In the Franconian town of Volkach, young winemaker Christian Müller creates exquisite wines in his family winery and refines old traditions with new flair
Wine maker Max Müller
The region around the striking path that the River Main cuts into the landscape looks extremely opulent: Vineyards rise from the banks of the Main, some mor steeply than others. Meadows and orchards sit side-by-side in the valleys. The fertility of the region between Würzburg and Schweinfurt is clear, thanks to the endless palette of green shades.
Traditional methods meet new ideas
The best known is the Silvaner - an elegant, finely acidic Franconian wine. Together with Müller-Thurgau it is the leading variety in Franconia: a sip of regional identity to enjoy. At the Max Müller winery in Volkach, Christian Müller bottles white wine in Bocksbeutel bottles specially designed for the family business: classic wine bottles - no chance!
The winemaker also breaks new ground in the winery's cellar: while his father relies on modern stainless steel tanks, the son again falls back on wooden barrels. "Each wooden barrel develops its own flora and influences the wine. That can also be a problem. But that's exactly the exciting thing. You pass part of the process on to nature - and usually experience a positive surprise," explains the traditional refiner.
"You have to understand the vineyard“
The vineyard makes the wine
During his training in viniculture, Christian Müller discovered his own way of doing things: He is a firm believer in handling the vines with extreme care. “Humans cannot make wine. At the end of the day, it is the vineyards that make the wine. You can only make small adjustments in the wine cellar. You have to understand the vineyard and the interplay between the vines, the soil and the location, and it takes many years.”
It is a plea for slowing down, for mindfulness and for humility. Away from high yields, instead focusing on the undemanding traditional varieties, which you can provide with the right location and the necessary time to mature into a good wine.
With passion and skill silvaner winemaker
Yet, this beauty was not always apparent to the son of a family of vintners. When he was young, the surroundings were old and familiar – in other words, boring. Just like the Max Müller wine estate owned by his parents. “I was anything but the classic vintner’s child who was certain to follow in his parents’ footsteps. I only wanted one thing as a child: to see the world!”
Thus, upon leaving school, Christian Müller went travelling. Of all places, it was the other side of the world – in New Zealand to be exact – where he suddenly discovered his love for wine, whilst working on a vineyard. And this passion is there for all to see today, in the form of a tattoo on the forearm of Christian Müller: “Main. Silvaner. Rockt.” (Main. Silvaner. Rocks.) Silvaner is the most important vine in his Franconian homeland.
Find out more about Christian and his wines max-mueller.de (only in German)
... von Christian
Volkach Wine Festival
The Volkach Wine Festival is the largest far and wide, traditional and typically Franconian. We are there with the winery for over 70 years and have a hut with its own stand. There you can taste our wines. The atmosphere is unique: you sit under a tent made of leaves, because the tables are on the avenue, which is lined with trees. Franconian food such as bratwurst or specialties from the Gerstner fish farm are available on site. In addition, there is a colorful program with brass music, a beat evening for the young people as well as fireworks and a sea of sparklers.
volkach.de (only in German)