December 10, 2023


Vacation Shines Through

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

6 min read
Hofkeller in Würzburg, One of the Oldest Wineries in the World

Right down below the Royal Residence, the Hofkeller in Würzburg (the Court Cellar of the former Prince Bishop, these days the Royal Bavarian Courtroom Cellar) is a laby­rin­thine cellar masking 4,557 m². Bavaria’s beer has various versions, and Bavarian occasions these types of as Oktoberfest make its beer planet-well-known. Consequently, I am fascinated in being aware of why Würzburg, a huge Bavarian metropolis, has this sort of an fantastic wine cellar running for in excess of 8 generations.

The cellar tour took place on the past working day of our Franconia weekend journey. Since the cellar is below the Würzburg Home, it is simple to mix with the visit to the grandiose castle. In between big wine barrels and corridors dimly lit by candlelight, we have uncovered exciting info about the stronghold of Franconian viticulture. The wine cellar stretches all around one particular kilometre in winding corridors through the earth. If you take a look at the Franconian wine metropolis of Würzburg, you should not pass up this labyrinth where by great wines mature.

A shorter temporary of Historical past

The good results tale of the Hofkellar commenced in 1128 when the Bishop of Würzburg Embricho donated a plot of land in Zell for the monastery development. That was also the starting of get the job done in the vineyard and in the cellar.

In 1540, Franconia produced the best wine of the earlier generations. In 1684 throughout the Swedish War, the Swedes crafted a new barrel to help save wine from 1540. That barrel is now the oldest in the cellar. Just about two generations afterwards, in 1719, Prince Bishop Schönborn commissioned the development of the Würzburg Home and requested an outstanding wine cellar to be incorporated in the strategies.

A single yr later on, the cellar construction commenced. And considering the fact that 1814, Würzburg has turn into element of Bavaria. The Prince Bishop’s Hofkeller, later the Royal Bavarian Hofkeller, and now the Bavarian Condition Winery (Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg), have constantly been owned by the then existing ruling electric power.

Famous wine year 1540

Our tour guideline was a witty human being who shipped a dry feeling of humour. In 45 minutes, he narrated several concealed tales about the wine.

Due to the fact of the finest climate and other things, the wine from 1540 was the best in the winery’s background. When the 30-12 months Swedish War begun, Sweden designed a barrel to maintain the rest of the wine from that yr. That barrel is nonetheless in the cellar.

Later in 1814, the land of Würzburg belonged to Bavaria, and so did the vineyard. When Bavaria King Ludwig II obtained to know the previous barrel, he claimed the barrel was not securely stored. Therefore, he moved the wine to his home but sold the bulk of the wine in bottles secretly. King Ludwig II employed the funds to finance his fairy tale castle in the vicinity of Munich. Upon the King’s death, the Bavaria governing administration bought most of his residence, like the 1540 wine, to repay his personal debt.

A Jewish wine trader Simon from Wiesbaden in Germany acquired all 1540 wine bottles. In the course of the Environment War, he escaped to London and opened a wine shop to provide his wine collections. Sad to say, Hitler also bombed London, and so did his wine store. Just after the war, his descendants cleared absent the ruins and located some 1540 wine bottles intact inside of a protected basement cellar.

Then, the loved ones invited ten environment-well known connoisseurs of wine to identify the origin of the wine. Nevertheless, the connoisseurs could only drink the to start with glass of wine. The relaxation wine bought oxidized so rapidly that it tasted like vinegar. Obtaining discovered the wine, the relatives made the decision to send the relaxation two bottles again to Hofkellar in Würzburg.

Remarkably, Hofkellar did not think the bottles contained the wine from 1540. At the time, two hospitals, which operated two other wineries in Würzburg, opened a person bottle and confirmed the wine was from 1540 just after tasting. The second bottle became the previous identified and remaining whole bottle from this famous classic. One of the two hospitals is an elderly house nowadays and keeps the final bottle in its basement. 

The giant wine barrier and the sponsored wine barrels

The barrels in the cellar can comprise up to 1200 litres of wine each. Lots of barrels in Hofkellar in Würzburg carry sponsorship. The sponsors’ names, both company names or non-public persons, are printed on the barrels. Every yr, the Hofkellar in Würzburg invites the sponsors to flavor the new wine.

At the conclude of the cellar tour, our team handed a big wine barrier. In the Middle Ages, servants received paid by wine, the liquid wage. At that time, individuals drank wine extra frequently than sometimes contaminated h2o. People court servants who had a superior partnership with the wine learn could get the wine of excellent excellent. Hence, the cellar designed a 50000-litre huge barrel and stored wines blended with many grades of excellent. All servants received the wine from the exact same barrel.

Varieties of Wines from Hofkeller in Würzburg

Due to the fact of the climate issue, wineries in the Würzburg location produce mainly white wines. The excellent of wines is categorised by the harvest amount and the harvest site of the grapes, the VDP-distinct classifications. The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) is a German business that encourages the country’s top wines and estates. In typical, there are 4 kinds of wine: VDP. GROSSE LAGE, VDP.ERSTE LAGE, VDP.ORTSWEINE, and VDP.GUTSTEIN.

  • VDP.GROSSE LAGE wine distinguishes the highest quality German vineyards and makes use of grape versions regular for the area that matching the wants of that person winery. 
  • VDP.ERSTE LAGE expresses the character of a vineyard. 
  • VDP.ORTSWEINE wine is bottled from regional grape varieties. 
  • VDP.GUTSWEIN wine is a exclusive signature of winegrowers. They are usually the very first wines of a wine yr to be bottled and offered. The wines mature in the winery’s vineyards. 

At the end 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 very best Franconian meals pairing drink.

Vacation Guidelines for Hofkeller in Würzburg

Be a part of a tour

At the moment, person man or woman can only sign up for a German-guided cellar tour. English guided tour is available for the teams. But you can sign up for a Guided Walking Tour with Franconian Wine to investigate the aged city and the wine for a smaller funds. In the winery’s store, you can obtain all wines talked about previously mentioned. 

How to get to Würzburg by train

Würzburg is only about a single hour by coach from Frankfurt and is consequently a great working day excursion location from Frankfurt. Information on the railway you can uncover on It is an around 20-moment stroll from the station to the Würzburg Residence.

How to get to Würzburg by car

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

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

Where by to stay in Würzburg

Lots of motels are in the aged town, in just walking distance from the Würzburg Residence and Hofkeller and to the Marienberg Fortification.

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