January 7, 2015: News, Vineyards

Curiosities resulting from the new wine labelling law

We provide here a little update on the new vineyard labelling law as the “Gewann” names registered led to some curious situations, as you will see!

In August last year, a new law came into force which allowed winemakers to use the “Gewann”, the equivalent of the French “Lieu-Dit”, on the label. We had reported extensively about it on social media back then and provided a complete overview in our Issue No 26 released in October 2014.

What has happened since? Let’s first focus on the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: Only a few additional Estates have applied for “Gewann” names in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer area. But is there anything strange that you notice on this updated list above? It seems quite short... but wait, there must be a mistake! Two “Gewann” names appear twice!

Well, actually it is no mistake and here is the reason why: “in der Kranklei” and “im Lorenziusberg” are two “Gewann” which overlap over two vineyards in the same village. The Kranklei is situated in the Würzgarten as well as in the Goldwingert (the latter is a de facto Monopole of the Berres family). The Lorenziusberg extends over the Trittenheimer Apotheke and the Trittenheimer Felsenkopf (a Monopole of the Milz-Laurentiushof Estate). At first, the spirit of the registration was linked to a single vineyard (Einzellage) but these two examples led the public authorities to no longer mention the “Einzellage” (the single vineyard) in their official list as the same “Gewann” is linked to two Einzellage. The same situation happens elsewhere, including in the “im Leistenberg” and “in der Kirschheck” registered by the Dönnhoff Estate in the Nahe.

In addition, there is another curiosity: The “Gewann” Rosenberg was registered in Pünderich. This “Gewann” lies inside of the highly-regarded steep hill Pündericher Marienburg vineyard. Technically, wine from this Gewann can therefore be bottled as Pündericher Rosenberg... and here is the snag: the Pündericher Rosenberg is already a single vineyard, which is on flatter grounds and of much less prestigious origins! So, technically, there are now two « places » with the same name but referring to different locations... While this sounds strange, it was confirmed to us that this is indeed the case.

On the Mosel list, you may wonder on the origin of the Gewann “im Bitsch” in Veldenz, which forms the northern tip of the Veldenzer Grafschafter Sonnenberg. Some may now be disappointed to learn that its origin has anything to do with canine or other connotations in English. It refers to the von Zweibrücken-Bitsch family, which owned the county formed of Zweibrücken in the Saar and of Bitsch in Lorraine from the 13th until the 16th century and most likely owned land here (it was related to the Graf von Veldenz). Still, the name does offer some commercial perspective, and be it only in the New York rapper scene …

If we look beyond the borders of the Mosel, there are now over 70 Gewann Names registered and hence to be potentially used on labels as of 2015 in Rheinland-Pfalz alone (see the list on the picture)! Not all will be used. Cornelius Dönnhoff has been on air to insist that they do not plan to use their “im Leistenberg” separately. However, the number of registered names is frightfully long and could lead to some interesting confusions as there is now, for instance a Gewann “Im Kahlenberg” in Bad Kreuznach as well as a Gewann “Am Kahlenberg” in Bodenheim.


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