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The young brothers Daniel and Jonas Brand took over the family estate in 2011 and are part of a group in the Pfalz, Rheinhessen and Franken turning away from conventional farming and the sins of the 1960s and 70s. They are friends and colleagues with German winemakers Andreas Durst, Michael and Melanie of 2NaturKinder and Stefan Vetter and have looked beyond Germany as well for inspiration. Jonas just apprenticed at Domaine Jousset in Montlouis, as but one example.
The brothers farm limestone-rich soils in the ignored and overlooked northern Pfalz (Nordpfalz). Their northern haunt is a region without an identity, which suits the brothers just fine. This land is a blank slate. The climate is cooler than most of the Pfalz, which allows the grapes to ripen slower. The Donnersberg Mountain shields them from incoming weather systems, and the wind is then funnelled down two valleys producing breezes that keep the vineyards free from mildew. 2017 vintage is Brand’s first certified organic vintage, though they have been farming organically for years. The farming is also biodynamic, and everything is manually harvested. The young winemakers use the power of nature: plant-based products like herbal extracts or tea are used to strengthen the vines. Clover and wild herbs are intended to attract bees and other useful insects to the sites. This creates a greater variety of species and makes the vineyards more vigorous. Thus, the grounds stay healthy and fertile.
All the wines are fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeast and without temperature control. After the fermentation, a long time on the lees is obligatory for the brothers. The decision to bottle the wine isn’t based on a fix date, each wine needs his own time and the decision to bottle is only made by taste. Everything is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with low or no sulfites.
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