Demeter Riesling "Rock Sauvage" wine
Weingut Melsheimer
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The project

Adopt vines from the farm "Weingut Melsheimer" in Reil an der Mosel (Germany) and receive your harvest in the form of Demeter Riesling "Rock Sauvage" wine at home. The Farmer Thorsten will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

The project

Adopt vines from the farm "Weingut Melsheimer" in Reil an der Mosel (Germany) and receive your harvest in the form of Demeter Riesling "Rock Sauvage" wine at home. The Farmer Thorsten will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

What do you adopt?
Adopt vines that we cultivate under the Organic Farming and Demeter regulations of the European Union since 2013. During the process of adoption you can choose a name that we will engrave on a plaque and hang on your vines The CrowdFarmer is adopting 6 demeter vines from our key vineyard on the Reiler Mullay-Hofberg. Quintessentially Middle Mosel, this extremely steep site is brimming with old stone walls and wild cliff formations. The 2020 edition of Gault Millau Wine Guide Germany called it: “surely among the world's most spectacular vineyards." And one look at this imposing hillside makes it quite clear why 'Rock Sauvage' is the name chosen for the wine I'm creating here specifically for the CrowdFarming project. From your adopted 6 vines I will harvest approx. 7 kg of Riesling grapes, which translates into 4.5 liters or ultimately 6 bottles of wine. Far and away Germany's most traditional and important grape variety, especially along the Mosel, Riesling vines are planted ('stocked', as we say) in nearly 98% of my vineyards. Although the estate has been in my family's hands for five generations, I began transitioning our vineyards to organic in 1995. Three years later, the vineyards were awarded their first organic certification from the German branch of the ECOVIN organic winegrowers association. By 2008 I'd already begun incorporating biodynamic concepts into my work and in 2013 we became a DEMETER partner. I believe in continuing the centuries-old traditional methods of our region, including the Mosel's classic single-stake vine training in the vineyards and the use of Fuder (1000L oak barrels) to mature wines. Yet I’m also willing to blaze my own trail — especially when I sense that a given practice is detrimental to the soils or the environment. While we still think of ourselves as a bit of an ‘insider’s secret,’ word about the estate seems to have gotten out. The best-respected wine guides (in Germany these include VINUM, GAULT MILLAU and EICHELMANN) have year after year awarded us excellent ratings for our innovative yet traditional-minded wines. The productive life of vines is around 100 years. For as long as you want to keep it and we can continue taking care of it, you can renew your adoption year after year. If your vines die, we will replace them with no additional cost and assuring the delivery of your harvest from other vines.
What will you receive?
Each season we will send you a box with: 6 x __Rock Sauvage__ from the previous harvest year (bottle, 0.75 l) Our Riesling 'Rock Sauvage' is a dry white wine produced from fruit grown in the Reiler Mullay-Hofberg vineyard from the current bottling. The grapes are hand harvested, should one of the grapes not be selected, it will either be for a different wine or return to the natural biomass cycle. Then they are gently crushed using a pneumatic press. Following clarification by gravity sedimentation for one to three days, the must is then racked into wooden casks you can see in the photos. There the young wine begins spontaneous fermentation, meaning no cultured yeasts are employed. While there are many potential additives that can be used to make wine, I am dedicated to a truly lo-fi approach. My list of cellar aids is so short that I’m not afraid to name them here: your 'Rock Sauvage' will receive a minimal touch of sulfur (SO2) before bottling. This helps prevent excessive oxidation. That's it. Back to the wine production... fermentation progresses slowly and fully naturally in the cool vaulted cellar below the estate. The new wines continue fermenting into summer a full 9 or 10 months following harvest. Once all of the sugar has been converted into alcohol, the now-dry wine is, after careful filtration and the aforementioned addition of sulfur, ready for bottling. In mid-September I'll pack your Masterbox and send it to you. Many wine lovers like to drink the wines young. Others prefer to cellar them for a few years. That's up to you. Wine doesn't expire — it evolves, changes its character, transposes its youthful characteristics into mature ones; it is a dynamic, living indulgence.
When will you receive it?
Please, check the deadline for participating in this project (deadline for adoption) below. As of this date the Farmer will start preparing the orders that are to be shipped. You may select the delivery date of your box as suggested by the Farmer at check-out.
Why should you adopt?
* Learn who produces your food, how and where. Receive your food in a conscious manner. * Buy directly from the farmer. Help to generate wealth and better jobs in the rural areas. * Plan ahead and enable the Farmer to produce on demand. This way we can avoid overproduction and fight food waste. * Reward Farmers who make an effort to use environmentally-friendly packaging and cultivation techniques.
Plastic-free
Organic
Farmer 360

How does it work?

Meet the Farmers

Meet the Farmers

Adopt and plan your harvest

Adopt and plan your harvest

Let the Farmer and nature work

Let the Farmer and nature work

Receive your harvest at home

Receive your harvest at home

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Environmentalist
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Biodynamics
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Farmer 360
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Plastic-free
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Organic
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Renewable energy
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Family Farm
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Visitors welcome
Thorsten Melsheimer
My name is Thorsten Melsheimer. I'm a Mosel winegrower and grew up in my family's estate. For me it was always clear that at some point I'd assume responsibility — which I have done now for over 25 years. Before that I left the Mosel to spend 5 years completing my mandatory military service and studying winegrowing. Even before going to university, I knew that I wanted to transition our estate to organic winemaking, and that in fact this was the only possible path for me. By the mid-80s I understood that organic thinking was also politically relevant and — for me — inspirational. Then as now, I love spending time in nature, admiring the natural landscapes, and climbing mountains. What arose only from my work as a winegrower, however, was a deep awareness of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of nature. Witnessing the complete rehabilitation of one's vineyards: the diversity of plants, the butterflies and the wild bees... they're all returning! I'm fascinated today by the thought that I, as a farmer, play a present and immediate role in protecting nature and the environment, and not just through my consumption habits. I often unfortunately harbor the sense that many farmers aren't aware enough of their own importance. Being a winegrower means accepting a life full of diverse challenges. Each season brings countless new tasks in the vineyard, and in the cellar I accompany the year-long transformation from must into wine. But there's also the bottling process, labeling, shipping, marketing and, everybody’s favorite, paperwork. As business owners, my wife and I are the ones who need to step into whatever role needs filling at any given moment. In the production I also try alternatives: I do in fact produce a few wines without even that small dose of SO2. They taste truly different from anything else out there, come by the estate to taste one for yourself. In the production of sparkling wines, I occasionally need a bit of sugar, yeast and bentonite/alumina for the secondary fermentation. For sweet wines — a very minor part of my production created using shriveled, raisin-like grapes — I typically use a minimal amount of carbon to better clarify the must. All of my still and sparkling wines are also vegan. Marketing the wine throughout the entire year is both crucial and time-intensive. That's where CrowdFarming offers an interesting model for improvement. Beyond the sympathetic, solidarity-minded and pan-European core concept, CrowdFarming also gives farmers the time to pursue what really matters: dedicated, responsibility-minded and high-quality agriculture. The thought of sending wine just once a year out into the world, when it's finished, is an incredible idea!
Thorsten Melsheimer

"As a farmer, I bear direct responsibility for a small patch of earth. My mission is to cultivate, preserve, and return it to the next generation. No more — and no less!" CrowdFarming projects, and you in turn as a CrowdFarmer, are supporting consciously active, quality minded agriculture. I'm truly excited, and more than a little proud, to be allowed to participate."

Weingut Melsheimer
Weingut Melsheimer
Welcome to Weingut Melsheimer, now in its fifth generation of family operation! Our estate building and cellar are located in the heart of the small village of Reil, in the Middle Mosel winegrowing region. Our vineyards all lie within 2 km of the estate. The majority of our sites are in the 'Mullay-Hofberg.' a lovely stretch of vineyard south of town and directly on the 50th parallel. I've been managing the estate since 1995, the same era during which we began converting to organic winegrowing — from a professional standpoint, probably the most important step in my life. Today I am proud to say that we are sustaining a form of agriculture that in the late 19th century was a given on the Mosel: very steep vineyards and preserving the value of the landscape and agricultural space for the next generation. In Mullay-Hofberg, over half the vineyard can only be reached by foot and worked by hand. The rest can be worked using a small caterpillar tractor adapted for steep vineyard use, such as to mow the cover crops and implement biodynamic plant protections. But only within the boundaries of the sensible and feasible, since erosion is a perpetual concern here on the Mosel. Much of our work requires the gentlest approach possible, namely by hand. My family and I have the privilege of living in this amazing place. Few people outside Germany are aware of just how picturesque the Mosel Valley truly is. During winter in particular the valley is a place of repose, with plentiful natural wildness on its steep flanks and small side valleys and endless flights of imagination along its fantastical brooks. It exists outside of the major population centers and infrastructure that have become standard for most central European countries. Most of the population live directly or indirectly from winemaking and tourism. Sustainable winegrowing thus holds great future potential. But it is naturally also a tremendous challenge to create a product of such cultural and gourmet importance by hand here in the heart of Germany. And we are unlikely to ever achieve the level of salaries found in the surrounding cities. We need a corps of dedicated idealists and people, usually from our eastern neighboring countries, willing to put in the hard work required to help us year after year. Our interactions today are quite different than 30 years ago. In particular, I enjoy the community that comes together during harvest, comprised of people from all around the world working as a single team from early to late, living and laboring in harmony. A truly special and inspiring experience! For over 30 years, Malgorzata and Mieczyslaw Trzpis have been the heart and soul of our team. Both live with us at the estate. My wife Stefanie and I are also joined by Hannah Hees and trainee Nasrat Rahimi throughout the year. Szilard Nagy, Elod Biró and Ervin Biró also join us from Romania three times a year for six months in total, and can mostly be found out in the vineyards. And although they are currently living far away, our three kids also routinely assist us in our work. Autumn is always a bustling time at the estate. Winemaking students, young sommeliers and free spirits looking to earn a few euros round out our harvest and cellar teams. As winegrowers, we naturally cultivate one thing: grapevines, 12 hectares in all. But we are not after simple-minded monoculture in pursuit of greater yields. No, we place our unconditional trust in the natural processes. For example, we leave wild space between the vines for nature to run her course. Later in the year the green cover is mowed in alternate passes to ensure that something is always blooming in the vineyards. Wild bees and a wide variety of butterflies, otherwise increasingly rare, prove the wisdom of this idea. Naturally we're also blessed to be able to count on sufficient levels of precipitation, so the wild herbs growing between the vines have no need to compete for precious water and nutrients. Irrigation has been — to this point — unnecessary on the Mosel. And last but not least, we maintain a 3.5-hectare goat pasture directly adjacent to our parcels in a small side valley, with unused vineyard space. This is above all else a biodiversity project — as well as a chance to maintain the quality of the neighboring vineyards: forests too close to the Mullay-Hofberg can cause problems, including undergrowth, grape loss to birds, and excessive moisture — but our goats keep it all in check. The animals also brighten the landscape and bring us joy as winegrowers, as well as to the hikers who wander by...
Technical information
Address
Weingut Melsheimer, Reil an der Mosel, DE
Altitude
100-200m
Team
3 women and 4 men
Size
12 hectares
Cultivation technique
biodynamic farming
Irrigation
rain
Location