Fritz Hasselbach, Rheinhessen Wine Leader, Dies at 70

Fritz and Agnes Hasselbach
Fritz Hasselbach (pictured right) and wife Agnes

Fritz Hasselbach, owner of Weingut Gunderloch in Rheinhessen died October 4 from complications of melanoma. He was 70 years old.

His efforts to reestablish the prominence of Rheinhessen and German wines extended beyond Gunderloch to the entire region.

A Geisenheim-trained oenologist and viticulturist, Hasselbach initially worked as a technical consultant for an education and research institute in Oppenheim. In 1974 he married Agnes Usinger, whose great-great-grandfather Carl Gunderloch founded the winery in 1890. The Hasselbachs joined the family winery in 1979, working alongside Agnes’ parents before taking over the winery’s operation in 1986.

Determined to restore the prominence of Gunderloch worldwide, the Hasselbachs focused on legendary vineyard holdings along the Roter Hang, the red slate slopes opposite the Rhine River, and chiefly the winery’s grand cru sites, the Nackenheimer Rothenberg and Niersteiner Pettenthal.

Last year, after almost 30 years of leading Gunderloch, Fritz Hasselbach passed the reins to his son Johannes, 37. Hasselbach is survived by his wife and their two daughters, Stefanie and Kathrin.

Published on October 7, 2016
Topics: Industry News, Wine News
About the Author
Anna Lee C. Iijima
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from Germany and the Rhône Valley

Anna Lee C. Iijima joined Wine Enthusiast in 2010. A former attorney turned beverage devotee, she holds a Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a student in the Masters of Wine Program. She is also an Advanced Sake Professional of the Sake Education Council with an enduring love for saké and shochu.


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