Landmarks of wine culture

As its famous monasteries, deep cellars, old vineyard sites and countless stories testify, Germany's great tradition of winemaking started with the ancient Romans. Discover treasures such as the oldest wine in the world, Götz von Berlichingen's vineyard, the world's biggest wine barrel and many more highlights of wine culture.
Wine town of Deidesheim: home of German qualitätswein

The first qualitätswein in the Palatinate was made here and Deidesheim was influential in shaping German and global wine regulations. With a history of wine-making dating back 2,000 years, the town is justified in calling itself the custodian of wine-making heritage.

Weilberg Roman villa and wine press

In the vineyards on the outskirts of the spa town of Bad Dürkheim, a red roof conceals a hidden gem – a wine press that dates back to the ancient Romans nearly two thousand years ago. The press is the only one of its kind between the southern Palatinate and the Moselle . Its discovery during excavations as part of a vineyard restructuring scheme close to Ungstein caused a sensation in 1981.

Roman wine in Speyer: the oldest liquid wine

It is the oldest wine made from grapes in the world, and it is still liquid. The Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer houses one of Germany's greatest viticultural treasures: a wine from the year 325 AD. It is bottled in a greenish-yellow, cylindrical glass flask set with two handles in the shape of dolphins.

Eberbach Abbey: wine made by Cistercian monks

The art of wine-making has been practised for centuries at Eberbach Abbey near Eltville in the Rheingau . Thanks to its wines, the abbey quickly developed into one of Germany's biggest, most influential monasteries. The pinot noir grapes that the monks brought with them from Burgundy became the first major export from the Rheingau wine region.

Schloss Wackerbarth: Europe's first visitor wine estate

'Saxony's finest' has always been Schloss Wackerbarth's philosophy. The estate was established by General Field Marshal Count Christoph August von Wackerbarth and it was Europe's first wine estate to be opened to the public. Its fame extends well beyond Saxony – not only for its still wines, but also for its premium-quality sparkling sekt.

Hoflössnitz: sachsenkeule bottles and wine festivals

Hoflössnitz wine estate is truly the cradle of wine culture in Saxony. The Saxon Electors used to celebrate the wine harvest here and it is where the sachsenkeule, the elegant, skittle-shaped bottle typically used in the region, was invented. Not to mention the fact that wine has been made here for 600 years!

Hornberg Castle: ancient wine estate

Götz von Berlichingen, the legendary Franconian knight with an iron hand, lived at Hornberg Castle near Neckarzimmern for 45 years. He became famous for his battles in the Swabian Peasants' War but also made wine at his castle which was so successful that his Neckar wine found buyers as far away as the imperial court in Vienna.

Kessler in Esslingen: the oldest German sekt winery

Georg Christian von Kessler founded Germany's first sekt winery in Esslingen on the river Neckar on 1 July 1826 after learning how to make sparkling wine at the Veuve Cliquot estate in the Champagne region. In the first ten years, Kessler sold around half a million bottles.

Vineyard huts in Saale-Unstrut

Huts among the vines are the hallmark of the Saale-Unstrut wine region . No other region in Germany has so many huts, cottages or sometimes actual villas in its vineyards. Several hundred are dotted around the area and some are true gems of their respective architectural period.

Kupferberg visitor centre in Mainz: sparkling sekt

The production of sparkling wine has a long tradition in Mainz . Sixty cellars across seven underground levels belonging to the former Kupferberg sekt winery in the Kästrich area of Mainz form the deepest sparkling-wine cellar in the world. Artefacts dating back 2,000 years were unearthed during works in the Kupferberg cellars.

Rotkäppchen sekt winery: fairytale wine

Named after the red seal on its bottles, Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood) is one of Germany's most famous brands. Brothers Moritz and Julius Kloss with their friend Carl Foerster jointly founded Kloss & Foerster wine merchants in Freyburg an der Unstrut on 26 September 1856. The first corks popped on 17 June 1858.

Stone picture book rock carvings

In the rococo period, there was a craze for souvenir albums containing illustrations or written pieces on the subjects of wine or hunting. Probably the most unusual album was created on the outskirts of Naumburg, in the Blütengrund region near Grossjena. It consists of twelve life-size sandstone reliefs on a 200 metre long rock face.

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