Fritz Ekkehard Huff (Nierstein-Schwabsburg)

We had been on the lookout for a great Nierstein ever since our beloved St Antony winery changed hands in 2005. A dinner at the excellent Schloss Sorgenloch restaurant deep in the Rheinhessen countryside ended in intense conversation with the owner, Thomas. Nierstein? Try this Fritz Ekkehard Huff. Yum. When we phoned shortly afterwards, the daughter Christine said, “that’s amazing, I only dropped a single sample bottle off at Sörgenloch!” Fate. Christine is fresh out of Geisenheim, the top German wine college and making bright, minerally dry Riesling from the iron-rich red cliffs overlooking the Rhine at Nierstein.
There have been developments over the past two years. Jeremy Bird, a New Zealander, came to the Huffs to do a harvest in 2009. One thing led to another and he never left – Christine and Jeremy got married last summer. On our recent visit Christine revealed the latest, most precious addition to the family’s vineyard holdings – Niersteiner Pettenthal. Winding back in time to the St Antony estate in Dr Alex Michalsky’s day, Pettenthal was always our favourite of their single vineyards. Is it possible that this small 0.25 hectare parcel of 32 year-old vines came from St Antony? Christine suddenly becomes uncharacteristically taciturn and refuses to be drawn. “I can’t say!” Whatever the origin, Christine’s Pettenthal 2011 is exquisite.