At Maximin Grunhaus, von Schubert cultivates riesling in three abutting vineyards—the Bruderberg, the Herrenberg, and the Abtsberg—which share a single precipitous hill. Von Schubert and his forebears have made wine in these vineyards, once the property of the Benedictine monastery of St. Maximin, in Trier, since 1882—with the invaluable assistance, for the last 43 years, of cellarmaster and vineyard manager Alfons Heinrich. On a monastically drab, cold November morning, von Schubert and I surveyed the narrow Ruwer Valley from the crown of the Abtsberg. Our panorama took in the Hunsruck Mountains, vineyard-draped hillsides, woods, the Ruwer (really little more than a stream), the nearby village of Mertesdorf, and the Maximin Grunhaus estate. To one side, workers were meticulously picking Herrenberg riesling for spatlese (late-harvest wine, not quite sweet, but concentrated and well-rounded). Their discipline brought to mind the lay brothers of St. Maximin Abbey, for whom the Bruderberg (Brothers' Hill) was named. This two-and-a-half-acre vineyard yields a light, fairly simple riesling, sold mostly in Germany. The 47-acre Herrenberg (Masters' Hill), named for the abbey's clergy, yields a far more profound riesling, plush and intense. Ecclesiastical politics, however, decreed that the best site be called the Abtsberg, or Abbot's Hill—and von Schubert's blue-chip rieslings come from the blue slate soil of this 34.5-acre vineyard, the best of them offering herbal and mineral nuances, racy acidity, and a long aftertaste.