Shadowfolk

The Dark Side of Mosel

 

Location: the village of Pommern, the Lower Mosel Valley, Germany

Owner & winemaker: Petra Kujanpää

Vineyard area: 2.5 hectares of small plots, in a long-term lease

Vineyard management: Practicing organic and biodynamic

Soils: slate. Very rocky and poor soil on extremely steep slopes around the Mosel river. Mostly old (60-100 years of age) head-trained vines.

Main varietals: 100% Riesling

Winemaking: manual harvest, spontaneous fermentation only. Long skin contact /carbonic macerations for most of the wines. No fining, no filtration, no sulfur addition.

Annual production (approx., in 2020): 3,000 bottles

 

Jump to wines | Shadowfolk Website

 

  • Petra originally studied chemical engineering in her native Finland, but quickly discovered that she needed to spend more time in nature and wine was the perfect answer.
  • She worked in wineries all around Europe, before working in the Mosel; her stint with the region’s legends Clemens Busch and Heymann-Lowenstein led to her falling in love with Mosel Riesling and settling down in the valley herself.
  • She started by collecting patches of abandoned vineyards on the steep slopes around Pommern and Valwig, some of them up to 100 years old.
  • The name Shadowfolk is inspired by C. G. Jung’s concept of the shadow self and shadow work, ie. discovering (and taking strength from) also the darker sides of your psyche and facets that society usually tells you to suppress.
  • Besides her friends, she’s helped by her white husky called Lumi (“snow” in Finnish)
  • Petra’s bottles are made from a special blueish shade of glass, best discovered when you drink a bit from the bottle and then look through it .)

 

Wines

The Heretic — Back to the top

Petra describes this wine as “part of my more experimental “Black Label” range, where I play a bit more and push the boundaries” – as also the name suggests!

Grape: Riesling

Vineyard: Old head-trained vines on steep slopes. Grey and blue slate, very poor soil. Farmed biodynamically by Petra herself.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and partially (about 30%) crushed and fermented on skins and then aged on lees in big Stockinger oak barrel. Indigenous yeast only, no fining, no filtration, zero sulfur added.

Personality: a Riesling like no other, as the deep amber color hints. The first aromatic impression reminds you more of fine sherry or good whisky, and then boom, the Riesling appears in all its flowery and peachy glory. Mind-blowing in the best of ways.

 

 


The Conjurer — Back to the top

Grape: Riesling

Vineyard: Old head-trained vines on steep slopes, mostly 60–100 years old vineyards in Pommern. Grey and blue slate, very poor soil. Farmed biodynamically by Petra herself.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and fermented as whole bunches for 90 days in fiberglass tank, without any manipulation at all (no mixing, no pumping, no stomping). Pressed and aged on lees for more than a year. Indigenous yeast only, no fining, no filtration, zero sulfur added.

Personality: savory and flavorful! Enticing perfume of exotic fruits, a light lactic note, lovely length and saltiness. Petra calls her wines “thinking wines” and you can definitely see why, there’s so much to discover and marvel at with this one.

 

 


The Dark Side of Aurora — Back to the top

Winemaker’s note: “This wine is named after aurora borealis, the Northern lights – the old Nordic peoples believed that it is the evil spirits passing through. People are surprised that this wine is called dark although it’s actually very light-colored, direct-pressed white. But I wanted to pay tribute to the analogy that many people are still surprised or scared by unmanipulated, natural Rieslings, although they are beautiful, just like the Northern lights.”

Grape: Riesling

Vineyard: Goldberg – a grand cru level single vineyard with 100 years old head-trained vines on steep slopes, located close to Petra’s winery in Pommern. Grey and blue slate, very poor soil. Farmed biodynamically by Petra herself.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and direct-pressed. Fermented and aged on lees in a neutral barrel, for more than a year. Indigenous yeast only, no fining, no filtration, zero sulfur added.

Personality: juicy, direct, pure and super aromatic. Notes of petrol and flinty rock, a touch of peach and wood. Lovely and more classical take on Riesling in Petra’s range, showing the quality of its prime site.

 

 


The Mystics — Back to the top

“This wine is a sort of tribute to my Australian mentor, with whom I started to work on orange wines.”

Grape: Riesling

Vineyard: Old head-trained vines on steep slopes. Grey and blue slate, very poor soil. Farmed biodynamically by Petra herself.

Making of: Grapes are hand-harvested and fermented as whole bunches for 270 days, without any manipulation at all (no mixing, no pumping, no stomping). Pressed and aged on lees for more than a year. Indigenous yeast only, no fining, no filtration, zero sulfur added.

Personality: another thinking piece! Lovely copper haze gives away its maceration pedigree, notes of stewed pineapple, spices and apple strudel. Smooth tannins and lovely vivid grip. Share with fellow wine nerds to enjoy discovering the layers of taste and communal geeking out.