Stefan Vetter is f-ing punk rock. He has done nothing that has even the slightest commercial logic to it. His old friend Andreas Adam (of the celebrated Mosel estate) must shake his head, watching Stefan, like a wild hermit, run himself up into the terraced vineyards of Franconia. Franconia is the northern part of Bavaria and is popular for its Sylvaner. Stefan is currently redefining what Sylvaner can be – what the wines of Franconia can be.
Stefan is at the forefront of the natural wine movement in Germany. As such, he farms both organically and biodynamically (certified organic by Lacon Institut), working only old vines in steep, terraced sites by hand. Stefan works 1.5 ha of vines, which cover the three Triassic soil types: Keuper marl, shell limestone and red sandstone. To get fresh, delicate wines, Stefan harvests the grapes at an early stage of ripeness. Pressing is done gently by either a basket press or old screw press and can take four to six hours. The juice may see a short bit of skin contact, but for the most part it is just moved directly into 300-liter or 600-liter old barrels. Fermentation occurs with wild yeasts and malolactic fermentation is allowed. During the elevage, the wines are topped off but that's about it; the wines mature without any intervention for 12 months. The wines are bottled without fining, filtering, or additives. Low sulphur is used (at least for Germany) with the total being 30 to 50 ppm and 15 to 30 ppm of free sulphur.
Punch Drink: Stefan Vetter, Savior of Sylvaner
Wine Terroirs: Wein Salon Natürel
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