Piri Wein has been run by Christine Pieroth’s family since 1781, in the Nahe region of Germany in Burg Layen. Christine decided to split off her line of wine under the Piri Naturel label, to show a distinction between the classic wines her family continues to make and her own line, focused on organic viticulture and natural methods in the cellar. Christine has been inspired by her own work in her vegetable gardens, and is becoming more and more interested in biodyanamic practices. Christine works only with wild yeast, never fines or filters, and adds either zero or very low amounts of sulfur. Her labels show local flora that she collected in or around her vineyard sites, handprinted on fabric, and that had digitized to make the labels.
- Pet-nat Weiss
- Pet-nat Rosé
- Pinot Noir
- Riesling Goldi Layen
Riesling — Back to the top
Age of Vines: 35 years
Soil: Stony loam and pebbles rounded by ocean influence
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested, and left as whole bunches, half in small used barrels, half in stainless steel. The bunches are foot stomped and then gently pressed. Fermentation completes slowly over 6 or so months without temperature control. The wine is not stirred and no batonage is performed. The wine is left on the lees until bottling when 10 mg of sulfur per liter is added. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.
Ponderosa — Back to the top
Ponderosa is Christine’s affectionate name for where these grapes grow. The rows of vines are very close together. Christine wanted to name the wine this way to call attention to the special place the grapes come from, rather than highlighting the individual grape varieties in the wine.
Age of Vines: 25 years
Soil: Devonian Slate
Varieties: mostly Pinot Gris with a pinch of Pinot Noir
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested, and left as whole bunches. The bunches are foot stomped and ferment semi-carbonically for about one week. The wine is then pressed to oak barrels to finish fermentation on the full lees. The wine is not stirred and no batonnage is performed and it is bottled, unfined, unfiltered, and with zero addition of sulfur. The wine ends up a light red color due to the small amount of skin contact on the Pinot Gris combined with the red color from the Pinot Noir.
Personality: light and bright, very vibrant! Ethereal, graceful rosé with only 11,5 % ABV.
Pet-nat Weiss — Back to the top
Age of Vines: 40 years
Soil: Devonian Slate
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and direct pressed for fermentation in stainless steel without temperature control. The wine is transferred to the bottle before fermentation is complete so it can finish as pet-nat. The wine is not disgorged.
Pet-nat Rosé — Back to the top
Age of Vines: 25 years old
Soil: Weathered Slate with loamy top layer
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested and direct pressed for fermentation in stainless steel without temperature control. The wine is transferred to the bottle before fermentation is complete so it can finish as pet-nat rosé. The wine is not disgorged.
Personality: Dornfelder red berry compote! Fruity, dark rosé bubbles with only 10,0% vol.
Pinot Noir — Back to the top
Vineyard: Devonian slate with loamy top layer
Varieties: Pinot Noir
Vinification Method: grapes are handpicked, partly destemmed, and skin-fermented for ~4 weeks. After being gently pressed, the wine ages in used oak barrels for about a year. One racking out of the barrels and straight into the bottle, nothing added, nothing removed.
Riesling Gold Layen — Back to the top
Vineyard: Goldloch Grand Cru with gravelly bedrock from the Permian age
Winemaking: the grapes were picked late in the year, which means cold grapes = cold juice = quite slow fermentation (in used oak barrels). It stopped fermentation for a cold winter break, then kept going next springtime/summer, but still not to complete dryness. Nothing added, nothing removed.
Personality -in Christine’s own words: “The fermentation of this wine was quite a long and adventurous one, but it tasted and smelled beautiful during the whole time, so I trusted it and gave it the time it needed. It took a year and a half (until May 2020), sitting on the full lees the whole time, until the wine decided to finish fermentation at dry, but not “zero grams dry”.
It is a full-bodied yet juicy Riesling showing the true character of this single vineyard site. Although coming from handcrafted high-quality grapes turned into artisan natural wine grown in a Grand Cru vineyard, the German wine law forbids us to put the site’s name Goldloch on the label, since the wine is not “typical enough”. So I call it Gold Layen now, which is a made-up name mixing Goldloch, our village name Burg Layen and the old German word Lay which translates to rock/cliff.”
Nava — Back to the top
Christine on this wine: “As you all know, the picking date is one of the most important decisions made by a Winzer*in. I try to find the right balance between fully ripe with abundant aromas (not overripe!) yet crisp acidity. 3 weeks before we started picking the 2020 grapes, I decided to do some trials and pick our Siegerrebe end of August already. Sugar levels were fairly low still, but Sieger is predestined to be eaten by deers and wild boars, wasps, bees… because all the other varieties are not sweet yet. But what’s so interesting about Siegerrebe: it ripens early and the grapes get fully aromatic without having high °Brix! That’s why Nava only has 8,5%vol alcohol while still being dry. I wanted to tickle the best out of these delicious grapes and try out how early we can pick.”
Nava is the old word for Nahe.
Grapes: Siegerrebe (literally “Victory grape”, a rare German cross related to Gewurztraminer which almost disappeared in the Nahe region; interestingly, you can find some plantings in Canada or Belgium)
Making of: hand-picked, foot-stomped, and whole-bunch fermented without any punch downs for 3 weeks, for gentle extraction. The grapes were then pressed and the wine aged in tanks until August. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, no SO2 added.
Personality: lovely orangy-rosé-ish color, bonedry and only 8,0 % ABV! “Honestly at the beginning, it tasted like literally biting into a whole cluster of grapes: some sweetness, some acidity, loud Sieger (Gewürz)-Aroma but also the green stems. But what happened throughout the aging now is crazy: the aroma is absolutely insane! So aromatic! It has some grip and length from the gentle skin contact. The very pure taste of the aromatic grapes,” Christine describes.
Mathilda — Back to the top
A simple ‘Hi’ and I could tell
That her plainness was well seamless
And somewhere deep inside
She drove a common weightless determination, yeah
And to what lands her mind would travel
I don’t know but I was so curious
I had to keep on thinking of her floating through the clouds
I asked her whether she enjoyed being in the air
And airily she answered with an accent so careful I could feel each syllable
‘I love things that seem Impossible…”
Grapes: Silvaner, Kerner, Riesling
Vineyard: rocky soils of the Burg Layer Rothenberg
Making of: The grapes are picked separately and then partly direct-pressed, partly after 1 night of maceration. Blended for spontaneous fermentation and aged partly in tank, partly in used oak, on full lees. Bottled in summer unfined, unfiltered, no SO2 added.
Personality: fruity, gentle and refreshing – the perfect easy-drinking white with 11% ABV only.
Weissburgunder — Back to the top
Grape: Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)
Vineyard: slate soil, one part is 35 years old, the other part 60 years old.
Making of: the grapes are handpicked by going through the vineyards several times, selecting ripe grapes only. Footstomped, mostly whole bunch fermentation for 2 weeks, gently pressed and finished fermentation in used oak barrels. The wine then sits on the full lees until next summer and is bottled unfiltered, unfined and without any SO2 added.
Personality: “a bit more extraction so slightly higher in color compared to the previous vintage, yet as light and refreshing. I especially like the length and gentle grip,” Christine says.