In the hills of the Zellertal lies Mölsheim, a place known among wine-geeks not only for its breathtaking landscape but also for its remarkable wines. Here, a massive limestone rock thrusts southward into the sun, sheltering the vines from the harshest weather conditions. In this unique soil, one finds Full.minant, brought to life by a man who understands the connection between human, nature, and wine in a unique way: Christopher Full.

Max Kaindl, 30. March 2024
Reading time about 5 minutes

Christopher Full:
the “yet-to-be-revealed” new star of the Zellertal

Crafting Wines Rooted in Nature

When I visited Christopher, a world of craftsmanship and devotion to nature unfolded before me. Ever since, this true son of nature has been closely connected to his home Mölsheim. In addition to his work in the cellars of Battenfeld-Spanier and Kühling-Gillot, he launched his own wine line “Full.minant” at the family winery in 2014.

His philosophy, which he describes as “The Rock and the Vine” is reflected in every aspect of his wines. The vines struggle through the narrow crevices in the limestone to reach water and nutrients, and it is precisely this struggle that gives the grapes an incomparable concentration and elegance. Christopher astonishingly manages to convey this energy into his wines.

During my visit, I got to know Christopher as a passionate young winemaker, always eager to explore the unknown and tread new paths. He expresses his adventurous spirit in wines like “Full of Range Grauburgunder” or a “Rosé Reserve.” While the Grauburgunder surprises with an incredible depth, salinity, and grapefruit notes, the Rosé Reserve is characterized by extended lees aging, resulting in a firmer structure and individuality. Drinkability is always the premise. What a successful interpretation of these two mostly onedimensional wine styles.

Yet, despite all innovation, Christopher never forgets his roots. His wines are imbued with the essence of the limestone from which they originate, and he places great value on capturing the terroir’s character in every drop.

A Testament to Terroir

Christopher is no ordinary winemaker. He is a visionary who sees winemaking as a process that requires time, patience, and above all, respect for nature. This is reflected in his wines. He typically allows them to rest on the lees for about a year before bottling, including the estate wines. The result of years of experimentation and a deep connection to the land.

The wines of Full.minant are more than just beverages – they are liquid testimonials that encapsulate the history and soul of the Zellertal. From the Reserve and estate wines which reflect the essence of the best vineyards to the single vineyard wines like Zellerweg am Schwarzen Herrgott and Silberberg, which highlight the unmistakable characteristics of the soil.

The small vertical of both single vineyard wines (2020-2022) showcased the philosophy of Full.minant in an impressive manner. My personal highlight were both Rieslings from the 2021 vintage. Taut, saline, yet elegant, balanced, and finely spicy with endless length – with the Zellerweg am Schwarzen Herrgott showing slightly on top of Silberberg. What a joy. I have rarely found such straightforwardness, balance and structure infused with limestone in other German wines before.

Sidenote: If you are interested in disvocering the influence of limestone soils on wine click here.

The Rock and the Vine

However, at Full.minant, it’s not just about wine, but also about sustainability and protecting natural resources. During a stroll through the vineyards in Möhlsheim, swept by strong west winds, Christopher explained to me the peculiarities of the local soil structures. In his vineyard management approach, he employs methods such as humus building, dry farming, and promoting soil and vine vitality to preserve the diversity and uniqueness of his vineyards.

The sustainable approach is also evident at the winery. Over generations, Christopher’s ancestors worked with pickaxes, shovels, and later with excavators and loaders to construct the winery within the mountain. The cellars and storage facilities, located on multiple levels gradually carved into the southern slope, are surrounded by massive limestone walls reaching up to nine meters in height. Here, surrounded by the same rock, the wines ferment and mature in perfect isolation and temperature control.

During my visit, it became clear to me that winemaking at this estate is truly a product of the mountain.

Christopher Full may still be a hidden gem, but for me, one thing is clear: His wines are like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Anyone who wants to experience the essence of the Zellertal and the magic of limestone soils should definitely seek for Christopher’s wines.

Pictures: © The Art of Riesling – Maximilian Kaindl

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