Vinothek "VinoForum", Ernst

Two under one roof


For generations, the Gansens and the Andries each owned one of the most well-known wineries on the Mosel, in the popular tourist destination of Ernst, east of Cochem. Looking to expand and innovate, they soon found themselves bound by the limited space of their own respective estates. Current owners Rolf Gansen and Karl Andries instead decided to join forces — through a monumental project. Their "VinoForum" vinothek would bring together under one roof two different estates, both rich in tradition.

The assets were clear: a large property with excellent transportation links, directly on the river right off the B49. And so a 700-square-meter steel building was constructed in 2014. The architects pulled off several coups, not least: conceiving a vinothek that works in harmony with the surrounding wine landscape instead of sticking out like an industrial building. Attractive and inviting, it includes a multi-functional interior that serves as a place for discovering winemaking as well as enjoying a taste of the final product.

And wine is writ large in all elements of the vinothek. The Gabion wall terraces have been built to resemble the terraces of the steep Valwiger Herrenberg opposite them. Gansen and Andries also planted a small vineyard with several different varieties between the parking lot and wine terraces.

The visitor terrace juts out over an impressive 150 square meters in total, with arched ceilings of bronze-colored, mirrored stainless steel plates from the Rolf Gansen/Karl Andries estates. They are intended to reflect the golden glow of the wine. The view, down the Mosel to the cusp of Cochem and up the Mosel to the bow before Bruttig, is also worth its weight in gold. The interior space is dominated by the alluring 51 barrique casks hanging from the ceiling as well as the clever lighting concept that uses focused spotlights.

The two winemakers were primarily concerned with creating a space to put visitors at ease. Visitors are invited to sit on the terrace with a glass and work their way slowly into the quality of the wine, before having a relaxed look around the interior or browsing the portfolio at one of the four large wine cubes. This includes of course steep-slope Rieslings, the wine that has made the fame of many winemakers on the Mosel.

There are also rarities such as Elbling, which the Romans once cultivated on the river here and was the most popular German wine into the Middle Ages, until finally pushed out by Silvaner and Riesling in the 17th century. The "VinoForum" also hosts cultural events, including dinner theater and jazz concerts. Harmony is key here: between neighbors, wine, culture and landscape.

(© text: Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH, Outstanding Vinotheks 2016)

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