ST. URBANS-HOF, Leiwen, Mosel
The Weis family has owned vineyards for centuries but it was in 1947 that Nicolaus Weis founded St Urbans-Hof, named for the patron saint of German winemakers.
In the 1960s his son, Hermann, assumed management of the vineyards, winery, and Germany’s largest vine nursery, establishing a reputation as a world-renown vine breeder — particularly praised for his work with Riesling. In the early 1970s Hermann contributed to the early introduction of Vitis Vinifera into Canada by planting the first large parcel of Riesling vines in the Niagara Peninsula at St. Urban Vineyard (later to become Vineland Estates Winery). In Germany in 1989, he purchased some of the Mosel and Saar's top sites in the prestigious villages of Piesport, Ockfen, and Wiltingen.
In 1997, Hermann & Ida's son, Nik, joined the winery. Father and son together restructured the vineyard holdings by selling off those of lesser quality and acquiring further parcels of greater quality. Nik's marriage to Daniela in 2004 brought her family’s prestigious Mehringer Blattenberg vineyard to the St Urbans-hof collection.
Today, Nik farms 33 hectares of Riesling on some of the finest sites of the Middle-Mosel and Saar (its tributary). The cool continental climate and steep slate slopes produce some of the world’s freshest and most age-worthy wines. St. Urbans-Hof belongs to the VDP, the prestigious local growers’ association that self-imposes strict criteria, including dramatically lowered yields, to guarantee wines of the highest quality. Above all, these wines are about purity of fruit and clear expression of terroir.