The Re-Awakening of Weingut J. Neus in Ingelheim

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Lewis Schmitt, the 27-year-old Bachelor of International wine student came two years ago to work as a management director – and to help renew the image of the winery. His parents had a small winery in the Ahr valley, "it's pinot noir, that I live", Schmitt says.

Now, they are working to bring back the Neus' wines to the high quality level that they once used to have. Their deep red Pinots already have a rich taste of berries and wood, reflecting also the unique chalk floors of the Ingelheim vineyards with a high mineral structure. "We want them back in the old, shining light", says Schmitt, "the vinery deserves that – the walls here are much too historic for anything else."

Ingelheim, the small city in the backyard of the Great Wine Capital Mainz has always been in the heart of a red wine hotspot. Here, Charlemagne the Great once built one of his famous royal palaces, and ever since, red Burgundy grape varieties were grown on the hills of sand and chalk around that place. "80 percent Pinot Noir", says Schmitt when asked, which grape variety is the most important in the Winery J. Neus. In the middle of the Riesling- and Silvaner-country of Rheinhessen, red wines are their true vocation in Ingelheim.

Josef Neus watches from the wall, the founder of the famous winery looks demanding. "He always watches, what we're doing", says Lewis Schmitt, and leads to the art nouveau stone-fountain in the back room of this Victorian villa in the heart of Upper-Ingelheim. The dark panels on the side of the rooms are original, as well, yet, at the front of the building, awaits the visitor a highly modern vinotheque. The new rooms, the fusion between old and modern, alongside with the beautiful park – that is why the Weingut J. Neus was awarded the Best of Wine Tourism Award 2018 in the category architecture, parcs and gardens.

"Alongside this fountain, Neus Senior created his cuvees, and we still work here, too", Schmitt tells in front of the elegant drinking fountain. "Neus senior was a Pinot Noir fanatic, that's why he came to Ingelheim", Schmitt says.

And no guess – that’s exactly the reason why Lewis Schmitt came here.