We met Frank John at RAW Wine and were seriously impressed by his serene layered Pinot, hands down one of the best we’ve tasted from Germany. The project is a family affair, run by Frank, a sought-after enologist, his wife and two children. It began in 2002 when they bought Hirschhorner Hof, a 400-year-old church house and estate in Neustadt-Königsbach in the Pfalz, and set to work renovating the building and its beautiful vaulted cellar. The estate also included around 3 hectares of vineyards planted with old clones of Riesling and Pinot Noir. Frank is inspired by tradition both in the vineyard and the cellar. They have worked biodynamically since their first vintage, achieving Demeter certification in 2012. They harvest by hand, often completing the harvest in several ‘tries’ to ensure grapes are picked at just the ripeness they want. They work gently and traditionally in the cellar, using native yeasts and aging the wines for 1-2 years in barrel before bottling. John's mantra is “Grosse Weine alter Schule" which roughly translates as "great old school wines!" They’re certainly serious, elegant, balanced and expressive with great ageing potential.