Julia Bertram Spatburgunder Handwerk 2018, Ahr, Germany

Julia Bertram grew up in a winemaking family in the tiny Ahrweiller village of Dernau. As a child, she never envisioned herself working in the family business as she watched her parents and grandparents burn the midnight oil in both the vines and in the cellar. But when she was old enough to drink wine, toward the end of high school, she became enchanted by the fruit of their vines and the unique flavors expressed by spätburgunder on slate. Inspired, she worked for several years at the iconic Meyer-Näkel estate before enrolling in the viticulture and oenology program at the University at Geisenheim. “We try to preserve the quality we grow inside the vineyards. So for me, 90% of the quality is growing outside in the steep slopes and our task in the cellar is to help express their elegance and complexity in the best way. By working very gently and without any additions (chemical or otherwise) we give our wines the opportunity to develop themselves.” Julia Bertram’s Handwerk is sourced from younger vines in several Ahr Valley vineyards, grown organically as are all of Julia’s vines. Partial stem inclusion with a seven-day maceration until spontaneous fermentation started, then pressed and aged for 12 months in neutral French oak from Meyer-Näkel.