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.
Disibodenberg abbey ruins where the oldest vines grow

Made famous by Hildegard von Bingen , Disibodenberg in Odernheim on the Nahe also plays a part in ancient viticultural history as the oldest site in Germany where vines are grown. Traces of Roman vines have been found on the southern slope of Disibodenberg hill and grapes have been grown continuously in the abbey vineyard since the 11th century.

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.

Gierer winery and guesthouse: wine and wonderful scenery

This winery is situated on the sun-kissed northern shores of Lake Constance in Nonnenhorn, Bavaria. The Gierer family has been devoted to the art of winemaking for over 300 years, passing on its expertise from generation to generation. Their new vinothek unites exceptional design and regionally sourced materials, while affording visitors views of the scenic countryside outside and the wine cellar down below.

Gut Hermannsberg estate: copper-bottomed riesling

Where outstanding riesling grapes now grow, copper ore was once excavated. Until 1901, the Kupfergrube vineyard in Schlossböckelheim was just what its German name means – a copper mine. The Prussian state established the Niederhausen wine estate and bought the land belonging to the Hermannsberg farm on the river Nahe in 1901. The first riesling vines were planted two years later.

Heidelberg Castle's four great barrels

Crowds flock to see the gigantic wine barrel at Heidelberg Castle . Four such vats were made between 1591 and 1751, but only the last can still be seen. Following a visit to Heidelberg, Anton Praetorius, a German theologian and opponent of witch hunts, praised one of the four barrels. The oldest was known as the Johann Casimir barrel and it could hold 127,000 litres of wine.

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!

Holy Spirit Viniculture Museum, Meersburg

The museum takes its name from the Holy Spirit wine press it houses. It was established in Meersburg's former Holy Spirit Hospital in 1961. There is documentary evidence that wine has been made in Meersburg since 1324. Nowadays, around 120 hectares are under vine and about a million bottles of wine are produced. The region lies up to 500 metres above sea level, but its mild climate influenced by the lake makes grape-growing possible.

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.

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