Winery to Watch 2014

Rheinhessen, Germany: Weingut Wechsler

Stuart Pigott likes to call Germany’s Rheinhessen the Dream Factory of white wines these days, precisely because of people like Katharina Wechsler. After 11 years away from home, working in Paris, Stuttgart, Rio and Berlin, Wechsler returned to take over the family winery in Rheinhessen. But rather than selling in bulk, as her father always had, she decided to make the best of their 42 acres in Westhofen. The family’s estate includes prized parcels in Steingrube, Kirchspiel, Morstein and Benn, a monopole of 50-year-old riesling vines. After apprenticing at Gutzler and Klaus-Peter Keller, she produced her first vintage in 2009—2,000 bottles of riesling and silvaner. Now she’s known for her razor-sharp, bell-toned versions of Rheinhessen’s best varieties. Take the 2012 Scheurebe: all juicy pink-grapefruit flavor with a sharp, briny acidity that makes it mouthwatering and long.