The vineyard is located in the municipality of Lorch in the German wine-growing
region of Rheingau
. It was founded in 1826 to supply the hotel "Der Schwan" run by the Altenkirch family. It was there that the German Emperor Wilhelm I (1797-1888) descended in 1878 and the winery subsequently became purveyor to the court of the imperial house. Franziska Breuer-Hadwiger is the owner and managing director, and Jasper Bruysten is the cellar master.
The vineyards cover 15 hectares of vines with a total of 70 plots in the top Lorch sites of Bodental-Steinberg, Kapellenberg
on grey slate, Taunus quartzite slate and weathered slate soils, which form the basis for the Altenkirch wines. They are mainly planted with Riesling, as well as some Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. The vineyards are consistently cultivated close to nature with the aim of low yields. Due to the steeply sloping hillsides with a gradient of up to 60 percent, exclusively manual cultivation is necessary. Appropriate measures are taken as early as flowering
to protect the grapes from excessive botrytis in autumn. Instead of vigorous pruning to control yields, the gentle method of shoot development is used. The vine growth is constantly monitored with regard to nutrient supply. If necessary, corrections are made through green manuring, the introduction of hay or the application of compost
The wines are produced in three quality levels. The "estate wines" designated as "Steillage" form the basis. These are followed by the terroir wines, vinified as "Grauschiefer" and "Quarzschiefer", depending on the soil type. The highest hierarchy are the site wines with the names of the four individual Lorch sites listed above. The winery also produces classic bottle-fermented sparkling wines. As a special feature, vines can be leased