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Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne, Schloss Johannisberg

Germany Rheingau

Winery Wines Files 2
Name: Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne, Schloss Johannisberg
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Foundation year: 1320
Address: Address
65366 Geisenheim-Johannisberg, Germany
Vineyard: 50 ha
Owner: Fürst von Metternich GbR
Manager: Stefan Doktor
Managing Director: Stefan Doktor
Wine Maker: Gerd Ritter
Social Media:
Associations: VDP
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Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne, Schloss Johannisberg
World-famous winery with headquarters in the castle of the same name on the famous Johannisberg in the Rheingau. Karl der Große (742-814) is said to have had a vineyard planted on Johannisberg for the...

Tasted Wines 143 Wines View All

0.75 L
2020 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs trocken "Silberlack"
52.00 €
89 WP - very good
Editor note: Very lightly developed nose of yellow stone fruit, but also a hint of plums with delicate smoky nuan...
0.75 L
2009 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Erstes Gewächs trocken Silberlack
36.50 €
91 WP - excellent
Editor note: Slightly warm, somewhat sweetish-floral and a touch waxy scent of partly candied citrus fruits and s...
0.75 L
2021 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Auslese VDP.Grosse Lage, "Rosalack"
88 WP - very good
Editor note: Relatively bright, somewhat vegetal to dried herbal and hints of mushroomy pome and stone fruit scen...
0.75 L
2021 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Spätlese VDP.Grosse Lage, "Grünlack"
89 WP - very good
Editor note: Cool, fresh, somewhat vegetal, very bright citrus nose with stone fruit notes and floral traces. Pol...
0.75 L
2021 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Kabinett VDP.Grosse Lage, "Rotlack"
87 WP - very good
Editor note: Relatively cool, somewhat planty and a touch floral, still a touch reductive nose with restrained wh...
0.75 L
2010 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Erstes Gewächs trocken Silberlack
39.00 €
89 WP - very good
Editor note: Tart, firm, quite cool, clearly vegetal nose with citrus and stone fruit aromas, some cabbage and st...

World-famous winery with headquarters in the castle of the same name on the famous Johannisberg in the Rheingau. Charlemagne (742-814) is said to have had a vineyard planted on Johannisberg for the first time. Between 1096 and 1100, Benedictine monks from Mainz built a monastery on the Bischofsberg plateau above the village of Johannisberg and also cultivated vines. This makes the estate one of the oldest wineries in Germany. The "St John the Baptist" basilica was consecrated in 1130 and gave the monastery and the community its name. In 1716, the Prince-Abbot of Fulda Konstantin von Buttlar (1679-1726) bought the remains from the Elector-Bishop of Mainz Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655-1729) for 75,392 guilders (€ 1.85 million today), had the building demolished and had a three-winged, baroque palace built there as a summer residence. A huge, 250 metre long cellar was added to the old cellar in 1721.

Schloss Johannisberg mit Rebflächen

Planting with Riesling

At that time, it was customary in the Rheingau to plant the vineyards with mixed vines, including the historic Elbling and Orléans varieties. In 1720, the prince abbot had the mixed vineyards on the southern slope of the Rhine ripped out and planted with Riesling. This contributed to the popularity and spread of the variety also known as "Johannisberg Riesling". Johannisberg cuttings were sought after on all continents, and many a vine in Australia, South Africa and the USA originated from here. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Rheingau was occupied by the French and the castle and vineyards were secularised in 1803. Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) gave the estate to his marshal François-Étienne-Christophe Kellermann (1735-1820), the Duke of Valmy. He sold the entire harvest of the famous 1811 vintage to Gottlieb Mumm (1782-1852), thus founding today's G.H. von Mumm winery.

Prominent Johannisberg fans

The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) wrote enthusiastically about the Johannisberg: " Mon Dieu, if only I had so much faith in me that I could move mountains, the Johannisberg would be just the mountain that I would have followed me everywhere". Other famous lovers of Johannisberg wine were Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), who was served a Riesling Johannisberg Cabinet vintage 1748 on his 66th birthday, the author of the novel "Leatherstocking" James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) and the German Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941). Goethe visited Johannisberg Castle in 1814 and wrote: "Johannisberg towers above everything. The magnates have no quarrel among themselves. Hochheimers, Johannisbergers and Rüdesheimers recognise each other, only among the gods of lower rank is there jealousy and envy".

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the future US president, wrote in a letter after travelling along the Rhine in 1788: "Stop your journey in Rüdesheim and at the Johannisberg monastery to examine the vineyards and wines there, the latter is the best produced on the Rhine, it is incomparable and costs about as much as the oldest Hochheimer. The 1775 vintage is the best". In the same year, the famous story of the late harvest rider took place on Johannisberg, as a sculpture in the castle courtyard testifies. From 1788, all vintages were bottled and precise bottling lists were drawn up with origin, bottle price and quantity. The monks began to be more selective and systematically produce Spätlese and Auslese wines. There is documentary evidence that one of the first ice wines was pressed here in 1858.

900th anniversary celebrations

After the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and the defeat of Napoleon, the estate was under the joint administration of Austria, Prussia and Russia until 1815. In the course of negotiations at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), it came into the possession of the Austrian Emperor Franz I (1768-1835), who gave it to Prince Klemens Wenzel Lothar Count Metternich-Winneburg (1773-1859) for his services to European peace on the condition that the Habsburg family or their legal successors were to be paid an annual tithe of the proceeds. This agreement is still valid today and the beneficiary is the House of Habsburg. In 1942, the castle was bombed and almost completely destroyed. The great-grandson of Chancellor Paul Alfons Metternich restored it to its former splendour until 1965. The owner is the "Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne Schloss Johannisberg GbR". The administrator is Christian Witte and the cellar master is Gerd Ritter (who are also responsible for the neighbouring G.H. von Mumm winery). At the end of 2001, the 900th anniversary of the winery was celebrated at Schloss Johannisberg with numerous celebrities.


The vineyards cover 35 hectares of vines in the winery's monopoly single vineyard Schloss Johannisberg, which extends below the castle at an altitude of 114 to 182 metres above sea level with a slope of 10 to 45%. Administratively, Schloss Johannisberg is a separate district of the municipality of Geisenheim, which, according to the 1971 wine law, gives the right to use the vineyard name on the bottle label without a place name. The soils consist of stony loess and loam with Taunus quartz in the subsoil. The 50th parallel, which is generally regarded as the northern limit for commercial viticulture, runs right through this vineyard. However, the excellent microclimate also allows figs, almonds and lemons to ripen here.


After whole-cluster pressing, the wines are fermented slowly and cool. The individual quality levels are identified by colour. These are yellow for quality wines, red for Kabinett, green for Spätlese, pink for Auslese, pink-gold for Beerenauslese, gold for Trockenbeerenauslese and blue for Eiswein. The 1996 ice wine, which was harvested early in the morning on 26 December in the freezing cold and had a must weight of 180 °Oechsle and an acidity of 18.9 per mille, is known as the wine of the century. A Trockenbeerensauslese from the 2020 vintage was sold for € 18,000 at a VDP auction. Around 260,000 bottles of wine are produced every year. Schloss Johannisberg is the origin of the sparkling wine brand "Fürst von Metternich", see the history under the keyword Söhnlein.

Picture: From DXR - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 delink

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