Rudolf and Rita Trossen’s estate is in Kinheim, on the ancient slopes of the Middle Mosel, in Germany. Rudolf converted it to biodynamic farming, and has become one of the leading figures of the movement. They make classic cuvées of Riesling across all levels of sweetness, as well as natural wines under the Purus label.
"With Riesling, you can have brilliant wines in all styles. It is successful in the way that the English football hero, Sir Stanley Matthews said, “never change a winning team.” I think he was a wise man."
People: Rita & Rudolf Trossen
Place: Mosel, Germany
Varieties: Riesling, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? The Purus wines are almost always bottled under crown cap, to ensure that “nothing goes out and nothing comes in.” Even if a wine has a tiny bit of residual sugar, it is susceptible to refermentation in the bottle, so Rudolf would rather be safe than sorry. By bottling under crown cap, it means that oxygen stays out, and the natural carbon dioxide stays in, keeping the wine as fresh as possible. He says, “I had seen Jean-Pierre Frick, winemaker in Alsace, do this - I’ve known him for forty years - and I thought this is a good solution. We sell our wines internationally to 26 countries, some of which are in the southern hemisphere where it can be hot - so refermentation is more likely to happen. Sometimes we put them under cork, but only when we’re sure they are dry and there are no risks.”
“I have always felt related to the ideas of Anthroposophy, where biodynamics comes from. Even when I was very young, I felt a close sensitivity for nature, and for spiritual things. You could say I wasn’t normal… I had to find my own way. I’ve always felt that I had to help to save the planet."
“When I was fifteen - that age when you start to open up your eyes and look around - you start to see many things that you don’t like. I was spraying chemicals in the vineyards of my family’s estates, and after working I was wet - wet from the water and,” he almost spits out the word, “chemicals,”
“This made me angry from year to year, more and more, so I was looking for a way out of this mess. That is how I came to biodynamics - it helped me not to lose confidence in wine farming.”
His education didn't help him to understand why these chemicals had risen to prominence; rather the opposite. He remembers,