The winery is located in the municipality of Dernau in the German wine-growing region of Ahr. Attached to it is the "Hofgarten" estate tavern, which has been in the family for 200 years. The current owner Werner Näkel studied sports and mathematics. In 1982, he took over his parents' business and initially only ran viticulture as a sideline. This was expanded from two hectares at the time to its current size. He began to experiment with long maceration periods and barrique ageing. From the end of the 1980s onwards, Werner Näkel, known as the "red wine wizard", was an innovative winemaker who played a decisive role in today's high level of quality in the Ahr region.
He worked worldwide as a consultant in Portugal, South Africa and Spain (Gran Canaria). Together with Neil Ellis, the winery "Zwalu" (Engl. "new beginning") was founded in 1996 in the South African wine-growing region of Stellenbosch near Cape Town. Together with Bernd Philippi (owner of the Koehler-Ruprecht vineyard in the Palatinate) and Bernhard Breuer (owner of the vineyard in the Rheingau), with whom he had previously worked on several projects, Werner Näkel founded the "Quinta da Carvalhosa" vineyard in Portugal's Douro Valley in 2000.
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Restaurantleiter, Sommelier, Weindozent und Autor; Dresden