Young talents of Mainz | Rheinhessen

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Young, fresh, innovative – the “Mainz Wine Salon” (Mainzer Weinsalon) is an association of 20 young winemakers of Rheinhessen that offers cultural, high-quality after-work parties in Mainz. In this way, they bring high quality wines closer to the people – uncomplicated and combined with culture and food!

Obviously, these young talents are not just about celebrating, because they can do much more. With great responsibility, a lot of commitment, clever ideas and a strong passion for wine, they support their family businesses, in which several generations work together.

Here are four of them:

Her Majesty

Although Judith Dorst grew up at her parents’ winery, little did she think that she would become a winemaker one day. “That just wasn't in during my teenage years,” Judith, who eventually even became a wine queen – a German tradition of selecting someone, who is going to represent the wine industry for the following year – admits. Only after doing all those internships during her quest of profession she realised that being a winemaker can be quite amazing after all. Since then she has been captivated by the thirst for wine knowledge and the craft of winemaking.

As wine queen she promoted the famous Rheinhessen Riesling even in China. A study at the Geisenheim University, a renowned school with focus on viticulture, followed. During an internship abroad, she even got to know the wineries of California. Today Judith and her husband are an integral part of their family winery. A team in which each individual gives his or her best – that is the small but excellent secret to their success. Judith is above all ambitious and demanding, as maintaining and increasing the quality of their wines is of great importance to her: “Anything that says Dorst on it, there should be Dorst in it.”

A breath of fresh air

Having grown up in the middle of the family’s vineyards, Philipp could think of nothing else but becoming a winemaker and joining the 200-year-old business of his parents’ winery. Yet, despite his sense of tradition, for which viticulture stands, his drive and ingenuity would not let him stick to the old ways once his training was over. He quickly discovered the potential and the necessity to switch to organic viticulture in order to protect his beloved vineyards and nature.

The result – after he had convinced his parents of his great plan:  Since the 2013 vintage, the wines of the Bernhard-Räder winery are organic and vegan certified. The winery’s motto: Preserve traditions and open up to the new! – No doubt, Philipp seems to be the epitome of this. “Trust in natural processes in a modern wine cellar is the basis for the production of top quality wines,” Philipp is convinced. In the family team he is responsible for the vineyards and the wine cellar. Also the design of the wine lines lies in his hands.

Wine unites hearts

Alina and Sebastian is a lovely young winemaker couple who enthusiastically supports the Mainz Wine Salon association. However, while for resolute Alina nothing else came into question than to become a winemaker, Sebastian at first took other paths. It actually took falling in love with a winemaker for him to change his life completely. After living half his life abroad (India, Kuwait, South Africa) – being an ambassador’s son – and starting a career at technology group Siemens, it was quite hard to believe that the globetrotter would ever chose being a winegrower and make small Flonheim the centre of his life.

But fate wanted Alina to cross his path and the passion for wine started. His ignited fascination for wine earned Sebastian the title of second best young winemaker at the national finals in 2017. One more proof that he made the right choice. Sustainability is of great importance to Alina and Sebastian. That is why they have set themselves the goal to change to organic winegrowing. This way the vineyards are much more vital so you can taste the terroir in the wine to a greater extent. “The typicity of a region is very important to us!  Therefore, our aim is to bring the soil into the bottle and to produce very individual wines of strong character,” they explain.