Meet Alexander Pflüger, Owner and Winemaker
Alexander Pflüger, the second generation of Weingut Pflüger, an organic and biodynamic estate, one of Germany’s first so designated
Alexander makes wonderful wines from Pflüger vineyards in and around Bad Dürkheim in the Pfalz. He strongly believes that the quality and balance of his wines is due to his biodynamic work in the vineyards.My ancestors started making wine in the Rhine Valley as early as the 1800s. When my father took over the vineyard in 1985, he began to farm organically and four years later we were certified. My father realized in the early 1980s that biodiversity is the key for better wines, not in the sense that they can win gold medals, but that they’re more authentic, more intense and just more interesting.
Step by step, we realized that we were on the right track, and that biodynamic farming could be the missing piece in our puzzle. Since 2003 we have been working in accordance with the Demeter rules and have experienced only positive impacts and improvements. We have been Demeter-certified since 2008. Today we have 20 hectares of vineyards in Pfalz, which is almost ten times as much as my ancestors had when they started making wine full-time 113 years ago.
« IT IS MORE OF A PARTNERSHIP, WHERE WE ADAPT THE WINE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO MANIPULATE IT TO GET WHAT WE WANT. »
Once I finished school I went directly into the wine business. I had the opportunity to work in vineyards in several places in Germany, including Mosel and Zellertal. Afterwards I went to Geisenheim to study oenology, the study of winemaking. During that time I became acquainted with many young winemakers from around the world, and I was therefore able to travel to wine regions like Alsace, Burgundy, Languedoc and South Africa to work in the vineyards there. In 2010, when I was 29 years old, I took over the family vineyard. I implemented my own winemaking philosophy, which I had developed after ten years of studying and practicing in vineyards across the globe.
I wanted to focus on dry white wines of high quality that were full of character and produced in harmony with nature. I also decided to change the design of the labels. Most of those who drink our wines will never visit me, the winery or our vineyards, so they come to understand us and what we stand for based on the design. For that reason, I created a design fully consistent with who we are. The green color symbolizes our organic approach, and my surname Pflüger means plow. The man with the plow on the label is me, and the horse is called Mr. Müller. This simple image says a lot about our philosophy.
Our wines are handcrafted and produced in harmony with nature, and we focus on the quality and the uniqueness of what we do. We don’t use any tricks when we make wine — we just try to do as good a job as possible. We make sure to keep our vineyards healthy and lively, plant the right vines into the right vineyards, harvest low yields, and spend time and energy producing grapes that are healthy and full of flavour and character. When we make wine we do everything we can to preserve the high quality of the grapes. We pick all of the grapes by hand, and we treat them as gently as possible. I would not even really call what we do wine making. It is more of a partnership, where we adapt the wine instead of trying to manipulate it to get what we want. The result is natural wines that act as the fingerprint of the vineyard they come from.
« THE MAN WITH THE PLOW ON THE LABEL IS ME, AND THE HORSE IS CALLED MR. MÜLLER. »
I believe that the best way to make wine is organically. Nature works in cycles, so that’s what we do too. Organic farming allows many tiny organisms to help keep pests at bay. This method of growing grapes is also very important for the soil, as it provides more nutrients and protects against erosion. Biodiversity is a important concept. To provide the best possible crop, vines need to grow in an area full of fauna and flora.
PFLÜGER MICHELSBERG RIESLING, QUALITÄTSWEIN, PFALZ, 2017, LOT 1309
PFLÜGER DÜRKHEIMER PINOT NOIR, QUALITÄTSWEIN, PFALZ, 2017, LOT 1311