Our philosophy

Ecological Operations
Less is more

Eine Hand vor einem Bottich aus frischen Trauben

Quality – the sum of all properties

The sensations such as nose, palate and colour are the major properties of a wine. For us, these only represent 50% because they depend on external conditions such as person and occasion. These features change with time. In its youth, like a person, wine can be demanding, wild and boisterous, but also reserved and introvert. Just like a person it needs time to find a good balance. The other 50% is the ethical foundation for us. Can I enjoy with a clear conscience, or do I enjoy at the expense of others or the environment? Is my pleasure authentic and honest? We put great emphasis on having a good feeling when enjoying wine, otherwise it will not taste good. We do not only wish to savour wine with all senses but also with the heart.

Schuhe am Fluss


The Ahr is one of the northernmost wine-growing regions in Europe, probably the northernmost wine-growing region for red wines of all. Due to the unique microclimate and its expressive soils, great Pinots are produced here, which despite their depth and longevity also possess complexity and elegance.

The character of our work is shaped by the manual work in the steep vineyards along the banks of the Ahr. In order to preserve the authentic character and the strength of the wines, we first and foremost allow them time in the cellar. To be specific, this means doing without chaptalization, fining and cultured yeasts. As in the past, the wine ferments naturally and spontaneously. After maturing in oak barrels made of local oak, the wines are bottled unfiltered. This means that in some years they need more air and time than others but are the more durable for it.

Weinreben im Hintergrund. Wiesenblumen im Vordergrund

Black and white – organic, sustainable, regional

The world is not black and white; it is colourful and changeable; for every rule there is a proper and important exception that makes sense. Even if we ourselves strive for sustainability, ecological work and social cooperation out of conviction, we also respect other views. Nobody can be sure that they are right, and therefore we promote our views but do not want to think in black and white. Those who wish to truly change something must convince others and inspire them. Everyone has a moral compass which is continuously calibrated in life and is the basis for all decisions. We have chosen ecological farming being convinced that this way we can sustainably protect and even increase the quality of our wines. Therefore, we do not use herbicides, chemical plant protection agents, synthetic fertilizers or synthetic fining agents. Barrels of German oak produced in Germany have been our choice from the beginning. Furthermore, we do not use the classic small barriques that are discharged after only a few years. Instead, we prefer larger barrels fit for much longer usage, often over many decades.

Julia und Benni unterm Baum, umringt von ihren Schafen

Permaculture – circular economy

With great dedication we have been engaged in the idea of permaculture as well as circular economy and the promotion of our self-sufficiency in the wine estate. Permaculture is the self-renewing cycle of nature, minimally arranged and directed by humans, instead of intervention. By combining and arranging natural elements such as plants, trees, animals and rocks etc., conditions are established that allow nature to regulate itself and renew itself continually and reliably every year. A perfect cycle. As there is no perfection, and this is an exciting field, this topic presents itself as a life-task – and certainly a never-ending one. However, we continue to discover ideas we can integrate in our wine estate, so we always develop further. For example, we keep sheep to keep the green covering under control; this has become an important part of our work.

Wanderstiefel im Fokus vor einem kleinem, klarem Bach. Personen im Bach im Hintergrund

Less is more – happiness means balance

Wine is less a foodstuff than a luxury good and stimulant – its consumption is not about satisfying a basic need, hunger or thirst. Indulgence makes us happy, and that is the most important about it: To feel happiness and joy. We cannot become happier and happier by consuming more and more though. As with all things in life, it is all about balance and rhythm. We experience this every day: When we are hungry, everything tastes more intensive; we smell and taste more, and eating becomes a fulfilling event that makes us happy. But if we try to achieve more happiness by eating what we liked more and more often without waiting for hunger, it will taste less good and special and will be unhealthy, which will make us unhappy in turn.

If in doubt, it is a good idea to enjoy one really good bottle of wine instead of two average ones. Not only the winegrower will be glad about it, but it will also be more sustainable pleasure for you.


After a long time of waiting, finally the new estate building in Dernau is going to be constructed.
Benedikt sells his estate in Klingenberg, returns to his homeland – the Ahr valley –
and the Bertram-Baltes estate changes to ecological winegrowing.
After their wedding, Julia and Benedikt decide to join the two family wineries and run them together under the name “Bertram-Baltes“.
Julia Bertram takes over the family estate as the 5th generation.
The two of them start producing a small quantity of bottles from their parents‘ vineyards under the designation “Julia Bertram“.
Julia Bertram studies Viticulture & Oenology at Geisenheim University and meets Benedikt Baltes, who is also a winegrower and from Mayschoss on the Ahr. Julia become the 64th German Wine Queen.
After Anton Robert and Ernst Sebastian, the daughters Andrea Bertram and Ricarda Sebastian continue to run the family estate in the 4th generation.
Gottfried Sebastian founds the wine estate at Hardtbergstraße in Dernau.


The Baltes
Work with us


1989 Julia Bertram is born, daughter and 5th generation of a wine-growing family in Dernau. Julia successfully studies Viticulture and Oenology in Geisenheim, followed by internships at estate Meyer-Näkel on the Ahr and estate Klumpp in Baden. In 2012 she becomes the 64th German Wine Queen and spends one year with numerous appointments to represent German wine worldwide. That same year she meets and falls in love with Benedikt Baltes and accompanies him to Klingenberg, where she works with him at the city wine estate. Julia’s whole wine heart is committed to Pinot Noir and her homeland: So in 2014 she fills her own small product line of Ahr Pinot Noir wines and is immediately awarded the title “Discovery of the Year“. In 2018 she gets married to Benedikt Baltes – the very same year Anton Baltes, possibly the 6th generation of the estate, sees the light of the day.

Julia und Benni an einem Bach. Benni stützt sich auf Julia. Julia verschränkt die Arme. beide sind fröhlich


In 1868, Nikolaus Näkel, Benedikt’s great-great-grandfather becomes chairman of the Mayschoss Winegrowers’ Cooperative, one of the oldest cooperatives in the world. Benedikt is born in 1984; his family grows grapes in Mayschoss on the Ahr. After an apprenticeship at wine estate J.J. Adeneuer on the Ahr, he moves to Austria, Hungary and Portugal. As the family feels really dedicated to the cooperative and delivers their grapes there, making their own wine from their vineyards is not really an option at the time. That is why, in 2010, Benedikt takes over the former city wine estate of Klingenberg in Franconia. By changing the operation to ecological viticulture and consistently focusing on premium Pinot Noirs, the estate awakens to new life and becomes a temporary home to Julia and Benedikt. In 2019, Benedikt sells the Klingenberg estate and returns to the Ahr with Julia, to join their parents‘ operations and run them together.

We are a small family enterprise and are proud that in the meantime three generations live and work here together. Both Julia’s and Benedikt’s parents as well as Julia’s aunt Ricarda are essential pillars of our team. They cannot only support us in all areas of our operation and are our “girl Friday“, they also take care of the well-being of all employees and team members and create a family-like atmosphere in which we all feel comfortable. In addition, there is now a team of six permanent employees, who support us with passion, know-how and zest for action and have become an integral part of our team. We are supported by many relatives and friends from near and far. Whether an active pensioner from the neighbourhood, the bachelor student looking for a side job, the outdoorsy housewife, or sommeliers and interns from all over the world: Everyone is welcome. Our team is diverse and consists of constant members as well as temporary helpers, all joined by their love for Pinot Noir and steep vineyards.

Das gesamte Team von Bertram Baltes auf einer Mauer vor den Weinreben

The Ahr valley owes its impressive and enchanting landscape to the centuries-old viticulture on the steep vineyard terraces along the river. To work where others spend their holidays is a privilege and gives a lot of pleasure, but nevertheless dedicated helpers are always welcome for the cultivation of these spectacular sites. In addition, we attach great importance to the ecological and sustainable cultivation of our vineyards, which consequently, combined with a passion for great wines, leads to a lot of manual work.

Since we appreciate the exchange of ideas and a mixed team, we are always happy to welcome interested new employees. Especially in the period from May to October, when many hands are needed for the vineyard work and the grape harvest in the steep slopes, everyone is welcome. So, are you looking for a job in the fresh air with nice people in the steep slopes of the Ahr valley? Then contact us anytime by email or just give us a call; we are looking forward to it.

Das gesamte Team von Bertram Baltes machen Fachsen vor den Weinreben


Hardtbergstraße 5, 53507 Dernau
Tel 02643 903 312


The second Thursday of the month with the following Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00 o'clock.

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