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Fritz Wassmer

Fritz Wassmer founded his winery in 1998 in Bad Krozingen-Schlatt in the region of Baden-Württemberg, where his family have been involved in viticulture and agriculture for generations. But it wasn't until he was 45 years old that Fritz decided to become a winemaker. He is self-taught, and began working in the local vineyards in his youth, but it was after doing a vintage at the prestigious Domaine de la Romanée Conti, that he returned home with the goal of producing a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder as the variety is called in German. These would be powerful and concentrated and worlds apart from the style which characterised the Baden wines. His first release in 1999 was exceptional, and he has never looked back. The core of his vineyards lie in Markgräflerland, Kaiserstuhl and Breisgau on soils that are comprised of loess with limestone, red clay, marl, and limestone with seashells. Although his passion is Pinot Noir, Franz also grows a vast array of other grapes on his 38 hectares of vineyards: Sauvignon Blanc, Auxerrois, Gutedel, Weisser Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Muskateller, Viognier (rare in Germany), Syrah, Frühburgunder, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From all of which he produces a comprehensive range of wines from sparkling to sweet, divided into Estate, Premium and Single Vineyard ranges. The grapes for all his wines are hand-picked, and he applies the same attention to detail to these as he does for his stratospheric 'Burgundianesque' Pinot Noirs. For these, all of his clones have been imported from Burgundy. The grapes are fermented spontaneously in open wooden fermenters, and aged in French oak. Fritz is recognised as one of the top producers in Baden, and his extract-rich Pinot Noirs are internationally acclaimed.