Highly regarded German winemaker, with 25 years' experience making wine all over the world
- We found Gerd by accident when we were looking for a top German Pinot Noir and a friend suggested Gerd’s. It came first in a blind tasting of 26 Pinots by Naked Archangels so we bought the lot and ever since Gerd has been making us some of the classiest German wines we’ve ever stocked.
- Naked funding now plays a huge part in his business, because his family vineyard in Pfalz is quite small, so he has to work with 20 other local growers. Being able to pay upfront gives them security, and allows Gerd to plan ahead and secure the best fruit.
- With 25 years in the wine industry, he’s travelled widely and made award-winning drops in dozens of different countries. He’s also a respected wine consultant, flying all over the world advising other wine producers. Decanter first snapped him up as a judge in 2004 and he regularly gets invited back to their Annual Wine Awards so it’s safe to say this guy really knows his stuff!
Gerd Stepp's Story
"I grew up in Bad Durkheim, Pfalz, where my family's vineyards are located. Here, as a child, I spent many days with my parents in the vineyards and later as a teenager I was helping them with pruning the vines, harvesting and worked during summer on the vineyard's canopy and driving tractors. I always knew that I would continue the family tradition of viticulture.
After finishing my studies I headed to New Zealand, where I worked for a year. This was a fantastic experience and also improved my English dramatically. Returning to Germany I worked for two years in research at Neustadt, which helped me to understand soil management better, and also increased my knowledge on various vineyard management systems.
I went on to work in many other places over the years - winemaker at the largest estate in Zimbabwe, then on to Nigeria, then Italy (Fattoria Ispoli, an organic wine estate in Mercatale V.P. Tuscany), then Stellenbosch in South Africa, the UK and finally back to the Pfalz. It was a fabulous change from one reality to another - I love the diversity and seasonality of the work in the vineyards and winery - and one thing I have learnt working in so many places is to allow the diversity and expression of grape and origin to reflect in the wines.
My wines are from 'hand-selected' vineyards in the Pfalz, vinified and bottled in a modern yet minimalistic way to ensure flavour intensity, balance and a vinous quality. I'm really pleased to have this opportunity to share my wines with you!
My greatest achievements include 2h32 in my first Marathon and winning the Two Oceans (56km) overseas category. But working with wine for over 25 years I can really say that this is possibly the best job in the world. Wine certainly is a fun product to be involved with, its cultural heritage, sophistication and future possibilities are all mind-boggling."
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