The Ockfener Bockstein, a very steep 50° southwest-facing hillside slope, is located in a side valley away from the Saar river where the sun’s rays shine unimpeded by any other hills. Its soils are hard, gravelly gray slate lending a smoky aroma and great minerality to its wines. The extensive forest topping the hill retains water which drains slowly into the vineyard subsoils beneath. Between the forest and vineyard, wild animals such as deer may be seen, alluding to the vineyard’s German bock referring to ‘buck’ and the German stein for ‘rock’. The cool winds coming down from the Hunsrück hills influence the grapes’ ripening by forcing the them to produce aromatic potential rather than high sugar levels. Nik Weis from St. Urbans-hof had the opportunity to lease a contiguous parcel in 2015 in this famous Grand Cru vineyard site and was able to make the wine just as he does for his estate bottled wines. While he does not own this vineyard, he is able to extract fantastic quality and transport it into the bottle.
The Riesling is gently crushed then left to rest in the press for up three hours to allow the components locked in the berries’ skins to be extracted by contact with the juice. The grapes are then pneumatically pressed, and drained by gravity into stainless steel tanks located immediately below the presses. The juice rests overnight to allow the sediment to settle. Later the clear juice will be racked into other tanks. The wines ferment spontaneously with the yeasts which are found naturally in the cellar, or which come into the cellar from the pressed skins and ferment the juice naturally. By allowing this to happen a complex array of flavors may develop. They truly stand apart from industrial Rieslings which show only one or two dimensions, ones which quickly tire the palate.