The Stodden family have been producing fine wines in the Ahr area in Germany since 1578. Jean Stodden, managed by Alexander Stodden, is the best producer of Pinot Noir in Germany. Stodden established a reputation in the area for high-quality dry wines when most were sweet wines. Alexander, the fifth generation of the family to work in the business, has been in charge since 2006 and has since taken the wine in a sofer direction. By changing the fermentation process, he is now producing wines that showcase the purity of the fruit, and more elegant tannins that have structure and balance to age well. Their farming techniques are sustainable, being as organic as possible and without the use of herbicides or insecticides. This is in line with the family’s philosophy of “doing everything in harmony with nature to bring wine to perfection”.
Ahr Valley has a unique habitat for growing grapes, particularly Pinot Noir. With 6.5 hectares, the vineyards are in northern most region in Germany and the vines all sit on extremely steep slopes, where even a few parcels require mountain climbing skills to get to. The soil retains the ideal amount of heat, the Ahr river and Eifel mountain create a moderately warm climate, and its Nordic location allows for days to be immensely long during the growing season. The result is consistent warmth during the days and cool nights which allows Pinot Noir to thrive in. Thus, Ahr Valley is indeed a unique place for growing Pinot Noir.
Notably, Jean Stodden’s Pinot Noirs came in first in the 2016 Decanter’s global Pinot Noir competition, where a selection of Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy were evaluated and scored in blind tastings.