Birkweiler Kastanienbusch Koppel | The Koppel is the prized upper section of the Birkweiler Kastanienbusch site in Birkweiler in the southern part of the Pfalz region of Germany. It is classified Erste Lage (First Growth) by the VDP. It is notable partly for the views it affords across the X valley, but mainly for being the only vineyard site in the Pfalz with weathered, heat-retaining reddish slate soils.
The Kastanienbusch (‘chestnut tree’) has a commanding position overlooking Birkweiler. At 1,000 feet (300m) above sea level Kastanienbusch is one of the highest vineyards in the Pfalz, but because it lies in a natural basin it is also one of the more sheltered locations in the southern Pfalz. Aspect is south-east. There are 76-ha here in total. The lower section lies on weathered sandstone with significant limestone deposits.
Terroir | On red schist. Very hot microzone. Slope. Does get cold air during maturation.
Wine style | The Riesling here is said to get its ‘pierre à fusil’ or gunflint aromas from the schist soils and its silky texture from its heat-retaining soils and luminous, south-east facing location.
Hugh Johnson, Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion (2003, Mitchell Beazley, revised & updated by Stephen Brook).