Germany’s Mosel wines known to be light, fragrant and delightful, enjoy a worldwide popularity and fame amongst connoisseurs. The winding Mosel River joins the mighty Rhine River at Koblenz.
Roman Legionnaires planted the first vines in the Mosel and soon after there was a lively trade between Trier (the regional trade capital) and Rome. Over centuries, viticulture has been refined and some established single-vineyards gained popularity because of their outstanding qualities yielding extraordinarily tasty wines.
For centuries now, the most famous of all Mosel single-vineyards is Bernkasteler Doctor. The history of this unique site has many versions some of which are more credible than others. This is the true and documented history of the Doctor vineyard, which also happens to be one of the most expensive of all German single-vineyard sites.
The story of the Bernkasteler Doctor vineyard began in the Middle Ages when prince Boermund II of Trier took ill and told his physician than he would soon die. Tearfully, he retreated to his summer residence at Burg Landshut, which was a stone’s throw from the Bernkastel vineyards owned by the von Hunoldstein family. By the time the French Revolution erupted in 1789, the vineyard was owned by Graf von der Lein, and the French confiscated the property for its commercial potential Reportedly Napoleon was not enamoured with light, fragrant Mosel wines and the vineyard was put up for sale in Paris. Anton Cetto, the wise old mayor of the village, travelled to Paris to buy the vineyard for himself, but passed away soon after. Bernkasteler Doctor then became the property of Lauerberg, Griebler and Kunz families.
After dividing the property, the new owners heard that the Prince of Wales (no relation to the present Prince of Wales. He is the 21st Prince of Wales in the history of the English ruling house) was ill with typhoid, and his mother Queen Victoria accepted any cure offered.
A few bottles were dispatched to England and soon after they arrives the Prince was cured. No one ever revealed whether the Prince of Wales actually consumers the wines.
Again the fame grew, this time internationally, and the clever new owners installed a plaque in front of the vineyard with the inscription that can be roughly translated as: “Tap kegs brothers – for the Doctor wine is the best doctor”. Today, the vineyard is almost in the middle of this lovely town a few hundred meters from the main square.
The cellars are located under the vineyard and were dug over a century ago to ensure the proper storage of bottled wines of the vineyard.
Griebler and Kunz families sold out to Thanish and Wegeler families who still own the property. The Wegeler family once owned the famous Deinhard winery famous for its sparkling wines and still German wines.
Soon after, no doubt with a little help from both new owners, the fame of the vineyard spread all over the world. In auctions, Bernkasteler Doctor wines fetched unheard of bids, and the value of the vineyard skyrocketed.
is still being made and available in specialty wine shops. It is an excellent light, fragrant, slightly “spritzig” Mosel wine most enjoyable on the veranda during a hot summer’s afternoon.