Weingut O.

Who: Olaf Schneider

Where: Traben-Trarbach, Mosel

What grapes: Riesling

How many bottles: Total production for the winery is 5,000 bottles (in a good year.)

Key facts: The vines of the Ungsberg vineyard are over 100 years old & ungrafted, possibly the oldest in the Mosel. The vines of the Bikiniblick vineyard were planted in the 1960s.


Olaf Schneider Bikiniblick.jpg

Weingut O. Olaf Schneider Bikiniblick Trocken

Organic: Does not use synthetic Herbicides or Pesticides
Soil type: Grey slate, concave hillside
Elevation: 200 meters
Grapes: 60+ year old Riesling
Method of fermentation:  The grapes are hand harvested from the dangerously steep, grey slate, hillside and pressed in an ancient basket press.  The wine is fermented using only native yeast and vinified in old large barrels. 
Bottles made: 3,000



Olaf Schneider Riesling Feinherb.jpg

Weingut O. Olaf Schneider Ungsberg Feinherb

Organic: Does not use synthetic Herbicides or Pesticides
Soil type: Grey slate, concave hillside
Elevation: 200 meters
Grapes: 60+ year old Riesling
Method of fermentation:  The grapes are hand harvested from the dangerously steep, grey slate, hillside and pressed in an ancient basket press.  The wine is fermented using only native yeast and vinified in stainless steel. 
Bottles made: 3,000

Olaf Schneider Riesling Kabinett.jpg

Weingut O. Olaf Schneider Kabinett Ungsberg

Organic: Does not use synthetic Herbicides or Pesticides
Soil type: Grey slate, concave hillside
Elevation: 200 meters
Grapes: 60+ year old Riesling
Method of fermentation:  The grapes are hand harvested from the dangerously steep, grey slate, hillside and pressed in an ancient basket press.  The wine is fermented using only native yeast and vinified in old large barrels. 
Bottles made: 3,000






The winery has been family-owned since the beginning of the 19th century. Today Bruno Triguero and his wife Thama farm 15 hectares. When I visited them for the first time, I wondered how these former Sao Paolo residents were adjusting to life in a decidedly sleepy new hometown. It’s quaint for sure, and the winery is a wonderful throwback, a vast building evocative of the productive early 20th century history of this region. The couple’s office is perched along a gangplank high above the vast old tanks of this spacious warehouse. I love the feel, and the old school equipment that Les Chemins de Bassac still use.

I met Isabelle and Remy Ducellier, the couple who previously owned Les Chemins de Bassac, in Paris in the winter of 2004. To be honest I sought out Isabelle and Remi. Early in my wine selling life I fell into the habit of drinking their affordable red by the case-load. In the intervening years their wines had gotten better, less oaky, more real. In Bordeaux we met again, this time at an organic trade show in the summer of 2007. The Ducelliers are people one naturally gravitates toward. They had the weathered, fit, attractive look of a couple that works outdoors on a sun-baked farm. I really liked them. They give off an aura of earnestness, have a good sense of humor, seem primarily concerned with wine and the how to correctly farm it.

Once they had been history teachers. In 1987, when Isabelle's family wanted to sell the property, the couple decided to leave Paris and take over the estate. The Cotes de Thongue is a promising sub region of the Languedoc, close to the city of Beziers. As years pass, the current spirit of exploration of terroir, dedication to unprecedented high levels of quality and vigorous experimentation will erase the memory of this region as a source of inexpensive plonk. As AOCs are slowly carved out of the larger Coteaux du Languedoc, the Cotes de Thongue becomes a likely candidate for promotion from its current IGP status to AOC. Viognier and Roussanne are the grapes harvested for Isa Blanc. Approximately 15,000 bottles of the wine are made each year, from low-yielding (40 hl/ha) vines. The wine is thirst-quenching, sunny, easy to enjoy. Isa is relatively light in texture for a southern French white, with acidity that is so correct for its weight that you don’t much notice it. Not oily or heavy, certainly not sharp. Isa Rose is the star of their lineup, a pitch perfect Mediterranean pink wine whose pale hue belies uncommon intensity and precision of flavor.Isa Rouge is a fruit-forward and fresh blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre,and Pinot Noir. A Deriva –is a reserve wine of sorts, a combination of Syrah and Pinot Noir that will exert gravitational pull on natural wine lovers. Wintry, dense, with pronounce