Reinhard Lowenstein, whose family had been winegrowers for generations, was as a youth somewhat rebellious and did not want to follow the family tradition. He became active politically and in the early ‘70s was even a member of the Communist Party in France. He became disillusioned with the Communists’ hypocrisy and blind acceptance of doctrine, and quit the Party. He learned, though, that his earlier decision had far-reaching consequences. These extreme political propensities were no more admired by France employers at that time, than they were in America, and as a consequence Reinhard soon learned that he could not get a job. From anyone. He finally realized that he had no choice but to go back home and make wine. His questioning mind and views of the world, moreover, put him in good stead to be a winemaker. He has become one of the most famous and iconoclast winemakers in Germany. His wines are so sought after that he sells nearly 60% of his production to private customers in Germany, and the rest are highly allocated around the world. His vineyards are located on the far eastern edge of the Mosel, above Winnigen, just a few miles from Koblenz, on some of the highest and steepest slopes of the Mosel. Here the soils are virtually all slate, and Reinhard has made a study, not only of expositions, but even more, each type (color) of slate. So there is Blauen Schiefer (blue slate), Roth lay (red slate, Lay being another name for slate), prominently noted on the various cuvees. In fact, he is so well-known for these minute studies of soil and exposition that he has been given the name “terroir-ist” by the German press. Due to the extreme low yields and old vines, these are not “light, pretty” wines, either. They are big, powerful Auslese level wines with little residual sugar and imposing structure. As one goes “up the ladder”, each wine is more and more concentrated and an even more perfect expression of its terroir. These are German wines for people who would also love Grand Cru white Burgundy like Batard-Montrachet or Corton-Charlemagne. Indeed, Revue du Vin de France named Heymann –Lowenstein (Reinhard’s wife’s maiden name is Heymann), Foreign Winery of the Year last year, over Vega-Sicilia and three other nominees. One could fairly describe Reinhard, both in fame and style, as the F.X. Pichler of the Mosel.