We first met Gerd Stepp when he was winemaker for retail giant M&S and were immediately impressed with his attention to detail and in depth wine knowledge.
Gerd grew up on his family vineyard in the Pfalz giving him a great understanding of the requirements of each specific terroir in the region. His focus is on vineyard site selection and management to create authentic, modern wines with a distinctive sense of place.
The Stepp fruit predominantly originates from 2 sites in the Pfalz. One being limestone based and the other sandstone based - both ideal for quality wine production. The vineyards are steep terraced and are 100% hand-picked.
Winemaking in general is based on natural methods with only minimal intervention, handling and pumping.
All the white varietal fruit is whole berry pressed and fermentation begins with a wild ferment, followed by an inoculation to ferment dry. The wine is left on fine lees until just before bottling.
20-30% of the Pinot Noir is left whole bunched and goes into an open top fermenter with floating lid. The balance of destemmed fruit is transferred into an open vat. None of the fruit is squeezed or crushed. Pigeage and pumping occurs 3-4 times per day to submerge the skins. Made in a Burgundian way with cold maceration at 8-10 degrees for 7-8 days to gently extract colour from the berries pre-fermentation. Fermentation occurs spontaneously and undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrel. The wine is matured in new and 2nd fill French oak barrel.