Urban and Eva Kaufmann
Urban and Eva's Wines
- 3 wines
- 1 style
A Swiss cheesemaker and German wine gal crafting cracking biodynamic wines at the heart of the historic Rheingau wine region
Urban and Eva Kaufmann’s winemaking journey is like something out of the movies. When they first met in 2012, he was a rising star in the cheese world and she was the director at one of Germany’s biggest wine organisations, but they hit it off immediately. And within two years, they’d jumped head first into a brand new life…
Eva had had her heart set on becoming a winemaker for a while and Urban was quite the wine-lover himself, so between them they pooled all their savings to buy up a winery at the heart of Germany’s historic Rheingau wine region, which is famed for its exquisite Rieslings and high-quality local wines.
With Urban clattering around in the winery and Eva guiding by his side, they’ve already left quite the mark, converting their entire operation to biodynamic practices and swapping out old oak barrels for brand new stainless steel tanks - influenced by Urban’s cheesemaking past. They might be learning on the job, but they’ve already won heaps of praise from the experts, and now it’s your turn to get a taste of their top-class Rheingau wines.
Urban and Eva Kaufmann's Story
Urban and Eva's Story
Urban Kaufmann, 49, has been making top-quality Appenzell cheese for years and is a carrier pigeon breeder who even once entered a carrier pigeon championship. Eva Raps is the long-time director of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates (VDP) and Urban’s life partner for the past years, they’re both pleased that the Hans Lang wine estate in Hattenheim is flying high (just like the pigeons).
Urban, originally a fan of Piedmont wines, has some training in wine. He also sees many similarities in the microbiology of both cheese and wine. ‘I therefore also felt able to move into winemaking.’ Since 2014, he has been doing this so well that this new addition to Hattenheim has won universal approval.
It almost feels like the plot of a romance novel. A Swiss man who is a rising star as an ambitious cheesemaker and processes around 6000 litres of milk per day but is then drawn to wine out of enjoyment (‘it goes wonderfully with cheese’), even completes the challenging WSET further training course, and does a placement at the distinguished Bachtobel wine estate in the canton of Thurgau (‘a fantastic, informative time›). Eva Raps, a Franconian farmer’s daughter with hotel management training and an early enthusiasm for wine, who ultimately rose to become the director of the VDP but had been eying up a possible role as a winemaker for many years.
They met in 2012, immediately realised that they had chemistry, and started putting out feelers for a wine estate in a German-speaking region. Initially, it was not certain whether Urban would actually make the jump from Switzerland. He took the brave step, and thanks to his frugal way of living, he just had enough money in his account to take over the Hans Lang winery.
At first, Urban Kaufmann worked alongside the previous owner, but only in the first year. Their working styles were too different as they discovered during their work together. He then began operating as a self-taught winemaker with huge support from his partner, and developed his own style of Riesling, Weißburgunder and Pinot Noir in his cellars. This soon drew praise from expert circles, and he is considered one of Rheingau’s rising stars of recent years. Cheese still makes an appearance: the fondue and wine evenings are very popular.