May 27, 2024


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Hofkeller in Würzburg, One of the Oldest Wineries in the World

Hofkeller in Würzburg, One of the Oldest Wineries in the World

Right below the Royal Home, the Hofkeller in Würzburg (the Court docket Cellar of the former Prince Bishop, these days the Royal Bavarian Courtroom Cellar) is a laby­rin­thine cellar covering 4,557 m². Bavaria’s beer has numerous versions, and Bavarian functions these types of as Oktoberfest make its beer environment-famous. For this reason, I am fascinated in figuring out why Würzburg, a big Bavarian metropolis, has such an superb wine cellar operating for over eight hundreds of years.

The cellar tour took position on the last working day of our Franconia weekend trip. Mainly because the cellar is down below the Würzburg Home, it is straightforward to merge with the go to to the grandiose castle. Involving big wine barrels and corridors dimly lit by candlelight, we have realized fascinating information about the stronghold of Franconian viticulture. The wine cellar stretches all-around one kilometre in winding corridors through the earth. If you stop by the Franconian wine metropolis of Würzburg, you should really not overlook this labyrinth where fine wines experienced.

A limited quick of Heritage

The good results tale of the Hofkellar began in 1128 when the Bishop of Würzburg Embricho donated a plot of land in Zell for the monastery construction. That was also the beginning of get the job done in the winery and in the cellar.

In 1540, Franconia produced the very best wine of the past hundreds of years. In 1684 in the course of the Swedish War, the Swedes designed a new barrel to save wine from 1540. That barrel is now the oldest in the cellar. Virtually two generations afterwards, in 1719, Prince Bishop Schönborn commissioned the design of the Würzburg Home and requested an superb wine cellar to be incorporated in the strategies.

A person yr afterwards, the cellar construction started off. And considering that 1814, Würzburg has become element of Bavaria. The Prince Bishop’s Hofkeller, later the Royal Bavarian Hofkeller, and now the Bavarian Point out Vineyard (Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg), have constantly been owned by the then latest ruling electric power.

Famous wine yr 1540

Our tour guideline was a witty particular person who sent a dry feeling of humour. Within just 45 minutes, he narrated various concealed stories about the wine.

Since of the most effective climate and other variables, the wine from 1540 was the finest in the winery’s history. When the 30-12 months Swedish War started out, Sweden crafted a barrel to preserve the relaxation of the wine from that calendar year. That barrel is nonetheless in the cellar.

Later in 1814, the land of Würzburg belonged to Bavaria, and so did the winery. When Bavaria King Ludwig II received to know the aged barrel, he claimed the barrel was not safely stored. Consequently, he moved the wine to his residence but sold the the vast majority of the wine in bottles secretly. King Ludwig II utilised the dollars to finance his fairy tale castle in close proximity to Munich. On the King’s death, the Bavaria govt sold most of his property, together with the 1540 wine, to repay his financial debt.

A Jewish wine trader Simon from Wiesbaden in Germany purchased all 1540 wine bottles. For the duration of the Planet War, he escaped to London and opened a wine shop to market his wine collections. Sadly, Hitler also bombed London, and so did his wine shop. Just after the war, his descendants cleared absent the ruins and found some 1540 wine bottles intact inside a protected basement cellar.

Then, the household invited 10 environment-famed connoisseurs of wine to identify the origin of the wine. However, the connoisseurs could only consume the very first glass of wine. The rest wine bought oxidized so promptly that it tasted like vinegar. Possessing recognized the wine, the family members determined to send out the relaxation two bottles back to Hofkellar in Würzburg.

Incredibly, Hofkellar did not consider the bottles contained the wine from 1540. At the time, two hospitals, which operated two other wineries in Würzburg, opened just one bottle and confirmed the wine was from 1540 soon after tasting. The next bottle grew to become the final recognized and remaining total bottle from this legendary classic. A person of the two hospitals is an elderly home today and keeps the ultimate bottle in its basement. 

The giant wine barrier and the sponsored wine barrels

The barrels in the cellar can consist of up to 1200 litres of wine every. Numerous barrels in Hofkellar in Würzburg have sponsorship. The sponsors’ names, either corporation names or non-public people, are printed on the barrels. Every 12 months, the Hofkellar in Würzburg invites the sponsors to flavor the new wine.

At the finish of the cellar tour, our team passed a massive wine barrier. In the Middle Ages, servants bought paid out by wine, the liquid income. At that time, individuals drank wine more generally than often contaminated h2o. All those court docket servants who experienced a great partnership with the wine learn could get the wine of superior good quality. As a result, the cellar developed a 50000-litre huge barrel and saved wines blended with many grades of top quality. All servants obtained the wine from the same barrel.

Kinds of Wines from Hofkeller in Würzburg

Simply because of the weather issue, wineries in the Würzburg area produce primarily white wines. The quality of wines is categorized by the harvest amount and the harvest place of the grapes, the VDP-particular classifications. The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) is a German firm that encourages the country’s leading wines and estates. In general, there are 4 types of wine: VDP. GROSSE LAGE, VDP.ERSTE LAGE, VDP.ORTSWEINE, and VDP.GUTSTEIN.

  • VDP.GROSSE LAGE wine distinguishes the highest good quality German vineyards and works by using grape types normal for the location that matching the requires of that unique winery. 
  • VDP.ERSTE LAGE expresses the character of a vineyard. 
  • VDP.ORTSWEINE wine is bottled from regional grape varieties. 
  • VDP.GUTSWEIN wine is a distinct signature of winegrowers. They are usually the initially wines of a wine yr to be bottled and bought. The wines improve in the winery’s vineyards. 

At the conclude of the guided tour, we tasted the VDP. ERSTE LAGE. Possessing stayed in Bamberg for three times, I can say that the wines from Würzburg are the greatest Franconian food items pairing drink.

Journey Strategies for Hofkeller in Würzburg

Be part of a tour

Presently, person person can only join a German-guided cellar tour. English guided tour is offered for the groups. But you can sign up for a Guided Strolling Tour with Franconian Wine to discover the aged city and the wine for a modest price range. In the winery’s shop, you can acquire all wines pointed out over. 

How to get to Würzburg by coach

Würzburg is only about a person hour by coach from Frankfurt and is as a result a excellent day journey location from Frankfurt. Information on the railway you can locate on It is an close to 20-moment wander from the station to the Würzburg Residence.

How to get to Würzburg by auto

  • From the A7 coming from Ulm – just take the Kitzingen exit and continue on the B8 by using Biebelried to Würzburg.  
  • From the A7 coming from Kassel – acquire the Estenfeld exit and continue on the B19 twin carriageway to Würzburg (ca. 7 km). 
  • From the A3 coming from Nuremberg – take the Rottendorf exit and continue on the B8 to Würzburg. 
  • From the A3 coming from Frankfurt – take the Heidingsfeld exit.

In front of the Würzburg Residence, the Home vehicle park (“Parkplatz Residenz”) 400 parking locations. 

The place to continue to be in Würzburg

Quite a few accommodations are in the aged city, inside strolling length from the Würzburg Home and Hofkeller and to the Marienberg Fortification.