Adolph Huesgen traces his family’s winemaking heritage in the Mosel back to 1735: he is the ninth generation. The family’s base is a beautiful Art-Nouveau house in Traben-Trarbach designed by Bruno Möhring in the early 20th century at a stage when this town was second in size only to Bordeaux as a wine trading centre.
Adolph is intent on bringing this family winery bang up to date with a fully hands-on role in winemaking, simple and elegant presentation, a move to screwcaps for all the wines and a programme of ambitious vineyard acquisition and planting. He brings a fresh and international perspective to the family business having spent ten years working for Robert Mondavi as well as stints at Yalumba, Tyrells, and Domaine Bertagna. In fact, he considers himself something of a rebel having no affection for the traditional polysyllabic vineyard names, Gothic fonts or double-headed eagles. Or corks for that matter: a source of greater friction in his domestic market than over here.
The Mosel itself needs no introduction as one of the world’s great Riesling vineyards. The precipitous vineyards descending to the River Mosel with their soils of mineral-rich, sun-warmed slate soils are legendary and with 6,400 hectares of Riesling vineyard this is the largest Riesling producing area of Germany (with exactly twice as much as the Rheingau).
Villa Huesgen has 65 hectares of vineyards planted entirely with Riesling and with vines up to seventy years old. The soil is grey slate, vine density is 10,000 vines per hectare and the average yield is 65 hl/ha. Adolph is actively purchasing new vineyard sites using as his model the maps commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte showing what were considered to be the best vineyards, and still are. This additional fruit is being devoted to the Schiefer Riesling and Kabinett rather than to any new wines. Harvest is entirely by hand with a green harvest in early summer. Yeasts are more cultivated than indigenous. Fermentation temperatures are between 10 and 12°C, and length of fermentation is two to three months. The wines are aged in 100% stainless steel without lees.