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Johannisberg Castle

World-famous winery with headquarters in the castle of the same name on the famous Johannisberg in the Rheingau, At Johannisberg supposedly already left Charlemagne (742-814) create a vineyard for the first time. Built between 1096 and 1100 Benedictine monks out Mainz a monastery on the plateau of the Bischofsberg above the village of Johannisberg and also practiced viticulture. The Basilica " John the Baptist “Was inaugurated in 1130 and gave the monastery and community its name. The prince abbot of Fulda Konstantin von Buttlar (1679-1726) bought the remains of 75,392 guilders from the Elector Bishop of Mainz Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655-1729) in 1716, had the building torn down and a three-winged, baroque palace building built there as a summer residence. A huge, 250 meter long cellar was added to the old cellar in 1721.

Johannisberg Palace with vineyards

At that time it was common in the Rheingau, the vineyards in mixed sentence to be stocked, including the historical varieties Elbling and Orleans, The prince abbot had the mixed sentence torn out in 1720 on the southern slope to the Rhine and included Riesling tiller. This contributed to the popularity and spread of the variety also known as "Johannisberg Riesling". Johannisberg cuttings were in demand on all continents, and some vines in Australia, South Africa and the USA come from here. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Rheingau was occupied by the French and the castle plus vineyards were secularized in 1803. Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) presented the estate to his marshal François-Étienne-Christophe Kellermann (1735-1820), the Duke of Valmy. This sold the entire harvest of the famous vintage 1811 to Gottlieb Mumm (1782-1852), which makes today's winery GH by Mumm founded.

The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) wrote enthusiastically about the Johannisberg: "Mon Dieu, if I had so much faith in me that I could move mountains, the Johannisberg would be just the mountain that I let myself be followed everywhere" . Other famous lovers of Johannisberger wine were Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), to whom a Riesling Johannisberg Cabinet born in 1748 was served on his 66th birthday, the author of the novel “Leather stocking” James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) and the German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941). Goethe visited the Johannisberg Palace in 1814 and wrote: “Johannisberg is enthroned above everything. The magnates have no quarrel among themselves. Hochheimer, Johannisberger and Rüdesheimer allow each other to apply, only jealousy and envy prevail among the lower rank gods .

Thomas wrote in a letter Jefferson (1743-1826), the later US President, after a trip to the Rhine in 1788: "Interrupt your trip in Rüdesheim and at the Johannisberg Monastery to check the vineyards and wines, the latter is the best that is produced on the Rhine, it is incomparable and costs about as much as the oldest Hochheimer. The 1775 vintage is the best ” . In the same year the famous story of Spätlesereiter, of which a sculpture expresses itself in the castle courtyard. From 1788, all vintages were drawn up on bottles and exact filling lists with origin, bottle price and filling quantity were created. The monks began to read selectively and to systematically generate late reads and readings. In 1858 one of the first was documented here Eiswein vinified.

After the Battle of Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and the defeat Napoleon Until 1815 the property was under the joint administration of Austria, Prussia and Russia. In the course of the negotiations at the Vienna Congress (1814-1815) it came into the possession of the Austrian Emperor Franz I (1768-1835), who gave it to Prince Klemens Wenzel Lothar Graf Metternich-Winneburg (1773-1859) for his services to the European peace on condition that the Habsburg family or their legal successor gave one annually tithe to be paid from the income. This agreement is still valid today, the beneficiary is the House of Habsburg.

In 1942 the castle was bombed and almost completely destroyed. The great grandson of Chancellor Paul Alfons Metternich rebuilt it in its old glory by 1965. The owner is the "Prince of Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domain Schloss Johannisberg GbR". The manager is Christian Witte and the cellar master is Gerd Ritter (who also works for the nearby winery GH by Mumm are responsible). At the end of 2001 the 900th anniversary of the estate was celebrated with numerous celebrities at Schloss Johannisberg.

The vineyards cover 35 hectares of vineyards in the monopoly of Schloss Johannisberg, which extends below the castle at an altitude of 114 to 182 meters with a slope of 10 to 45%. Schloss Johannisberg is administratively a separate district of Geisenheim, which, with the 1971 Wine Act, gives the right to use the location name on the bottle label without a place name. The floors consist of stony loess and loam with Taunus quartz in the subsoil. It is precisely through this vineyard that the geographical feature is the 50th parallel, which is generally considered the northern limit for commercial viticulture. However, the excellent microclimate allows figs, almonds and lemons to ripen here.

After a Whole bunch pressing the wines are fermented slowly and coolly. The quality levels are identified by colors. These are yellow for quality wine, red for cabinet, green for late vintage, pink for choice, pink-gold for Beerenauslese gold for Trockenbeerenauslese and blue for Eiswein, As Wine of the century is the 1996 ice wine, which was read early in the morning on December 26 in the freezing cold and had 180 ° Oechsle must weight and 18.9 per thousand acid. Around 260,000 bottles of wine are produced annually. Johannisberg Palace is the origin of the sparkling wine brand "Fürst von Metternich", see the history below Söhnlein,

Image: By DXR - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de , Link

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