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historical brand wine from Germany. The "famous Lieben Frauen Milch zu Worms" was first mentioned in 1744. At that time, this designation could only be used if the grapes grew in the area "as far as the tower of the Liebfrauenkirche cast its shadow". This meant the vineyards of the Capuchin monastery "Stiftskirche Liebfrauenkirche" in Worms in Rheinhessen, Unfortunately, however, this geographically narrow term was later extended to all Rhine wines and thus the ancestry diluted. In the course of Napoleonic Secularization was the part of the monastery still preserved and most of the original vineyards by the mayor of Worms Peter Joseph in 1808 Valckenberg (1764-1837) acquired. By decision of the Worms wine traders, the name was changed to "Liebfrauenstift" in 1908 and later supplemented by "Kirchenstück". The historical single location has since been called Wormser Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück,

Liebfrauenstift in Worms with vineyards - Peter Joseph Valckenberg

Liebfrauenmilch was sold all over the world from the middle of the 19th century. The predominantly from the beginning Riesling Pressed wine stood for excellent quality until the end of the 19th century and was one of the best and most expensive German wines and also in Europe, which could be found on the drinks menu of the most important banquets. Prominent lovers included the poet Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and members of the British royal court. The wine from the centerpiece shows one smoky Taste that comes from the debris from the Palatinate War of Succession (1688–1697). At that time the rubble from the city was deposited around the Liebfrauenkirche and vineyards were built on it.

Then more and more counterfeits came onto the market, especially abroad. At that time, it wasn't just about Liebfrauenmilch wine adulteration widespread and then relatively difficult to detect. The former top wine became a cheap, lovely to sweet vinified mass wine simplest quality, also in large bottles or Bag-in-box cartons was bottled. It became particularly popular in the Anglo-Saxon countries and Russia, but contributed to the poor image of German wine. In the 1980s, it accounted for 60% of Germany's export volume, today it is still around a third.

Sketch in the Danish magazine Ravnen 1901 / label Valckenberg

The Company Valckenberg owns the majority of the historic vineyards around the Liebfrauenkirche. She also has the sole right to the Liebfrauenmilch brand name "Madonna". The rest are shared by the wineries Gutzler Gerhard. Schembs Arno and Spohr, which also market wines under the classic designation of origin "Wormser Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück" (on the bottle label you will not find the name "Liebfrauenmilch" in the latter three wineries). The name "Liebfrauenmilch" or "Liebfraumilch", on the other hand, serves as a regional designation of origin. The wine is now allowed from grapes from the four growing regions Near and Rheingau, as well as for the most part palatinate and Rheinhessen to be produced.

There must be at least 70% of the white wine types Riesling. Müller-Thurgau. Sylvaner or Kerner be freely usable included; Müller-Thurgau predominates in most wines. The Aroma must show the typical fruit of one of these varieties, which, however, must not appear on the bottle label. The Residual sugar content must be at least 18 g / l (sweet or semi-sweet). Other well-known Liebfrauenmilch brands besides “Madonna” are “Blue Nun” from the company sickle in Mainz and formerly "Black Tower" by Roe deer Kendermann in Bingen, From the mid-1990s, a small group of Rhenish Hessian winegrowers began to produce quality wines that honor the traditional name "Liebfrauenmilch" again.

Left picture: From NN - Own collection, PD-alt-100 , Link
Right: City of Worms , public domain, link

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