The best and the largest parcels of the in total 20 ha (50 acres) of vineyards where the SYBILLE KUNTZ Riesling is growing are situated in the grand cru site Niederberg-Helden in Lieser. In these parcels thrive the oldest vines. They were planted in the 20ties of the last century as „selection massale“ and are still own rooted. In a 70% inclined steep slope the midday sun hits the vines vertically and in addition the Mosel River reflects the sun with mirror like intensity.
With a minimal diet provided to them on the surface soil, the vines are forced to send their root systems as deep as forty-five feet into the grey Devonian slate to get their nutrients. The Devonian slate was formed millions of years ago from the inner core of the earth to become the dominant stone deposit of the Mosel vineyards. Two thousand years ago the Romans had already recognized that the mineral content of the soil on these Mosel hillsides was ideal for viticulture, and they planted the steep slopes with vines. At Lieser they operated the largest of the thirteen ancient wine presses that have been found on the Mosel and at the very location an Information Board commemorates the spot of the Roman wine making activities.
When you think of Mosel wines, the Riesling grape comes to mind. I focused on the specialty of our region and, for me, this meant cultivating Riesling exclusively.
To make wines that would meet my ideal of what constitutes a good wine, I soon realized that I would have to spend ever more time in the vineyards and the cellar. And if I were to take upon myself the strenuous work on the Lieser hillside vineyards with its steep slopes of up to 70 degrees, the outcome of all that effort would have to be an awesome wine, a remarkable wine, a wine which rises to the level of those I had purchased for my wine shop from the grand cru vineyards in Burgundy and Tuscany.
So the result of all these efforts must be an exceptional, a remarkable Riesling.
In order to assert my self-imposed and ambitious quality goals I felt it necessary to stay free and independent of the fashions and constraints of the trade. So I quite consciously decided not to become a member in wine associations and organizations of any kind.
I needed my personal space for my own decisions as a professional and entrepreneur, keeping my vision of a Mosel Riesling authentic to the “terroir” of my vineyards and to the style of Riesling that I had developed after years of tasting, growing, vinifying and selling wine.
For centuries, passing down through I don’t know how many generations, the Kuntz family, my family, has been living in Lieser, a town one bend upriver from Bernkastel in the heart of the Mosel valley, tending the Lieser vineyards and making wine there. Yet my ancestors were also deeply involved in other vital activities of the wine business. They made casks and barrels, oversaw the filtration and bottling of wines for other wine growers, and they also acted as wine merchants.
I spent a good deal of my childhood working in the vineyards. A little too much time perhaps...? That’s what I really felt at times, and so it probably didn’t come as a surprise that when it came to choosing a place to study I settled as far away from the vineyards as possible, in Wuppertal, a town about forty miles north of Cologne.
Actually, it only seemed that I had left the vines behind for, ironically, in 1981, to help finance my studies in business administration, I opened a wine shop. It was a natural choice. I started by selling wines from my parents’ vineyards, but soon I had to buy Riesling wines from other producers to meet the growing demand. But that didn’t quite solve the problem, either. My standards for what qualified as a good wine had either become too high or the quality of the wine I was buying had much diminished. I had a real problem. So I took heart and said to myself: I can do better than this!
And that’s how I began to realize my SYBILLE KUNTZ Mosel-Riesling.
With my husband Markus Kuntz-Riedlin, a “Geisenheim” Enologist from the Markgräflerland/Baden with the same ambition and fascination for vines and wine, an additional reinforcement came to the SYBILLE KUNTZ Weingut. That was the "go!" for the further development of the SYBILLE KUNTZ Mosel-Riesling.
Together we advanced and refined the very own wine style of the SYBILLE KUNTZ Mosel-Riesling and made it distinctive and different. The vineyard property has grown to 18 hectare of Riesling, with an upward trend.
Since 2010 we have also started the Weingut RIEDLIN in Laufen Markgräflerland/Baden on the family land of my husband. There we exclusively cultivate Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) according to the same biodynamic principles, also Demeter certified since 2018.