Once upon a time … there was a rich man’s little daughter in Johannisberg, who loved nothing more than to play with the family’s golden heirlooms. However, not only little daughters take pleasure in glamour and glitter, but certain birds do as well. And thus the drama ran its course: an open window, the little daughter distracted, Atzel – the old German name for magpie – grabs the most treasured piece in its claws and escapes unnoticed. Oh, dreadful woe! Until the fall, when – in a lucky twist of fate – logging caused the magpie’s nest with its golden plunder to tumble down a tree. As of that day, the thieving bird as well as the vineyard that was the site of the heirloom’s recovery have been known by the name Goldatzel (golden magpie).
Our family already grew wine in the 16th century – back then, their name was Claudy. Through marriage, it later turned into Klein (small) and in 1948, we became the Groß (great) family. And that’s what we have been called ever since. Together with his father, Gerd Groß turned the farm into a pure wine estate and laid the foundation for today’s Gutsausschank (wine tavern). Meanwhile, his wife Andrea’s main responsibility is to take care of customers and guests. And finally, there is their son Johannes. He is gradually taking charge of the cellar and the vineyards, and he dedicates himself to our family’s traditional art of winegrowing with the same kind of enthusiasm as his father.
It definitely was my father who created our wines’ style – and he still is, even though I am taking over work in the cellar these days and have a say in everything. But luckily, we have the same ideas and the same aims.
In the old days, you still had to sit on the plough, which was pulled through the vineyard by means of a rope winch. That was a true strain. But in doing this, I really studied our soils from the bottom up, and I still exactly know their qualities today. This is vital for a winegrower.