Mosel Riesling With A Magic Touch From The Winzer Of Oz!

Press Release

Mosel Riesling With A Magic Touch From The Winzer Of Oz!

The reason I love Riesling is that it’s like a mirror to the soil, but maintains its own unique expression.

Martin Cooper - Winzer of Oz

Martin Cooper is not your average Mosel winemaker.  His winemaking journey has taken him from trying to figure out what exactly Western Australian Porongurup Riesling should taste like, to being the first Jimmy Watson Trophy winner for a New South Wales wine, to wondering why Hawke’s Bay was concentrating on Cabernet when Syrah seemed so much better suited.  In brief, Cooper feels his career had been very much concentrated in areas that hadn’t yet been established.  Up until he moved to the Mosel in 2014. 

The Weingut Kloster Ebernach monastery is based in the Terrassenmosel.  Its 9.1ha currently under vine are situated in one of the most northern vineyard locations in Europe at the extreme end of the climatic limit for producing wines.   Martin came to the monastery as a consultant winemaker, and within six hours of joining was asked if he would like to take on the lease himself on a long-term basis.  Serious serendipity for a real Riesling lover.   

“New World wrestles with Old World” is how he describes his winemaking style.  Martin has taken what he describes as “the best white grapes that cannot be found elsewhere outside of Germany” and combined them with a New World mindset, biodynamic viticulture practices, a profound passion for Riesling and a desire to let the Riesling grape tell its Mosel tale.  The resulting wines are as different as the methods used to produce them.  Martin elects not to follow the system, which he finds limiting.  So, separation of individual vineyards based on harvest ripeness are passed over in favour of acidity balance and flavour profiling, coupled with principally low extraction and anaerobic handling, in order to coax out maximum finesse and create age-worthy Rieslings of great regionality and style.

Martin has selected the following two wines to send you as illustrations of his new, modern interpretation of Mosel Riesling.  Both are from his first 2014 vintage, which he describes as “a  baptism of fire”!  A promising start to the season was soon undone by an attack of Chinese Cherry Fruit Fly, and rain late in the season then compounded the problem.  Martin’s answer was extreme hand selection and whole bunch pressing in the cool, dry October harvest conditions and he describes the resulting wines as fine-boned, elegantly structured and with a nervous restraint and tension.

The Winzer of Oz - madman or magician?  Taste and decide!


Weingut Kloster Ebernach Domäne MC Riesling Halbtrocken 2014                  10% ABV

RRP £22.99, redsquirrelwine.com

The Terrassenmosel has historically been the underdog of the Mosel, yet the geology here is so much more interesting. Plus, given the extreme Northern climate, we can make wines that make you stand up and take notice, if we choose to.

Martin Cooper

The range of Domäne MC wines represents a strong move away from the strict adherence to what Martin describes as the “antiquated German wine law”.  He blends cuvees - consisting of quintessential Mosel characteristics - from their seven different vineyard sites over an 11km radius to give a balance of flavour, acidity and structure that he believes convention cannot provide, and which is key when making wines from an extreme location such as the Terrassenmosel.

The 60% Riesling grapes from the Cochem Bischofsstuhl vineyard (planted in 1949 and consisting of extremely steep sloped, blue slate soils) bring minerality and backbone; the 30% Cochem Sonnenberg grapes (Southern aspect) bring floral fruit and delicacy; and the 10% clay / loam Cochemer Klostergarten grapes bring a balance of alcohol and notes of ripe stone fruit from these heavier soils.  

All vineyards are whole bunch pressed and cold settled before being left to ferment naturally.   A low sulphur and filtration regime, with no chemical deacidification or stabilisation, gives rise to highly aromatic and elegant wines with a great depth of fruit and long, persistent finish.


Weingut Kloster Ebernach 2014 Experimental Orange Riesling                    11.5% ABV

RRP £29.99, redsquirrelwine.com

You cannot knock out the identity of Mosel Riesling; it therefore makes a logical partner for Orange winemaking.                                                                         

Martin Cooper

This is a new take on an ancient winemaking process - no chemicals or mechanical interference - that is rarely seen in Germany.  A great fan of natural winemaking since trying Jura wines in his youth, Martin describes his Orange Riesling as “a modern interpretation of the ancient wine craft that continues in only a few places... but with a better outcome!”

The 100% Riesling grapes come from the low lying, river bank clay / loam Cochemer Klostergarten vineyard.  Harvest selection is based on one criterion - the grapes need to show excellent Riesling  character.  A dry, spontaneously fermented (using indigenous yeast) wine spends upwards of 30 days on skins and is then pressed off using a gravity feed system.  The wine is orange as a result of the white tannins extracted during fermentation and low sulphur use.  Martin explains, “I like the play between the expressive nature of Riesling and the tannin and spice extracted from over 30 days of fermentation before pressing off.  The complexity and intrigue that follows is purely from that process only, without other influences such as oak or excessive oxidation.”

Martin describes his wine as vibrant and youthful with intense aromatics, as opposed to over-worked and heavily oxidative.

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Date of issue:                                    25 May 2016

Further information - emma wellings pr:  t 020 8996 5168  e emma@ew-pr.co.uk