Weingut Molitor is one of Germany's greatest wine producers. Markus Molitor took over the winery in 1984, at only 20 years of age. He represents the eighth generation of his centuries-old Mosel winemaking family. The estate is centered in the historic town of Bernkastel, with 37 hectares of spectacular vineyards spread across 15 classic sites from Bernkastel and Graach to Wehlen and Zeltingen. This is viticulture at its most extreme, with very old ungrafted vines (many 100 years old or more) planted on slopes as steep as 80% inclination. Needless to say all farming is by hand—it could not possibly be any other way. Interestingly, although the vast majority of vines are riesling, there are also small plantings (about 4 hectares) of pinot noir and pinot blanc—actually an ancient tradition in the Mosel, banned in 1930 but recently revived. The precious slate soil of the astonishingly steep West facing vineyards produces wines of great structure and depth, full of minerality, aromatic complexity, and fruity acidity.
Winemaking is staunchly traditional, with spontaneous fermentation initiated by ambient natural yeasts, no enzymes, and no fining—"a winemaking style of 100 years ago". The wines are primarily fermented and matured in big old oak casks, with a small portion fermented in stainless steel. Exquisitely old-fashioned late harvest wines are a specialty: often the trockenbeerenauslesen ferment for five years or more, with sugars of up to 780 g/L!