At a glance, we could simply introduce Vincent Eymann as the manager of the Eymann Winery in Gönnheim an der Mittelhaardt in the Palatinate. His family-run winery is one of the oldest organic vineyards in Germany, now in its 3rd generation. Since 2006, the estate has been Demeter certified and focuses on Riesling and Pinot Noir with an emphasis on classic terroir wines.
But there is a lot more to the story. Described by some as the James Dean of local viticulture, this 28 year old is a super nice guy who masters the blues on the guitar, cooks some fantastic treats in the kitchen, and takes his chopper bike for a ride through the vineyards on sunny days.
With him, any friends of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc will be well served, not forgetting his excellent Pinot Noirs. At Vincent’s, pretty much every wine is aged in oak barrels, all with long contact on the lees, and all red wines are bottled unfiltered. Nonetheless, there is a special attention to traditional practices with all his wines, from estate to grand cru wines. Much of it is sold directly abroad to The Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Hungary and even Japan. But it is the white Burgundy varieties that are seeing an increased demand in Germany.
Vincent always says that the most beautiful part of it all takes place in the vineyard. You work with a living plant to which you react depending on its location, grape variety, and soil type. A mixture of various influences such as weather and temperature, the location of the vines and their exposure to the sun, the leaf-to-fruit ratio, all play an important role in the flavour that is to come. In the cellar, another living transformation takes place as the natural yeasts on the grape skins ferment their juices, aided by minimal stirring. We’re always fascinated by the breadth of knowledge a winemaker needs to keep in mind.
Consistency in quality is a central pillar of Vincent’s work and is coupled with his philosophical approach to accompanying wine from grape to bottle. This consistency can only be guaranteed by healthy biodiversity and organic viticulture that balances the entire ecosystem. Greening plants are used wherever possible in alternating rows throughout the vineyards, leaving plenty of food supply for little critters. The following year, the rows are swapped, allowing a variation in the soil. The whole vineyard ecosystem embraces a fauna and flora diversity far beyond just the grapevines. And above all, there is a philosophy of letting nature run its course, with minimal intervention possible. As Vincent says, the more life there is in a vineyard, the less work you have to do. Listening to these words makes a non-interventional approach the simple logical conclusion.
Looking towards the future, Vincent would like to see consumers turn towards more organic products in general. He believes it is also his (and others) responsibility to set a good example with their work and address people’s consumption behaviour. In essence, to raise everyone’s awareness that the time to act is now and not tomorrow or the day after.
Having helped us already in numerous occasions, wether with our wine glasses, order shipments, or just generally being an amazing host whenever we’ve been around, we asked Vincent why he is interested in working with WineStreet. Naturally, he would like to see new customers — wine drinkers, or those that are interested in his work. But what makes a partnership worthwhile with us is the potential for sharing his story about ecological winemaking and a concern for the environment in general. A story he would rather tell one too many times, than one too little.
As with all of our partners, we chose to work with Vincent because of mutual trust and philosophy towards life and work. We recommend that you pass by if you’re ever in Gönnheim. His mother offers refreshing literary wine tastings while his dad runs a restaurant at the winery where you can enjoy a delicious meal. It’s a little bit away from the more busy places like Forst, Wachenheim and Deidesheim but, all in all, a great package for a visit. And until then, definitely try one (or ten) of his wines.