The Wine Company


Villa Wolf

Founded in 1756, the J.L. Wolf estate was a very successful and highly regarded winery for more than two centuries. It entered an especially glamorous era with the construction of its Italianate estate house and villa in 1843. In the latter years of the 20th century, however, the estate languished, lacking a firm hand to guide its wine production. Ernst Loosen, of the Dr. Loosen estate, took over the vineyards in 1996, launching a dramatic turnaround in the estate’s quality and reputation
In 1996,Ernst Loosen took over the J.L. Wolf estate so that he could make powerful, traditionally crafted Pfalz wines to complement the light and elegant Dr. Loosen Rieslings he produces in the Mosel. In the classic style of the Pfalz, these wines are more full-bodied than Mosel wines, with higher alcohol and rich flavors of ripe fruit and stone.
The Pfalz region lies between the Haardt Mountains and the Rhine River, directly north of France’s Alsace region. As in Alsace, the mountains protect the area from harsh Atlantic weather, making it one of the warmer and drier areas of Germany. Because of this, achieving full ripeness is possible in nearly every vintage. Mature, fully ripened fruit is the key to making concentrated dry-style wines that have enough body to balance the naturally high acidity.
For Ernst, taking on the J.L. Wolf estate was dêja vu all over again. As with Dr. Loosen, he seized the opportunity to revitalize a once-famous wine estate blessed with old vines in great vineyards. The two estates also have similar locations: The Dr. Loosen estate is in Bernkastel, at the heart of the
middle Mosel, while J.L. Wolf is in Wachenheim, at the center of a picturesque wine area known as the Middle Haardt.
Ernst Loosen’s focus at J.L. Wolf is on classic wines from top vineyards. To preserve the naturally high quality of the vineyards, Ernst emphasizes gentle handling through traditional winemaking techniques. This enables him to produce wines that express the pure, authentic terroir of the Pfalz.
Ernst uses an unofficial, Burgundy-style classification ofthe vineyards at J.L. Wolf, based largely on a vineyard property tax assessment done by the Bavarian government in 1828. Historical accounts of quality and price clearly point to three first-growth (grand cru) vineyards at J.L. Wolf: Pechstein, Ungeheuer and Jesuitengarten in the village of Forst. Three second-growth (premier cru) vineyards are located adjacent to the estate villa in Wachenheim: Goldbächel, Gerümpel and the wholly owned Belz. In addition, village (villages) quality vineyards are harvested to produce Wachenheimer Riesling. Because the warm Pfalz climate brings full ripeness — and the flatter vineyards allow for a shorter harvest period — the differences between the Prädikat levels (Kabinett, Spätlese, etc.) are much less dramatic than in cooler regions like the Mosel. Therefore, only one wine is made from each vineyard. The first- and second-growth vineyards normally produce Spätlese, and the village vineyards produce Kabinett. I
The Villa Wolf label is used for a value-priced line of varietal wines that combine J.L. Wolf estate-grown fruit with grapes from contracted growers. These are exceptionally affordable, classic Pfalz wines from traditional varieties. Value Brand of the Year in Wine & Spirits magazine, 2006 & 2007.

Available Wines

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