Weingut Max Müller I

16 April 2018


In 2017, Weingut Max Müller from Volkach in Franconia was awarded best white wine collection by Eichelmann. An impressive achievement which not only ignited our interest but also tells a story of Silvaner on a comeback! According to the German Wine Institute, Silvaner was the most important grape in Germany from the early 20th century till the 1970s, after which Riesling took over. Silvaner has low acidity which makes them less attractive for the sweeter varieties that used to dominate the German wine scene. However, with the dry whites gaining ever more popularity, it seems like the Silvaner is gaining ground again. Happy days!

Silvaner is king in Franconia just like Riesling is along the Mosel river. Traditionally, the wines are bottled in the parculiar Bocksbeutels, which nowadays are most often reserved for the best respected and finest wines. The somewhat unusual bottle shape is probably derived from caskets that were flattened for practical reasons: firstly, because of the easier transport in the luggage or on the body, and secondly, because the bottle can not roll off the steep uneven terrain of lovely Franconia.


The Max Müller I winery/cellar was originally built by the bishops of Würzburg in 1692 and, hence, has a historical charme to it. Today, it is the 4th generation still running the winery in the centre of Volkach. Monika and Rainer Müller are in charge of the family business together with their children Michi, Toni and Christian.

The winery cultivates around 18 hectares. Located next to the river Main, they profess to focus on tasty cool climate white wines. Silvaner is the most planted variety followed by Riesling, Weissburgunder, Scheurebe and Müller-Thurgau. Red wine makes up for 15 percent of their total production based on Pinot Noir and Domina.

Their top range of Vineyards are:

  • Escherndorfer Lump (VDP ERSTE LAGE)
  • Sommeracher Katzenkopf (VDP ERSTE LAGE)
  • Volkacher Karthäuser (VDP GROSSE LAGE)
  • Volkacher Ratsherr (VDP GROSSE LAGE) 

The wines ferment in temperature controlled stainless steel. The focus is on long a fermentation with lots of yeast contact. After fermentation, the wines are not racked but left on the yeast.

Single vineyard wines ferment in 600 litre casks and maceration periods are extended to the maximum. They use wild fermentation and no racking until bottling.

Back in March, we had the chance to meet up with Rainer and Christian Müller @ ProWein for a taste and chat about their wines and winery. All wines were high standard; crisp, clean, lean, and to the point. Here's how we scored them:

Max Muller I "Main Stoff" 2015
88 Aroma had lime, lemons, orange peel, candied apricots, sweet pear and hints of licorice. Flavour showed grapefruit, minerals, subtle lime, orange peel, licorice and lemons. Medium plus acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Eigenart 2016
91 Aroma had peach, pears, mixed apples, lime, honey blossom, and melon. Flavour showed lime, peach, honey blossoms, candied lemons, succulent yellow fruits, and sweet pears. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Volkach Ratsherr Silvaner Trocken 2016
90 Aroma had lemons, lime, grapefruit, peach, pear, and minerals. Flavour showed minerals, tangerine, light licorice, lime, grapefruit, apples, and white peach. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Escherndorf Lump Riesling Trocken 2016
89 Aroma had honey blossoms, minerals, lime, grapefruit, apricots, sweet apples, and lemons. Flavour showed white peach, lime, apricots, and grapefruits. Good minerality and hints of licorice. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Berg 2016
88 Aroma had minerals, pale yellow fruits, white peach and white blossoms. Flavour showed spice, minerals, lime, licorice, and grapefruit. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Sommeracher Katzenkopf Trocken Scheurebe 2017 - Fassprobe
89 Nose had plenty of peach, red apples, apricots, pineapple, pear, and herbs. Flavour showed white peach, pear, apricots, lime, herbs and honey melon. Fruit forward with herbs shining through at the end. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Sommeracher Katzenkopf Weissburgunder Trocken 2017 - Fassprobe
89 Aroma had pineapple, pears, lime, white florals, and candied lemons. Flavour showed pears, lime, candied lemons, licorice, and pineapples. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Volkach Silvaner Trocken 2017
88 Aroma had white peach, pineapple, melon, orange peel, tangerine, minerals, and lime. Flavour was fruit forward with notes of peach, lime, pineapples, orange peel, tangerine, and lychee. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I Grau & Weiss 2017
87 Aroma had peach, pear, yellow stonefruits, and lime. Flavour showed, lime, peach, tangerine, melon, and hints of pineapple and licorice. Medium acidity and dry.
Max Muller I White Max 2017
87 Aroma had white peach, pear, apricots, lime and pineapple. Flavour showed peach, pineapple, pear, honey blossoms, minerals, and lime. Medium acidity and dry.

1 response to "Weingut Max Müller I"

Susan W Allen
15 September 2019

I was in Franken in 2018 and bought some Max Mueller I wines. The Volkacher Ratsherr Silvaner 2016 had wonderful minerality and flavours. Also brought back the Max Muellere Eigenart 2016. Wish I could buy the wine in the US.

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