Julia Bertram makes taut, elegant Burgundy wines on the Ahr, characterized by clear fruit and minerality.
"At home I am in the Ahr valley."
Julia grew up in Dernau, a small wine village in the Ahr valley. Here, almost everything revolves around wine. Pinot Noir from steep slate vineyards, to be exact.
As German Wine Queen, Julia was on the road a lot and was able to get to know all facets of German wine and bring them out into the world. The oenologist, who studied in Geisenheim, describes her time as a representative of German wine as a unique experience.
All photographs © by Julia Bertram.
The different soils of the Ahr Valley, especially the Slate in all its manifestations, make up the special style of my wines.
The slate sets the theme
Julia Bertram is betting on Your winesAs is usual in the Ahr region, she focuses on red Burgundy varieties - Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir - and can rely on a treasure trove of old vines that was already cultivated by her mother and aunt. With a special sensitivity, she is able to extract a fineness of aroma and mineral elegance from the Ahr steep slopes. The wines have a cool acidity, which contributes to the longevity and also to the drinking flow.
Soil, Weather, Work
My wines should inspire through their authenticity. in the vineyard, the story of a year and part of my personality show up later in the glass. That's why I focus on working in the steep slopes. From special sites, old vines and a lot of manual work, Burgundies with strong character and longevity are created here. In the cellar, I try to maintain the quality achieved in the vineyard through gentle processing.
Wooden barrel - means to an end
Wooden barrels, also barrique, have a long tradition at the Ahr. Winemakers like Stodden and Mayer-Näkel were poniers in the use of small French barrels.
Bertram sees the wooden barrel as an Style element, which however must never be formative. The fine burgundy aromas and the slate terroir should not be hidden. Julia works with barrels of different sizes, which she obtains from coopers she knows personally.
The vineyards of Julia Bertram at the Ahr
The terraces of the steepest site "Mayschoßer Mönchberg" are not only among the most spectacular, but also most appreciated top sites of the upper Ahr valley. Rocks, walls and very stony slate weathered soils store the solar radiation and create an optimal microclimate. Here in the terraced vineyards, which cannot be worked with machines, complex Pinot Noirs with a delicacy are created.
The Pfarrwingert is the Bertrams' home vineyard. Directly behind the parental winery, the south-facing steep slope with its easily heated soils stretches out. Slate and greywacke dominate the soil here. This grainy debris sediment produces fine wines with elegant fruit and spicy minerality .
The rolling hills of the Dernau Hardtbergs with a south-southeast orientation characterize the village of Dernau. Due to unweathered Devonian rock and greywacke, very elegant Burgundy wines are produced here.
Dernau slate clay
Lay means rock. The name says it all here. Above the viaduct of a never completed railway line, filigree and delicate wines grow on greywacke and slate.
Dernau castle garden
The name Dernauer Burggarten refers to the location of a former castle and features both flat and sloping sites. Over several thousand years, the finest Ahr sediment and Ahr gravel has settled here over the loess loam soil. The wines usually present a pronounced youthful fruit and a pleasant freshness.
Due to the small, very narrow side valley and the orientation to the south, the location gets its name: Goldkaul, which could also mean gold mine. Below the Dernau landmark, the Krausberg tower, are the mostly terraced steep and steep slopes. The vineyards, which have not yet been cleared, are characterised by a very fine conglomerate of slate and greywacke. Pinot Noirs from the Goldkaul fascinate with their fine fruit paired with the spiciness of the slate.
The Marienthaler Trotzenberg resembles a parabolic mirror and is oriented to the southwest. The site is located in one of the narrowest sections of the entire river valley, which produces an enormous steep slope due to the narrow valley basin. The vines grow directly above a slate rock, so that very mineral wines with a fine acid bite are created by the high rock content.
Bordered by Rosenthal and Daubhaus lies the Ahrweiler Forstberg. With a southwestern orientation in the valley of the Elig and a sandstone loess mixture, optimal conditions are given here for very fine and elegant wines.
At the transition from the Ahrweiler to the Neuenahrer Gemarkung lies the situation Daubhaus. According to stories, it is named after a former barrel stave factory in the vicinity. On loess loam and loess, very full-bodied and fruity wines are produced here.
Directly parallel to the medieval town centre of Ahrweiler lies the Ahrweiler Rosenthal with the special feature of the bridge piers of a railway line that was never completed. The soils are characterized by loess loam and greywacke. Wines from the Rosenthal have a particularly distinctive bouquet and show their origin full of character.
The somewhat cooler, higher altitude steeple is only separated from the Ahrweiler Daubhaus and the adjacent farmland of the county by the motorway feeder road. It shows a mixture of very different soil types. Both sloping loam and loess soils as well as a loamy slate soil can be found here.
Neuenahr Sun Hill
The Neuenahr Sun Hill is one of the preferred sites in the lower Ahr valley due to its slope and southern exposure. The soil consists of a skeleton-rich conglomerate of greywacke with a high clay content, which gives the wines grown here strength. A small side valley of the Sonnenberg is also home to the Bertrams' Frühburgunder vines, which are among the oldest in the Ahr Valley.