Ernst-Josef and Werner took over the business almost as young boys and developed it into what it is today. Ernst-Josef, the older of the two, completed an apprenticeship as a winemaker and finally graduated from the technical school in Bad Kreuznach. Since then he has been passionately and devotedly taking care of the development and marketing of the wines.
Werner also completed his apprenticeship as a winemaker and is responsible as a tinkerer and technician for the vineyard management and everything concerning cultivation, care, harvest and technology. With a lot of experience, expertise and innovative experimentation he takes care of the base of the quality of the wines.
Gerlinde made a apprenticeship as a businesswoman and as such takes care of the bureaucratic and administrative tasks that arise in the winery. She also makes sure that our guests feel comfortable in our holiday apartment and guest rooms.
Niklas first completed a master's degree in industrial engineering at the TU Darmstadt. Nevertheless, year after year in autumn he was part of the team. His love for nature and viticulture as well as the possibility to set his own accents, let his decision mature to realize himself in the family winery. With fresh knowledge from the University of Applied Sciences Geisenheim, he will completely enter the business after his graduation.
In addition to the main actors, all other family members are always there with help and advice. No matter if children, aunts, uncles or partners, no matter if homepage, festival, open cellar days or grape harvest, no matter if far or near, everybody helps out wherever they can and that is what distinguishes our family business.
Despite hard work, testing with the grapes from the different sites is a weakness of ours.
The 30 km of vineyards along the Mosel create the basis. Soil, solar radiation and microclimate create diversity. To bring this into the bottle and to increase the fun of the wine through diversity is one of our main goals. Selection during the harvest - being able to imagine how the wine will taste afterwards - a lot of discussion and decisions are the daily routine during harvesting.
Of course, the base is already laid in the vegetation period. Quality increasing pruning, defoliation and reduction of the grapes lay the foundation for nutritious grapes.
A further central point of our philosophy is the late, selective hand harvest in several harvest processes. The late harvest gives the grapes sufficient time to reach their physiological ripeness and high extract values. We do not determine the harvest date according to the must weight, but according to the taste of the grapes. The manual harvest allows us to decide which grapes to pick at that moment. Whether it should be only the ripe, golden yellow grapes without botrytis for dry wine or highly ripe grapes that are already beginning to dry up, which are needed for a Auslese. This means that we have to visit a vineyard several times for grape harvesting, a cost-driving but qualitatively worthwhile factor.
In small units - small vats - the grapes are transported to the winery where the pressing process begins immediately. Gently, only by the force of gravity they are filled into the press. Breakage of the stems, which leads to bitter notes, is thus almost completely avoided.
The taste of the must gives us a first overview of the quality.
The must is fermented in stainless steel tanks with a maximum of 2000 litre. The gurgling of the fermentation gases in the fermentation pots is a sound that accompanies us for a long time in the cellar.
Quieter sounds are produced by our glass balloons in which the Beeren- and Trockenbeerenauslese wines are fermented in the classical way in small and smallest units. This "nursery" involves a lot of work, but when you taste it, you are rewarded!
What else do we do to preserve the originality of the wines? We ferment cold, as this is when the yeasts produce the most aromas. During the further development of the wines, we aim for a long storage of fine yeast and avoid unnecessary pumping over in order not to lose any aromas and quality.
In the end, each bottle contains a piece of individual vineyard.
Our winery has a long tradition. It was first mentioned by name in 1638, and a lot has happened since then. Especially in the last few decades, we have developed what is today known as Weingut Kees-Kieren, also on the international market.
On the one hand, mergers by marriage have led to the double name Kees-Kieren and to vineyards 30 kilometres along the Mosel loops. It is at least somewhat of a relief to work that the winery is located in the middle of the vineyards, between Kinheim and Kesten. The logistics are nevertheless a challenge, as we manage our vineyards ourselves and do not hand them over to contractors. However, we do not want to miss any site, as it enables us to produce our sophisticated wines with their special characteristics.