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Romantic Trollbach

Riesling wines from world renowned grapes thrive in the steep vineyards of the Dorsheimer top quality locations. The fascinating interplay of the variety of rocks allow for a highly unique taste in the wines. While the Devon's slate of the Pittermännchen gaurantees the finest purity and the gravely stones of the loamy soil in the Goldloch produces rich wines, the Quarzit soil in the Burgberg give nuances of great elegance to the Riesling. 
 
 

Geology of the Trollbach Valley

Due to its geological diversity, the wine growing area of the Nahe is exceptional in terms of soils. There are five rock formations: the oldest were produced in the period of the Devonian approximately 350 million years ago, followed by the Carboniferous and finally the Permian which began approximately 286 million years ago. The much younger sediments of the Tertiary developed 30 million years ago. The last formation emerged in the Quaternary.



Geologically, the area of the Nahe belongs to a large dell, which developed during the period of Carboniferous. Volcanic eruptions shaped the region creating trenches which later filled up with rocks.

During the ice age, the black forest and the Vogesen were covered by glaciers. At that time, the area of the Nahe was ice free. However, it had been exposed to extreme temperature changes. While the Hunsrück hills were formed, the Nahe river cut into the soft sediments and even through hard rocks, as the rock formations between Bingerbrück and Bingen demonstrates.

The same development applies for the creek of the Trollbach. The eastern part of the administrative district Bad Kreuznach, is part of a former distributary of the northern lowlands of the Rhein. It is bordered by the forests of Bingen, and foothills of a mountain range called, Rheinisches Schiefergebirge. Thus, the lower Nahe region, which backs up against the foothills of the Soon forest, is well-protected against rain and wind coming from the Hunsrück Hills.

During the ice age, the black forest and the Vogesen were covered by glaciers. At that time, the area of the Nahe was ice free. However, it had been exposed to extreme temperature changes. While the Hunsrück hills were formed, the Nahe river cut into the soft sediments and even through hard rocks, as the rock formations between Bingerbrück and Bingen demonstrates.

The same development applies for the creek of the Trollbach. The eastern part of the administrative district Bad Kreuznach, is part of a former distributary of the northern lowlands of the Rhein. It is bordered by the forests of Bingen, and foothills of a mountain range called, Rheinisches Schiefergebirge. Thus, the lower Nahe region, which backs up against the foothills of the Soon forest, is well-protected against rain and wind coming from the Hunsrück Hills.

Bizarre Cliffs and Formations

Centuries ago, only a narrow footpath passed through the Trollbach valley. It was in 1909, that the contruction of a county road for Burg Layen, Rümmelsheim and Dorsheim brought the direct connection to the transportation network of the Nahe and Rhein.

The Trollbach displays unique rocky parts cut into its stone. The three most interesting forms are name for their physical appearance. They are the “Kamel”, “Nikolaus” and “Eierfelsen”. They are all single standing formations towering up to 15 meters high.

The Trollbach cleared out the hard stones by natural erosion. After that, weathering help form the current forms of the stones.  The stones have a reddish-brown color.  One can recognize small and large rock fragments of different shapes and colors, which are cemented in the psephite: light and dark quartzite, slate, greenschist, Stromberger lime, milky quartz and phyllite. These colorful mixed materials are original rock rubble. They are geologically related to the Waderner layers, a subsection of the Rotliegend.  These stone layers can only for in a hot, dry climate similar to Death Valley in western America.  Because of the extreme difference in temperatures from day to night, the rocks weather into different sizes of chunks and build-up at the base of the cliffs.

Mild Climate

The Trollbachtal belongs to the driest and warmest regions of Germany, even though there is no desert climate there. The heights of the Hunsrück, which lie to the west, hold a large part of the precipitation. From the Upper Rhine Valley, its heat flows over the lowland of the Nahe into the small side valley of the Trollbach. It has a rainfall of just 534 millimeters with an average temperature of 9.7 degrees Celsius.

With 20 degrees Celsius as the July average, the summers are quite warm but not hot. Years with dry summer periods like 1947, 1959, 1976 and 2003 are special extremes.

The majority of precipitation falls in spring and autumn. Apart from some cold winters and shorter cold periods, the average temperatures in winter are seldom below zero degrees.




 

Extraordinary Botany

The cliffs of the Trollbach valley offer harsh conditions for plants. However, it produces the most interesting microclimates and habitats. Tresses and draught-resistant moss species in particular, produce acidity that contributes to the erosion of the rocks.


In addition, the sun plays an important role. On hot summer days, temperatures on the rocks of Goldloch and Eierfelsen sometimes reach 122°-140°F (50°-60°C). The rocks that heat up quickly during the day, cool down at night.  Strong changes in temperatures of up to 104°F (40°C) are common.

This microclimate can be compared to Mediterranean, if not North African conditions. Even after heavy rainfall, the well-drained soils dry out just a few days later.  The diversity of rare plants is enormous, making this valley a most interesting place for the botanist.

 

 

The Best Vineyards at Schlossgut Diel

Burg Layen Schlossberg -Premier Cru VDP Nahe

The estate owns five acres in this site adjacent to the village of Burg Layen, just behind the old tower of the castle. It is a gently sloping, south-facing hillside of clayish soils interspersed with extremely weathered slate, dating from the Devonian period, that help maintain a good supply of water, all of which provide an excellent natural basis for the production of a wide range of top-quality wines. Schlossberg Rieslings have an appealingly refreshing fruitiness in their youth, underpinned by subtle mineral notes, a lively accidity and an overall finesse that foster their longevity.

Dorsheim Pittermännchen - Grand Cru VDP Nahe

With 2.5 acres, this is the smallest member in the exclusive club of the steep slopes owned by Schlossgut Diel. The rather unusual name, which derives from a small silver coin used in the 16th century, apparently was chosen to allude to the high value of the wines from this site. Its loamy soils are interspersed primarily with gray slate, gravel, and quartzite. This composition provides ideal conditions for producing delicate, complex Riesling wines reminiscent of the Mosel with outstanding aging potential.

Dorsheim Goldloch - Grand Cru VDP Nahe

With 15 acres, Schlossgut Diel is by far the largest proprietor of this splendid, steep, south-facing vineyard. Supposedly, gold was mined here in the 17th century. Later, considering the prices these Riesling wines fetched, the locals jokingly said that the vineyard was a "gold mine" for its owners. The stony sols date from the Permian Period and consist of bedrock covered with a thin layer of loam and gravels. Riesling thrives here, yeilding powerful wines that number among the Nahe wines with the greatest ageing potential.

Dorsheim Burgberg - Grand Cru VDP Nahe

Schlossgut Diel owns five acres in this extremely steep site since the mid 1990s, which represents exactly half of the entire surface. A magnificent amphitheater surrounded by boulders, this site has a particularly favorable mico-climate. The name (castle hill) refers to Burg Layen Castle and is meant to underline the special nature of the site.  The iron-rich, loamy soils have a high proportion of quartzite that lends the Rieslings from the Burgnerg vineyard complexity and a pronounced mineral character.

Valuable Vineyards in the Nahe

According to the official framework of the property land tax map of 1901, the Dorsheimer top locations, Pittermännchen, Goldloch and Burgberg registered as the highest quality of vineyards in the Nahe.