We have always been fascinated by the oldest alcoholic drink known to man. There are as many kinds of grapes as there are ways to enjoy it and we find that wine is not only a drink, but also a philosophy. Wine can be both a luxury and enjoyed socially, or simply as a compliment to an ordinary meal. It allows us to be a wine connoisseur, if only for a moment, and allows our dreams to become a reality.
The Horcher Winery in Kallstadt / Pfalz, part of the German Rhineland, was founded in 2005 by Berlin-born restaurateur Herbert Beltle with the aim of producing good, genuine wine for his three restaurants in Berlin. The name Horcher is reminiscent of Berlin’s finest restaurant in the 20s and 30s and an inspiration for the production of high-quality wine.
The Horcher vineyards Kreidekeller, Steinacker, Kobnert and Saumagen are located in the well-known wine town of Kaltstadt on the Pfälzer Weinstraße. This region is one of the warmest and driest in Germany. It enjoys an almost Mediterranean climate, which gives the winery its southern European character.
The predominantly light, usually sandy and warm soils are the result of the weathering of the limestone rock, which in some places appears as an impressive rock formation. At the Saumagen winery, and partially in the Kobnert winery, the soil consists of a somewhat higher proportion of clay.
Wine-growing in this region dates back hundreds of years and Kallstadt, on the German wine route, is one of the most popular wine towns in Pfalz. With 270 vineyards producing around 1300 different wines, the tradition of wine-growing is very much alive in this town. More than 30 family businesses, in a town with a population of only 1200 people, produce around 4 million litres of wine every year. With its rural charm, Kallstadt has become a real insider’s tip for connoisseurs and foodies alike. Traditional pubs and spa hotels are welcoming places for you to relax.
In 2005, Herbert Beltle fulfilled his lifelong dream and purchased a 4-hectare winery in Kallstadt / Pfalz. Operating under the traditional name Horcher, Beltle produces his wine here with winemaker Wolfgang Grün. Herbert Beltle, well-known restaurateur and hotelier from Berlin, spent many years travelling and training in Oberstdorf, London, Geneva, Cannes, St. Moritz and Munich until he finally returned to Berlin in the 80s. Since 1988 he has been running the Alte Zollhaus in Kreuzberg. Then, in 1999, he added restaurant Aigner am Gendarmenmarkt. In 2005, he founded the Horcher Winery and his latest restaurant, Rotisserie Weingrün, was opened in 2007 on the Gertraudenbrücke in the centre of Berlin.
Herbert Beltle is a board member of the German Association of Hotels and Restaurants (Hotel- und Gaststättenverband) and participates in a number of audit committees. He was named Berlin Master Chef and was awarded the Herforder Award for “Best Restaurateur in Germany”. With a keen interest in Altberliner (Old Berlin) history of gastronomy, he is fascinated by the history of Horcher restaurants from the 20s and 30s. He acquired the rights to the Horcher name with the aim of reviving this famous name when founding his winery.
All Horcher wines come from Kallstadt in Pfalz, Germany. The wines thrive on its light, sandy soils which are formed from weathered shell limestone.
The winemaker is Wolfgang Grün from Heidelberg. He started his career training with a wine expert in his Baden hometown. On completion of the apprenticeship, he did several internships at vineyards in Austria, Spain, South Africa, the USA, Chile and Australia, and then studied wine growing in Germany. After his studies, he started his career at the well-known winery Fürst in Franken. Since 2005, he has been winemaker and cellarman of the Horcher Winery.
The winery carries the sustainability seal “FAIR AND GREEN” which stands for an environmentally-friendly approach to wine making, but also to procurement, remuneration, cellar management and the distribution process.
Winemaker Wolfgang Grün said, “We promote environmentally-friendly and sustainable business practices. We do not fertilise our vines, and pesticides are only used when absolutely necessary. We pay extra attention to the quality of our grapes. In spring we thin the shoots and then in autumn the bunches of grapes are pruned following defoliation. We also ensure that the grapes are carefully processed in the cellar.”
There are three lines in the range of Horcher Wines - Bronze, Silver and Gold - each with various white and red wines.
All vines are defoliated and pruned according to their variety and location. To preserve the primary aromas, our white wines are only filtered once and our red wines are not filtered at all.
All Horcher wines are available on the menu or can be purchased in the Berlin restaurants Aigner Gendarmenmarkt, Altes Zollhaus and Rotisserie Weingrün. Horcher wines can also be purchased from Beltle’s online shop.
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