REGION: Baden, Kraichgau; VILLAGE: Malsch
Daniel is the master behind the wines in this true Family business.
Daniel Rhein took over Weingut Hummel from Bernd Hummel in 2016. The region where the winery is located is known as Baden. Bettina Schumann Winehouse is located in Baden as well but on the opposite side of this region. The small town of Malsch in this region is famous for Pinot Noir and so is Daniel with Hummel Estate.
Beginning of Hummel Estate Winery
Bernd Hummel realized in the early 80s the potential and the uniqueness of the small area of Malsch for the production of outstanding wine like Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir) due to the unique microclimate and soils.
Daniel, the new winemaker and owner
Step by step, Bernd improved the quality and made Hummel Estate one of the top wineries in Germany. The winery grew in production and it became necessary to hire an Assistant Winemaker. Daniel started full-time in 2015. In between his Bachelor’s and Master’s studies he had already worked for one year at Hummel Estate with a focus on managing the 18.5-acre vineyards with 16 different varieties planted. He also uses the crop from fruit trees grown around the vineyards to produce distilled spirits like Schnaps and Grappa.
Since July 2016 Daniel has owned Hummel Estate and is proud to be able to take over such a prestigious winery. He is dedicated to keeping the quality exceptional while also giving the winery a fresh perspective. You can taste his knowledge about the soil, microclimate, and passion for wine with every glass. He and his wife, Lisa, live on the winery property with their two children, Leopold and Carlotta. Daniel’s brother helps out whenever needed and Bernd Hummel comes over for a glass of wine now and then and is happy that he found such a great winemaker to take over his “baby” Hummel Estate.
To ensure the highest quality, Daniel hired two full-time employees who have become part of the winery family. Wlotek and Leszek are integral components of his team to ensure the quality Daniel wants to achieve.
In addition to that, Hummel Estate offers apprenticeships for future winemakers and is collaborating on a dual studies program with a local wine school.
AVA Baden and the village Malsch
The winery is located in the small village of Malsch in the northern part of the Baden region known as Kraichgau. It is considered one of the oldest cultural heritage areas in Europe. The beautiful hills look just like Tuscany. Kraichgau wasn’t well known outside of its borders but within the last few years more and more top wineries are emerging and making Kraichgau a hidden gem among wine lovers.
The soil formation that’s most relevant to this area dates back 800,000-100,000 years (Diluvium). Ancient dust storms coming from the northern Chalk-alps bring huge amounts of top sand over to the Kraichgau. This soil type known as loess is the dominant soil type in this area. Wines grown on loess soils are perfumy and showcase intense fruit notes. It is an incredible soil to show the typicity of a grape varietal such as Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir).
In comparison, a Loess soil with its higher chalk content and less clay are famous for wines with bright acidity and aroma. The vineyard site that Hummel grows from is called Keuperlage and offers higher chalk content and less clay. Spaetburgunder wines from mainly Loess soil vineyards are elegant with intense fruit characters. In comparison, the same variety made from Keuperlage is heavier in the body and has a higher tannin content.
Grapes from the Keuperlagen are also used for Hummel Estate’s outstanding sparkling wines due to the soil providing complexity and intensity to the wine itself.
Daniel and I met during our Master’s studies in enology and viticulture and have stayed friends since. I made it over to Germany in 2021 and visited him and Lisa and got to meet his family.