A Tradition Spanning Seven Generations

A Life Filled with Wine & Family

Sites, soils and vines! Variety is certainly the spice of life for the Diels. What they do is more than just a job, it is their calling. Caroline is the seventh generation of winemaker — and first woman — at the venerable Schlossgut, having assumed the reigns together with her husband Sylvain Taurisson-Diel in July 2019.

The German/French pair are members of a new anti-elitist generation of winemakers. Family and job exist simultaneously, inseparable from each other. With that said, everyone has his or her own distinct area of responsibility. Sylvain handles sales and marketing, Caroline oversees the wine from bud to bottle. Year for year, the university-trained oenologist imbues her Rieslings and Pinots with her own personal signature — linear, mineral, shaped by terroir and authenticity.

Caroline and Sylvain, with their children

»What matters to me is capturing the voice of each vineyard and vintage in every wine.«

Caroline Diel, July 2019

Caroline Diel with her father Armin Diel

An Amazing Wine Story

When Peter Diel acquired the country estate of Baron von Dalberg in 1802, including Burg Layen, no one could have predicted just how successful the new business would be — for over two hundred years and counting. Diel began a long transition of the Schlossgut from a classic mixed farm — that is, an agricultural estate that happened to also make wine — into a pure winegrowing estate.

The sixth generation — under the management of Armin and Monika Diel — reoriented the estate's vineyards toward varieties that are now considered quintessentially Nahe: Riesling, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. Their ascension paralleled the estate’s own rise into the ranks of Germany’s finest wine producers!

Today, Armin Diel is underway in the world of culinary wine tours. More about this at:

 To the website of Armin Diel

What producers are saying

François and Pierre Huré are drinking DIEL

»We want to express through our champagnes from the northern slopes of the Montagne de Reims, the richness and structure of Pinot Noir and Meunier on cool soils!«

»We love the elegance, finesse and straightforwardness of Caroline's Pinot Noir. Freshness, maturity and animating: a Pinot in a class of its own.«

Caroline & Sylvain

A new, anti-elite generation of winegrower

Wine is our life!

Caroline Diel hails from a venerable winegrowing family and spent her childhood amidst the vineyards, vines and soils that are now at her command. This marked the beginning of her love for terroir and wine. By 18, she’d had the pleasure of tasting a wider selection of exquisite wines than most people enjoy in a lifetime. Nevertheless, after completing school at the Hildegardisschule in Bingen and a high school exchange in Pebble Beach, California, she considered pursuing a career in hotel management — and even completed an internship at Hotel Barreis under Johann Lafer. 

A key decision! 
There Caroline learned that wine ran not only in her veins, but in her heart as well. She arranged a new set of internships, with a redefined geographical and thematic focus. 

Caroline Diel

Prize-winning winemaker and mother of three

She learned a great deal about winemaking at Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux, as well as at renowned German wine estates such as Robert Weil, Toni Jost, Hans Rebholz and Dr. Deinhard. As part of her studies in oenology at Geisenheim, she returned to France to work at the Ruinart champagne estate in Reims and at the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy. Even after the end of her formal vinicultural studies, her thirst for winemaking knowledge knew no bounds. After a brief stay at her parents’ estate, she headed off to Austria’s Schloss Halbturn am Neusiedlersee, then to South Africa’s Vergelegen Estate and finally the Rippon Estate on Lake Wanaka in New Zealand. 

Only after filling her mind with adventures and insights from the finest wine estates the world over did Caroline return to Burg Layen in 2006 to join long-time cellarmaster Christoph Friedrich in the viticultural and vinicultural labors. Since then, the university-trained oenologist sets out each year anew to draw the very best from the Schlossgut's vines and terroir, relying on both artisan intuition and a lifetime of experience.  

Since meeting her now-husband Sylvain Taurisson at a wine-and-chocolate pairing event in 2007, family has also played a major role in her life. Today the couple are the sole owners of the Diel estate, and proud parents to three children. The division of labor functions flawlessly. Sylvain handles sales and marketing, Caroline oversees the wine.

»We want to be intimately involved with all aspects of wine production. And we love the close discussions with customers and connoisseurs alike. The results speak for themselves...«

Caroline Diel, July 2019

Sylvain Taurisson-Diel

Marketing, Sales, Kids

From pro volleyballer to wine specialist!

Sylvain Taurisson-Diel from Mantes La Jolie near Versailles has many talents. And his passion for each of them is truly boundless. It should come as no surprise that the talented young volleyball player made the leap into the highest level of his sport, playing professionally for several years in France (Paris, Grenoble) and Germany (Rüsselsheim). Until that fateful January 13, 2006, when an injury brought his career to a sudden end.

A man of action and lust for life
Sad, no doubt, but also not the end of the world for him! Because Sylvain had also quietly pursued an academic career and even laid the groundwork for a business career. In Paris, he initially studied German Literature before switching to business management at the “Ecole de Commerce,” fittingly with a focus on international trade, a field in which he earned a Masters. That training, combined with his language skills, made him a perfect candidate to represent Valrhona, an esteemed French chocolate maker, in Germany. Given that he had just been with Rüsselsheim's Rhein-Main-Volleys, nearby Wiesbaden was also a perfect match.
And yet it was chocolate that upended his smartly laid plans, shortly before his intended return to Paris. Because there he met Caroline at a chocolate-and-wine pairing event. She was presenting the wines, he the chocolate... and he ended up staying in Germany.

A shared path
There followed several years as managing director of Schlumberger, one of Germany’s largest wine wholesalers (flagship products: Roederer Champagner, Ornellaia, Masseto,..), a wedding and three children... and blissfully intertwined lives and careers.
Caroline and Sylvain co-own the estate. Caroline makes the wine and Sylvain is responsible for everything except vineyard and cellar — including sales, marketing, customer service, streamlining of processes, sales, HR, etc. Beyond this, he is also the host at trade fairs and events and keeps his people well fed with secret family recipes from his French homeland.

Our cellar doors are always open for you!