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Weingut Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder (VDP), Schotzach

Family tradition since 1396

The winery Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder, first mentioned in a document in 1396, is located in a typical Swabian wine village - Schozach. The winery building lies between the bakehouse and the village square, topped by a small clock tower, a so-called ridge turret, above the wine press. In the baroque tasting cellar you are introduced to the history of the Sturmfeder family in the Schozach valley dominated by the cultivation of wine.

Winery Graf von Bentzel Sturmfeder

Kilian Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder took over the management of the family-owned winery Sturmfeder in the landmark year of 1996 –the 600th anniversary of the property. Graf von Bentzel (born in 1970) prepared for this task by completing an apprenticeship as a winegrower followed by internships at several wineries abroad (USA, Austria). It was during this time that he set himself an ambitious objective: “The terrain of the Schozacher Roter Berg has so much potential that premium wines can be produced there”, he says. Therefore he passionately approaches this task and puts a lot of effort into it, knowing that he will be rewarded by the enjoyment of the wine. “Luxury foodstuffs such as wine have to be produced with pleasure”is his philosophy.

Cellarer of the Sturmfeder winery is Holger Matz. From an early age he witnessed the different stages of the winegrowing process at his parents’ vineyard in Löwenstein. Later he completed a classic training as cellarman followed by studies at the State Institute and Research Station for Wine and Fruit Growing in Weinsberg and a degree as winegrower and cellarmaster.

Together Graf von Bentzel and Matz try to implement innovative ideas, relying on their many years of experience in traditional viticulture. Both feel a commitment to the family tradition of creating conventional wines with an individual touch.

The philosophy

„My philosophy is easily explained: The vineyard is the origin, in which the treasure is sought and unearthed with all efforts at the right harvesting time. Healthy, essence-rich grapes are vinified into varietal wines or presented in a composition of a cuvée”, says Kilian Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder.

Our vineyards

The Sturmfeder winery encompasses an area of 15 hectare. In total, vines of twelve varieties are grown, 70 percent of which are red wines, 30 percent are white wines. The Burgundy varieties with their fine and fruity bouquets and their low acidity constitute the principal variety. Particularly noteworthy is the „Samtrot“, the velvety taste of which lives up to its name (Samtrot = velvety red). The most popular white wines are the racy and fruity Riesling as well as the light Pinot Gris. In a small segment various champagnes are fermented using the labour-intensive “méthode champenoise”.

In the production of the luxury foodstuff of wine Graf von Bentzel profits from a particular feature of the Schozach location. This terrain with its loamy and keuper soils is special due to its geological faults. Under the Rote Berg mountain with its gradient of up to 45 percent several rock formations like limestone, shell limestone and tuff are present. Additionally, in a depth of three to six meters water from the Löwenstein mountains presses towards the Neckar river. Thermal air currents cause a considerable temperature rise during the day, whereas there is a substantial cooling at night. This extreme microclimate causes the wines to mature more slowly resulting in a great aging potential.

Premium quality ROTER BERG: Top Spätlese/Auslese single-variety vintages. The red wines are mash fermented and matured in wooden barrels. Top cuvée Grand Phillipp. Top quality STURMFEDER: Superior quality and predicate single-variety wines. Superior quality GUTSWEINE: Good and digestible quality single-variety wine in a litre bottle.

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