World’s Oldest Winery Releases Its 800th Vintage
on 10/09/12 at 12:43 pmWine
I also love wine with history.
This fall, the great wine estate of Schloss Vollrads, in the heart of Germany’s prestigious Rheingau region, is offering the opportunity to enjoy all three delights… simultaneously and palpably.
Though early records are understandably muddy everywhere… one can say with a high degree of certainty that Schloss Vollrads is the oldest operating commercial winery in the world. They first sold wine in 1211, believe it or not… and have just released their 800th vintage, the high-quality 2011… giving consumers the opportunity to wine, dine… and drink in some history… all at once.
In the Carolingian era, way back in the deep Middle Ages, just a year after the start of the First Crusade, the already powerful Greiffenclau family turned their attention to winemaking in the Rheingau. That was 1096. They certainly sold no wine before its time; it was 15 years later that the Greiffenclaus made their first sale of wine, in 1211, to the St. Victor Monastery in nearby Mainz, today a large German city.
Just to give you some perspective:
Four years later: the Magna Charta was signed
99 years later: Dante wrote The Divine Comedy.
228 years later: Gutenberg (also a German!) invented the printing press
It has been a while.