Staffelter Hof make natural wines in the Mosel region of Germany. The owner of the estate is Jan Mathias Klein in the famous Mosel Valley of Germany. Not only is it one of the oldest surviving wineries, but it's actually one of the oldest registered companies in the world still in operation!Popular bottles include Kiss Kiss Maddies Lips, Little Bastard and Little Read Riding Wolf. The estate has an intersting use of a wolf on their labels which comes from an urban legend when the winery was run by monks... Read more below!
Staffelter Hof - one of the oldest companies in the world!
Aged almost 1200 years old having been founded in 862 AD, Staffelter Hof is one of the oldest wineries in the world. This also makes them one of the oldest companies of any kind in the world, too! Farming 9 hectares of certified-chemical-free grapes on the very steep slopes of the Mosel Valley (a challenging feat in itself due to the difficulty in maintaining the vines with natural insect pesticides ), the winery belongs to 7th generation winemaker Jan Mathias Klein who makes classic Riesling as one expects in the Mosel, but also has a range of natural wines with truly minimal intervention in the cellar, using zero sulphur at any stage. This is extremely rare to see in the traditional Mosel valley, and Jan Mathias Klein is truly a pioneer in the region.
As for the wolf on the labels?
Rumour has it a wolf roamed the steep slopes of the Mosel Valley and killed the winery’s donkey, so the wineries’ monks running the vineyards caught the wolf (called Magnus) and forced the WOLF to do the donkey’s job on the steep slopes rather than carry everything themselves !
Little Bastard of the Mosel
Flavourwise, Jan’s wines taste truly remarkable and have a real freshness to them - and he works with more grapes than just your expected Riesling too! These include Frühburgunder, Muscat, Müller-Thurgau and even a range of Portugese grapes, for a wine of which he brilliantly names “Portugeezer”. Another stand-out favourite of his for us is a blend Riesling with Sauvignon Blanc using a technique called malolactic conversion giving it a softer, less invasive acidity than much of the regions’ wines. It’s appropriately titled ’Little Bastard”, as its so completely different from anything else you would expect in the Mosel... perhaps to the point it is not sure who it’s real father is (Riesling or Sauvignon!)