Name: Raimund Prüm
Currently: Oenologist-GM at Weingut S.A.Prüm
Please, tell us about how you got into wine, the wine industry and how your career developed?
It’s been quite a while since I assumed the way to the wine world. In 1968, the whole thing with a normal apprenticeship in the State Winery of Bad Kreuznach. The aim here was to declutter and negotiate with the heirs of my grandparents to lead the family business into a prosperous future. Well it was not easy to overcome all those obstacles and unfortunately my father died very early on 30.12.1971. Now I was on my own to run the winery, to comfort my mother in her grief and for my little sisters to be a kind of substitute for my father. It was not always an easy task when a young man has just turned 21 years.
What is your philosophy to making wine and viticulture?
I never had the chance to talk to my father about his wine making process and progress. So after his passing away I had a great vintage in the cellar. I took the chance as a youngish fellow to take advantage of this great vintage 1971, selected much more than ever before done in the winery. The result was aristocratic: many top Auslese (select harvest) wines, Beerenauslese (select berry harvest) and even two Trockenbeerenauslese (dry berry selection) wines. So I started to create my own philosophy, easier said than done. Cutting down the number of buds during pruning to limit the number of grapes down for lighter yield in the vineyards and more structure in the wine. Using old vines and original rootstocks of Riesling to create special wines, working only with natural yeast to ferment and long lees contact added step by step more character to the wines.
Which cultivar is your favourite to work with and why?
Along the Mosel in steepest hills we grow Riesling on old uncrafted rootstocks. These rootstocks are partly more than 100 years old and still produce unbeatable good wines. Devonian slate helps us with the micro climate and minerality to create unusual and sensational good wines. Single plants planted extremely close together 90 x 90 cm brings stress to the rootstocks and ends up in high quality wines with a huge ageing potential. This is our gem to work with and to keep it as a treasure.
How do you see the future of wine production and what are the challenges and the opportunities?
My winery hasn’t had any vineyard considerations and therefore had a lot of uncrafted rootstocks with up to 125 year old vines. Partly we want to save these vineyards for the future as long as possible to create a special quality of wine. Of course it might not be possible to work all of my vineyards this way as it is extremely expensive to follow the old roots, but it is worth it. Riesling Wines from Mosel have always been something very special and extremely great to enjoy. This is what we want to continue. Being different to all of the other wine regions in the world, creating a different style of wine, wines to age for decades that is my challenge. Not taking part of being always the first to present the new vintage. Riesling, especially from great vineyards needs its time to age. 8 – 10 and even more years will help to present absolutely outstanding wines. This is my goal and there I am working hard to spread the word about special and unique wines.
Where do you see the global wine market in 2025?
Global wine market will move into a different direction. Building brands with huge masses of wine might not continue as it looks like today but wines for masses need masses of wines. MOSEL Riesling will no longer taking part of this mass product as it has always tried to do in the past 50 years. If we want to succeed we need to change and present the uniqueness of a great varietal for individual wine connoisseurs. New wine producing countries will come in and try to find the market for their wines. Often enough sales are achieved by low pricing. There we need to stay away from if we want to manage our future. Creating specialities will be a successful goal for us underlining the outstanding characters of our Riesling wines. Mosel wineries will expand their sizes but the number will shrink dramatically. Hoping that my winery will be part of those which will manage to survive.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com