The Leitz family can boast a winemaking history dating all the way back to 1744. Josef Leitz - grandfather of current winemaker Johannes - rebuilt the winery following a bombing raid on the area in the Second World War. The winery was then passed briefly to Josef's son Antonius before his untimely death in 1966. His widow was left to run her flower shop, the household and family winery so it was not until Johannes took over in 1985 that the winery was given full attention.
After taking hold of the family business, Johannes gradually grew the estate from 2.9 hectares to the 40 hectares currently under vine most of which are Grosses GewÃ¤chs (Grand Cru) sites on the slopes of the RÃ¼desheimer Berg. Once the home of some of the world's most sought after and expensive wines, the region fell to mediocrity in the years following the Second World War. Johannes has made it his life's work to introduce the world to the true potential of the Rheingau. Over the years, he has gained national and international recognition for his outstanding wines, and these days exports all over the world to Norway, Sweden, the UK and USA and elsewhere.
The Leitz estate vineyards lie entirely on the westernmost part of the Rheingau on the RÃ¼desheimer Bergâ€”a steep, south-facing hillside of extremely old slate and quartziteâ€”planted entirely to Riesling. A single-cane cordon trellising system is used to improve the quality and character of the fruit, differing from the majority of Rheingau growers where the practice has long been to prioritize yields via a double-cane system. Johannes is a firm believer that the most crucial work of the winemaker takes place in the vineyards. Focused on farming as sustainably as possible and working by hand, the gruelling hours of labour on the ultra-steep slopes allow these ancient vineyards to reach their maximum potential.
After harvest, just as much care is taken in the winery, with gentle pressing and ageing the wines on their gross lees. Bottle closures are chosen to reflect the individual cellar practices employed for each wine; Stelvin closures are used for wines produced in stainless steel to preserve freshness while wines aged in cask are bottled under cork to allow for a long development in the cellar.