This was our vin de soif during the lockdown – the perfect accompaniment to hours of Zoom- and Skype-inspired oblivion.

Wild-yeast fermentation in a large oak cask. I always walked past one of these casks on the few occasions I visited the winery back in the early 2010s: down the steps of the old cellar, then turn right, and there it was – the first vessel on your left. Due to a lack of space in the original cellar, Hanspeter Ziereisen built a new facility near the edge of Efringen. Apparently, space is starting to become scarce even there, what with Ziereisen’s love of experimentation with various different casks, barrels and bottlings.

Ziereisen, Heugumber 2018, Badischer Landwein, Germany
The grape is Gutedel, aka Chasselas.

Pale, matt gold – quite colourful for a wine with just 11 abv. Medium intensity on the nose. No fruit apart from an ever-so-slightly oxidised ‘natural-wine’ whiff of cooking apple. Otherwise, chalk and roasted almonds. No more than medium (-) acidity and light in body, but the residual yeasty hints and phenolic character create their own type of refreshment. Extremely dry, with the characters on the nose re-emerging like-for-like on the palate, minus the cooking apple. It’s a paradox that this wine wears its lack of acidity so lightly and feels as fresh as a daisy. Perfect quaffing material.

This is Ziereisen’s cheapest wine (EUR 6.50 ex-cellar).



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