Meet the winemaker: Bianka and Daniel Schmitt

Phoebe Cleghorn

3 min read

Weingut Bianka and Daniel Schmitt is run by 2 winemakers from Flörsheim-Dalsheim in Germany's Rheinhessen. Bianka and Daniel founded the winery in 2012, and have been learning ever since. They work intuitively and creatively, and make wines with experience, love and humility. 

We spoke to Bianka after including one of her wines in our selection for RAW WINE Club. This was our conversation.

Can you tell me about your background - how you came to be winemakers and what influenced your style of farming and producing?

As many people know, we started a decade ago - well, a decade last year - in 2012. And because we are 2 winemakers, we also have 2 different paths. Our paths crossed 10 years ago and have continued together from then. Daniel's background is traditional - I always joke that there was never an option for him not to be a winemaker, as he is the 4th generation in his family to work on the property. And of course he had different dreams - he wanted to work for the police which is quite funny. But of course, it was certain that he would continue the family property and become a winemaker, so after his degree he started on this path. 

In my case, until I had my degree, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do - I actually also wanted to work for the police, but I grew up in Budapest, Hungary. Part of the Budapest is a wine region and there's also a winemaking school in Hungary. I grew up spending time with my grandparents, and my grandpa wanted to be a winemaker but because of the Russian Hungarian revolution in '56, he didn't have the opportunity to make his dreams come true. He was always making wine in his garage as a project, and that's what I grew up with. It's funny because he didn't filter any of his wine and I only recognised 10 years ago that actually this was really special and he was already creating my future with his own hobby. I like to think that I made my grandfather's dream come true, which is beautiful really. And through school - which is the Hungarian winemaker school - I had the opportunity to come to Germany in 2012 to do 5 weeks harvest and get some experience in abroad. 

I landed at Weingut Schmitt and Daniel was 25, I was 21 - it's a typical love story. He came back from a trip to New Zealand and Australia and wanted to do his own first vintage and I joined at the beginning of that harvest. He was actually the person who changed the organic property to biodynamic, because on his travels he was working for biodynamic wineries. I only had experience in organics, not biodynamics, but this kind of farming was always interesting for me. I never understood why we needed to learn about the industry driven systems and tools at school because actually our souls and nature don't need much to grow. Nature regenerates itself. So this is our background and how we got started on our path together. 

Working in the cellar

Can you describe the vineyard and its landscape?

We are in the Rheinessen and the elevation in our case isn't big. We are in the south part of the region 60km southwest of Frankfurt in Floersheim-Dalsheim, with a third of the vineyard in Monsheim, the last village before you reach Palatine. Beyond that, you have Alsace - we're around a 40 minute drive from the French border. The elevation is around 180M, so it's quite a wide view with around 50 wineries in the local area. They're everywhere - the area is comprised of tiny villages, narrow roads then huge spots of vineyards. 

Can you describe the soil and the terroir?

The soil is mainly limestone, covered by luss and covered by clay depending on where you are in the vineyards. And some parts have gravel also.

Do you use any sulfites?

We are not dogmatic regarding sulfites - we work with a very minimal amount, adding around 10mg per liter before bottling.

Visit Weingut Bianka und Daniel Schmitt's RAW WINE profile to learn more about the winery and discover which RAW WINE fairs they're pouring at soon.

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