Ernst Loosen was born to a German family with a longstanding winemaking tradition behind their name. The Dr. Loosen winery, on the banks of the River Moselle, has been run by the family for over 200 years. Although Ernst at first showed little interest in the family business and decided to study archaeology instead, when his father proposed to pass the winery on to the next generation back in the 1980s, Ernest decided to leave behind the Roman ruins and come back to the cracked-slate covered family vineyards.
Ernst started to study oenology and travel extensively to get to know, and learn about, the great wines of the world. The chief lesson he learnt was that only through complete dedication to vines, can a winemaker transmit the heritage and history of their wines. His scientific knowledge and interest in the past came together to design the direction his wines would follow as he took over the winery in 1988. Ernst swiftly recognized the huge potential of the family’s old vines, many over a hundred years old. Using the simple basic equipment the company had, Ernst’s wines were, and are, extremely honest and direct. The international recognition they have gained over the years indicates that he made the right decision.
Dr Loosen currently runs 22 hectares of Riesling vines, including six wonderful Grosse Lage, the German equivalent of Grand Cru. Terroir is a key concept for Dr. Loosen wines, which favour quality over quantity. ‘The slate and volcanic soil and cold climates must be transmitted through our wine, and old ungrafted vines should define the wine’s character. This is what marks the difference between a great wine and any other beverage.’