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.
Rhodt/Rietburg: oldest vineyard still in use

These are truly veteran vines. The 'Rhodt rose garden' already has over 400 years under its belt – and it is still producing wine. According to local legend, the vineyard in the wine-making village of Rhodt unter Rietburg has been in existence since before the Thirty Years' War of 1618 to 1648.

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.

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.

Schloss Johannisberg: birthplace of late vintage wine

The Schloss Johannisberg estate near Geisenheim in the Rheingau was the destination of the legendary messenger whose late arrival delayed the harvest and created the first spätlese wine. Wine has been made here since the year 817 AD and riesling has been the predominant grape for about 300 years, so the estate is a great reminder of how far riesling has spread. The vineyard is right on the 50th parallel of latitude, which is indicated by a marker among the vines.

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.

Sommerach winery: the world of wine

The winegrowing village of Sommerach, Lower Franconia, is situated within a bow on the southern stretches of the river Main. The Sommerach wine growers, whose cooperative was named best in Franconia and, in 2009, best in Germany, decided a few years ago to redesign their winery. The result is a sophisticated and innovative new building that conveys a deep respect for tradition.

Staatlicher Hofkeller, Würzburg: a maze of cellars

The wine cellars beneath the prince bishops' Residenz Palace in Würzburg cover what is thought to be a record-breaking 4,557 square metres. The magnificent building above ground is the most remarkable of all baroque palaces, with a mirrored hall and ceiling frescoes by Tiepolo above its staircase. The palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.

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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