Verwaltung der Bischöflichen Weingüter Trier
54290 Trier, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)651 14576-0
Fax: +49 (0)651 14576-630
The cellar of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium is located directly under the center of Trier’s old town. A Jesuits’ foundation stone from 1593 testifies to the centuries-old history of the cellar. Back then, the original cellar was accessible from today’s Restaurant Cumvino, which was once the press house.
Over 240 traditional Mosel casks, called Fuder, are stored here. Depending on the vintage, the cellar master, Johannes Becker, vinifies 40 percent of the wines in Fuder, the traditional Mosel 1,000-liter oak casks. The wines ferment at cool temperatures and relatively slowly with, in most cases, ambient yeasts.
In essence, the cellar master’s work is mostly focused on this traditional vinification of the wines, including tasting and knowing when to find the right moment to bottle the wines. Rieslings fermented in Fuder have very good structure. The wines aged in large casks have a gentle aeration on the lees, which, along with the ambient yeast ferments, gives them durability.
The Fuder come from Holzküferei Hösch, one of the few remaining cooperages in Germany. Hösch gets its wood from the Palatine and Hunsrück forests. The wines are given time to mature and harmonize in these big oak cask. The Spätlese and Auslese wines are bottled not until June till August of the following harvest year.
Over many decades, the Fuder are filled anew with fresh grape musts each autumn, but not to impart wood aromas, as is widely used with toasted new oak barrique barrels, which have about 225 liters’ capacity. On the contrary, the typical and – depending on the site and vintage – pronounced fruity-aromatic components of the Riesling grape remain until bottling and for many years to come by vinifying a wine in Fuder.
The remaining grapes are just as expertly vinified in stainless-steel tanks. The quality of the wines in stainless steel is the same as in Fuder. Only the type of wine is different.