The August Kesseler winery was founded in 1924 and is located in the village of Assmannshausen on the Rhine River directly on the slope of the famous Assmannshäuser Höllenberg, a mountain in the western part of the Rheingau region. August Kesseler was only 19 years old when he took over the family business from his parents.
Which makes it all the more remarkable that Kesseler went on to transform the originally 2.5-hectare operation into one of the most respected wineries in the Rheingau region and throughout Germany. Most notably, he also secured a strong international reputation for his vineyard – a standing that continues to this day. The Kesseler winery leading status is embodied not only by its high-quality Rieslings and elegantly sweet specialties, many of which receive prizes on a regular basis; it is also represented by the vineyard’s exceptional Pinot Noirs, which have attained the highest international levels of excellence.
Today, the August Kesseler winery has a total of 22.5 hectares distributed across the communities of Assmannshausen, Rüdesheim and Lorch. The winery’s main focus is the uncompromising production of first-class Rieslings and Pinot Noirs.
The vineyard’s special feature is its unique terroir, that is to say the environmental features in which its wines are grown. Indeed, the steep and sunlight-drenched south and southwest-facing slopes combined with the location directly on the Rhine and the inimitable site-specific soil conditions provide for a particularly high grape quality with an unmistakable character.
The areas in Assmannshausen – which include the famous “Höllenberg” mountain with its up to 100 percent shale share and the steep southern slopes of the “Rüdesheimer Berg” with its ideal sundrenched micro climate – are outstanding for growing excellent Pinot Noirs and Rieslings.
The vineyards in Lorch are well-known for their high share of Taunus quartzite and their fine minerality and fruitiness, which ultimately provide considerable drinking pleasure.
Yet another unique feature of the terroir is the very advanced age of the vines, some of which are up to 80 years-old and continue to produce extremely elegant wines with an enormous complexity and wealth of breathtaking and nuanced fruit.
The majority of the vines grow on the steepest slopes of the Rheingau, which means that a high degree of manual labour is required. However, the site also offers the opportunity to challenge and foster each vine individually and thus to obtain the best grape quality from each particular vine.
The wines are vinified in a cellar built in 1792 in the cliffs of the Assmannshäuser Höllenberg. In order to bring the flavour of the terroir to each individual bottle, after a process of soft-pressing, the white grapes are fermented and aged in stainless steel. In keeping with traditional open fermentation, the Pinot Noirs are stored up to 22 months in individual barrels and then composed – following a series of meticulous tastings – with much love and passion.