Total area: 15,1 hectares
Weingut Künstler 2,4 hectares
This site's name derives from its close proximity to the Catholic Church of Hochheim (Hochheimer Kirche). Located to the east of the church, it was known as far back as 1271 as the "Kirchanger" (parcel near a church). Owned until 1803 by the dean of the Cathedral of Mainz, the site is now 100% classified as "ERSTES GEWÄCHS." Hochheim to the north shields this lovely south-facing slope against the cold northern winds. The soil composition is varied; heavy limestone in some spots, loamy loess in others, with lighter sand layers deposited above deep subsoils and strong water retention characteristics. The extraordinary elegance of wines from this site earned them mention in official documents as far back as 1823.
Wine: Finesse and Finish
The growth and ripening of the grapes at this site are significantly shaped by its intensive periods of rain and drought. Its Riesling wines are light and lively with a characteristic linear acidity. The clay marl supports the development of a fruit-laced minerality reminiscent of honeydew melon, apricot and peach. These early-developing wines present subtle nuances, finesse and refinement, yet nevertheless offer excellent aging potential and cellarability.
The subsoil of this site consists of sandy loess notable for its high proportion of fine sand. A stratum of wind-deposited dust, still unweathered, dates back to the Ice Age and contains large amounts of calcium carbonate. Above it lies a section already weathered to brown loamy loess producing "Parabraunerde," a fertile loamy and clayey soil whose upper sections have been skimmed by erosion. Large amounts of calcareous clay marl were applied to the topsoil in an effort to improve its nutrient supply. Brown and black patches of loam-loess and topsoil are still clearly visible, although sections were mixed with the pale marl during the "Rigolen" double-digging process and subsequent tilling. The fine clay is capable of retaining water, keeping the vineyard cool and fresh in spring. Since the last Rigolen work, the soil has developed into humus-enriched topsoil. A thick top layer of compost guards against evaporation, encourages soil life and is a natural source of organic nutrients, eliminating the need for artificial fertilizers.