Of all of the wineries in the Ahr Valley, one name sticks out: Weingut Meyer-Näkel in Dernau. Having taken over the winery in 1982, Werner Näkel is an honest man with seemingly as much passion for football as for the making of wine. Whilst being one of the most pioneering winemakers in German wine history, he’s as laid-back and down-to-earth as you’d expect from a man in the rural community close to the ex-capital of Bonn. He is in the process of passing on his gift for making excellent wine onto his two charming daughters Meike and Dörthe. Weingut Meyer-Näkel was one of the first wineries in all of Germany to experiment with oak. Thanks to this, the winery confronted German Wine regulations on many an occasion. By combining traditional German practise and the French art of Barrique, Weingut Meyer-Näkel has deservedly won many prizes both inland and abroad for its production of wine – particularly Pinot Noir. One of the most noteworthy awards came from Decanter in 2008 (here) when the 2005 Dernauer Pfarrwingert won the World Wine Award for best Pinot Noir beating off stiff competition from New Zealand, Chile and even Burgundy.