Schloss Schonborn (Hattenheim)

Schloss Schonborn is one of the grand old estates of the Rheingau, tracing its vineyard ownership back to 1349. Today it is owned by the current Earl, Paul Graf von Schonborn, and managed with a light (yet thoroughly supportive) touch by his son, Alexander. He and his family have another wine estate, a castle and agricultural land in Franken (Graf von Schonborn Schloss Hallburg) – check out the classic Bocksbeutel bottles on our shelves.

They own top-notch vineyards at either end of the Rheingau (Rudesheim and Hochheim) and in the middle (in Geisenheim, Oestrich, Winkel, Hattenheim and Erbach). We have been visiting with increasing frequency to plunder their deep cellar of mature vintages with the help of their winery manager, Marcel von den Benken. Recent vintages, made by fully-tattooed winemaker Florian Franke, are also fabulous – from classic Rheingau dry Estate Riesling, through the Erste Lage bottlings (1er Cru), and sensational GGs (Grand Crus).

They also make some no-nonsense Spatburgunder – mainly Oestricher Doosberg with a splash of Hochheimer Reichestal. It’s a charming, light-coloured Pinot with hints of autumn leaves and bracken in the nose, salty minerals in the mouth.