalberg, who had managed to prevent its confiscation by Napoleon’s troops in 1789. Today the winery is owned by prominent gourmand and wine aficionado Armin Diel, who is well regarded for his work to promote German wine, and whose daughter Caroline now oversees winemaking. Diel’s offerings are a study in both terroir and differences in intensity achieved at various levels of ripeness. Diel is one of few who still vinifies each Grosses Gewächs site at each Prädikat. Located in the lower Nahe on a steep southfacing slope, the 3 vineyards Goldloch, Burgberg and Pittermännchen comprise Diel’s holdings and were documented as early as 1901 as producing wines of exceptional quality. Its clay soil accented by slate and gravel is known for making elegant Riesling that is capable of aging. Fruit is either whole cluster pressed or, if vintage necessitates, de-stemmed by hand so as not to break skins and create oxidation. Fermentation is carried out spontaneously in stückfass, dopplestück, and cement tanks, with small barrels used for the red wines. The combination of great vineyard sites, dedicated vineyard management, and meticulous winemaking has led the winery to receive continued acclaim. The wines scrupulously define themselves; the style changes as the vintage dictates but the wines are always clear, sophisticated, and balanced.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.