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Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne, Schloss Johannisberg

Germany Rheingau

Winery Wines Files 1
Name: Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne, Schloss Johannisberg
Address: Address 65366 Geisenheim-Johannisberg, Germany
Growing area: Rheingau
Vineyard: 35 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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Producer of premium wines, which regularly include even in international comparison among the best of its kind.
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. It is said that Karl der Große (742-814) had a vineyard planted on the Johannisberg for...

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. It is said that Charlemagne (742-814) had a vineyard planted on the Johannisberg for the first time. Between 1096 and 1100, Benedictine monks from Mainz built a monastery on the plateau of the Bischofsberg above the village of Johannisberg and also cultivated vines. The basilica "John the Baptist" was consecrated in 1130 and gave the monastery and community their 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 florins, had the building demolished and erected a three-winged, baroque palace building there as a summer residence. A huge, 250-metre-long cellar was added to the old cellar in 1721.

Schloss Johannisberg mit Rebflächen

Planting Riesling

At that time, it was customary in the Rheingau to plant the vineyards in mixed sets, including the historic varieties Elbling and Orléans. In 1720, the prince abbot had the mixed vineyard on the southern slope of the Rhine torn out and planted with Riesling. This contributed to the popularity and spread of the variety also known as "Johannisberg Riesling". Cuttings from Johannisberg were sought after on all continents, and many a vine in Australia, South Africa and the USA descended from here. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Rheingau was occupied by the French and in 1803 the castle plus vineyards were secularised. Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) gave the estate to his marshal François-Étienne-Christophe Kellermann (1735-1820), the Duke of Valmy. The latter sold the entire harvest of the famous 1811 vintage to Gottlieb Mumm (1782-1852), thus founding the present-day 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 let myself follow everywhere". Other famous lovers of Johannisberg wine were Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), who was offered a Riesling Johannisberg Cabinet vintage 1748 for his 66th birthday, the author of the novel "Leatherstocking" James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) and the German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941). Goethe visited Johannisberg Castle in 1814 and wrote: "Johannisberg towers above everything. The magnates have no rank dispute among themselves. Hochheimer, Johannisberger and Rüdesheimer accept each other, only among the gods of lower rank jealousy and envy prevail".

In a letter Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the later US president, wrote after a trip on the Rhine in 1788: "Stop your journey at 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 evidenced by a sculpture in the castle courtyard. From 1788 onwards, all vintages were bottled and precise bottling lists were drawn up with origin, bottle price and filling quantity. The monks began to read more selectively and to systematically produce Spätlese and Auslese wines. In 1858, there is documentary evidence of one of the first ice wines being pressed here.

900th anniversary celebration

After the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and the defeat of Napoleon, the estate was under joint administration of Austria, Prussia and Russia until 1815. In the course of negotiations at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), it then 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 a tithe of the yield be paid annually to the Habsburg family or their legal successors. This agreement is still in force today, the beneficiary being the House of Habsburg. In 1942 the castle was bombed and almost completely destroyed. The great-grandson of Chancellor Paul Alfons Metternich rebuilt it to its former glory by 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, incidentally, are also responsible for the neighbouring G.H. von Mumm wine estate). At the end of 2001, the 900th anniversary of the winery was celebrated at Johannisberg Castle with numerous VIPs.


The vineyards cover 35 hectares of vines in the winery's monopoly-owned single vineyard Schloss Johannisberg, which extends below the castle at an altitude of 114 to 182 metres above sea level with slopes ranging from 10 to 45%. Administratively, Schloss Johannisberg is a separate district of the municipality of Geisenheim, which, with the wine law of 1971, gives the estate the right to use the name of the vineyard without a place name on the bottle label. 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 as a geographical feature. The excellent microclimate, however, allows figs, almonds and lemons to ripen here as well.


After whole cluster pressing, the wines are fermented slowly and cool. The individual quality levels are marked by colours. These are yellow for quality wines, and for the Prädikas wines red for Kabinett, green for Spätlese, pink for Auslese, pink-gold for Beerenauslese, gold for Trockenbeerenauslese and blue for Eiswein. The Eiswein 1996, which was harvested early in the morning on 26 December in the freezing cold and had a must weight of 180 °Oechsle and 18.9 parts per thousand acidity, is described as the wine of the century. A Trockenbeerensauslese from the 2020 vintage was sold at a VDP auction for € 18,000. Around 260,000 bottles of wine are produced annually. 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 en, link

Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg'sche Domäne, Schloss Johannisberg Region: Germany Rheingau
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