Klaus Meyer steht mit seiner Frau und seinen zwei kleinen Kindern neben einem Holz-Weinfass

When the side job turns into success

Winery Meyer, Rhodt unter Rietburg

The success story of the Meyer winery began in 1987, when Klaus Meyer started to produce wine as a side business. Already the ancestors of the family cultivated vineyards, but at that time only grapes were produced and delivered to the wine cooperative. It was Klaus Meyer who first became a wine producer himself.

His son Marius turned his vocation into a profession. After training at Ökonomierat Rebholz and working in Austria, New Zealand and France, he took over the winery. His wife Claudia also comes from a winegrowing family.

Rhodt is located in the Southern Palatinate, Germany. For a long time the area was overshadowed by the more well-known locations, but in the meantime this has changed and the wines are nationally recognized. The climate is mild because the Haardt, the small mountain range in the west, intercepts the harshest weather conditions. Thus the vineyards are usually spared from the hailstorms.

The soils are very versatile, with granite and mottled sandstone as well as limestone and slate soils. This makes wine-making exciting and produces interesting wines. Meyers Granit Riesling has won a prize accordingly.

»We started with six 1,000-litre tanks. Now we have the whole winery full of Speidel tanks.«

Right now Marius Meyer is doing really well. “2018 was my best year so far. A new wine cellar full of Speidel tanks and an excellent harvest go together perfectly because everything could be processed in the best possible way”.

It all started in 2004 with six 1000-litre tanks. They still exist today. Many years ago Klaus Meyer had taken part in a winegrower excursion with a tour of Speidel. “From then on I was convinced,” he says laughing. Since then, a tank volume of 220000 litres has been gradually built up. “In the beginning we were the smallest winegrower in the village, today we can keep up with the others.”

Speidel Edelstahlbehälter in den Halle des Weingut Meyer in Rhodt unter Rietberg

The relationship with the other winegrowers is very good. “It’s not competition, it’s collaboration,” says Meyer. This can also be felt when driving through the vineyards. He shows us not only his vineyards, but also the vines of a neighbouring vineyard, which are cut somewhat differently than his own, and he acknowledges that this winegrower also makes excellent wines.

Every year Marius Meyer renews one hectare of vineyard. New breeds, which are no longer bred for yield as in the 1970s, but for quality, produce better wines. It is also clear from Meyer’s wines that he has gained a lot of experience overseas and in France and that he can transfer this knowledge surprisingly well to his local terroir. In some wine reviews it could already be read that he unites the two regions Palatinate and Burgundy in one bottle.

The new building on the periphery of the village was an important step towards modernization. The work in the old winery in the centre of Rhodt was cramped and cumbersome. Now the work processes have been optimized and there is enough space. This is a clear improvement.

A completely new feature is the large pre-treatment tank, a special design. “I find the catalogue gigantic, I can put together everything exactly according to my wishes.” Meyer designed additional equipment details in close cooperation with Speidel. He is more than satisfied with the result. “It was a bit more expensive, but it’s really fun”, he says happily. Overall, Meyer finds the price-performance ratio of Speidel tanks excellent.
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