Weingut AJ Adam – Dhron, Mosel
It’s a pleasure and an honour to work with wine-producing estates that are so ideologically similar to Metrovino. Though I have my categorical opinions, I’m not saying that our “small-guy” stature makes us better than our peers and competitors, but it certainly enables us to pursue our individuality to a remarkable degree (“I stopped by Metrovino to grab a quick bottle of Chianti for pizza and I don’t know if it was the King Tubby on the stereo or the sips at the tasting bar but I ended up registering for a tasting that pairs wines with horror movie villains and walking out with a bottle each of Blaufränkisch and Mondeuse to wash down my slice-pie…” – Some guy). We are simply a zillion miles away from the tired, systematic approach that bigger operations can’t completely extricate themselves from and it’s nice partnering with growers of similar persuasion.
Though the increasingly abused word “artisan” could be applied to the vast majority of our producers, few embody the term so succinctly as Andreas Adam. He made his first vintage at age 19 from parcels in the Dhroner Hofberg vineyard, holdings that the previous generation of Adams had elected not to exploit professionally. Why they chose not to commit their lives to growing fruit on some of the most dizzyingly precipitous hillsides on earth and to vinify it into unfashionable wine from one of the Mosel’s most unjustly ignored villages is beyond me (they call this sarcasm), but young Andreas recognized his lunatic destiny early on with legions of thirsty, Riesling-obsessed beneficiaries henceforth indebted to his plight.
The Hofberg vineyard rises imposingly from the north shore of the Dhron River, a trickling tributary of the majestic Mosel, and within this site as well as with microscopic slices of the famed Piesporter Goldtröpfchen vineyard, Andreas has grown his estate to a whopping 3.7 hectares. His approach to winemaking is decidedly old-school, which in this case means that he foregoes the chemical and technological wizardry that so many wine lovers have developed an aversion to. In the vineyard he’s as green as the Mosel gets and stainless steel vessels mark the estate’s technological pinnacle in the cellar (though neutral oak fuders are often used instead).
Andreas himself? I like the word “winzer” which is roughly German for winemaker and Andreas Adam is an extremely talented and dedicated winzer. Beyond that, it might be easiest to ascertain his elusive essence by detailing what he is not. He is not a comedian, he is not winemaking rhetorician, he is not a frequent flyer, he is not a delegator, he is not a showman, he is not jaded by his quick accumulation of cult status, nor is he thirsty for attention. He is a genuinely nice and genuinely genuine guy, and an excellent winzer.