Ernie Loosen is a highly respected figure in the world of wine, known as Riesling royalty for his passion and innovative ideas. He took over his family’s estate in 1988, which has been producing exceptional wines for over 200 years. Under his leadership, the estate’s reputation has soared to new heights, rivaling the steep slopes on which its grapes grow.
The estate produces a range of white wines from Riesling, including dry and lusciously sweet varieties, as well as a sparkling rosé made from Pinot Noir. With countless awards to its name, the estate is a member of the exclusive VdP, Germany’s quality-driven growers’ association, and holds several vineyards of GG status, Germany’s unofficial equivalent of Grand Cru.
The Mosel Valley, where the estate is located, is known for its steep hills, which require all harvesting to be done by hand. The region is perfect for hiking and biking, and visitors shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore the Bremmer Calmont vineyard, said to be the steepest in the world. Other prestigious vineyards worth exploring include Wehlener Sonnenur, Ürziger Würzgarten, and Erdener Prälat.
The winery itself is situated on the water’s edge, and visitors can enjoy a bespoke tasting experience by booking in advance. The surrounding village of Bernkastel is a picturesque setting, with cobblestoned streets and traditional half-timbered houses.
Ernie’s passion for Riesling is evident in the variety of styles he produces, from inexpensive to premium and dry to sweet. As a trained archeologist, he has a deep interest in the soil, which goes beyond that of a typical winemaker. He optimizes the stony slate of the Mosel region to create handsomely concentrated, acidic wines. With vines reaching 130 years of age, many of the Dr. Loosen vineyards are low yielding, which further intensifies the flavors of the wines.
Ernie is not afraid to experiment with the fruit from his vineyards. He has harvested unfashionably late, bringing a particular richness to his wines, and he has been investigating how oak can be used to mature them, despite a long-standing trend of keeping Riesling in inert vessels like stainless steel. It’s no wonder he has become a global ambassador for this widely underestimated grape variety.