Hail The New Queen!

If you’ve ever been to a German wine festival (Weinfest) in one of Germany’s 13 wine-growing regions such as ours here in Franconia (Franken), you’ve probably seen one of the many „wine princesses“. Almost every village has one who usually „reigns“ for about two years representing the village, its wines and wine growers. But only one of these princesses per region can become wine queen of the entire region for a year. Each region has an annual contest/election once a year (at different times throughout the year). The elected queen then has a chance at becoming Germany’s wine queen.

Franken elected its wine queen for the reign of 2015/2016 today. Six contestants tried for the job that entails numerous events nationally and internationally representing the region’s wine throughout the year. Only one can and will be queen. And the winner is… Kristin Langmann. She is one of only two candidates who visited our winery before the election to let uns explain our winery concept and to taste our wines. So, obviously, she was one of our two favorites to win.

Her majesty, the Wine Queen:

Gearing Up For Things To Come

The hotel has been closed over the winter and is about to open its doors back up to the general public, be it overnight-hotel-guests or visitors of our cultural events and wine tastings. The first big one of this sort will be our annual Easter Market on Sunday, March 15th (always held 3 weeks before Easter Sunday). Visitors will also get a chance to taste our wines on that day.

In the vineyards work is continuing with pruning. Back at the winery we have been busy bottling wines that will hit the shelves around May.

Ushering in the Quiet Season

While we still have a few cultural and wine-related events (and of course the Christmas Market on November 23rd) to go until it gets really quiet (the hotel closes in January and February for the winter) it is already getting seasonally quiet here at the castle.

Work in the vineyards is resting while the 2014 wines are in their tanks, waiting to be bottled in spring. The winery has grown to about five acres of vineyards (up from about 3 acres in 2012) so there is more work to be done. We will start pruning the vines in December this year, preparing them for the 2015 vintage.

First Harvest

We have been working in our vineyards throughout the year, all the while looking forward to the harvest which is now upon us. We harvested the first grapes last Tuesday. The various grape varieties will continue to be harvested over the next few weeks. The great news so far: 2012 is promising to become an awesome vintage! 

View the slideshow on flickr

Spring Work in Our Vineyards

My two colleagues and I used last week's perfect weather to get some work done in our vineyards. We placed so-called nursery cartons (protective sleeves) around the newly planted vines to protect them from wind and cold. It's almost like rearing children (minus the back talk! Just kidding…).

Removing high-growing grass from underneath the budding vines, which would negatively influence the chance of frost damages (there are usually a few days of early-morning frost here in early to mid March), was tough manual labor. But caring for each vine is certainly also a very rewarding enterprise.

Now we are experiencing two days of solid rain. A chance to recuperate from last week's work before we head back out this coming week.

Budding Vines above the Main River in Franconia - Photo Alexander von Halem

Big News!

Castle Winery Founded

Visitors to the castle have often asked me: "Do you have your winery, too?". I'd always have to say, regretfully, no. That is about to change.

Together with two partners I founded the castle-own winery "Weingut Barockschloss". We are starting out small and are tending about 7,000 grape vines of different varietals in the first 1-2 years. Our first vintage is growing now in the nearby vineyards overlooking the Main River Valley. Pruning is over and we are currently busy repairing some of the older posts. After the wine harvest this Fall our winemaker Christian will tend to the wine we will present to the world in May 2013.

Stay tuned for news from the castle winery and be sure to visit us next year to taste our wines in situ. Of course you will also be able to taste good regional wines at the castle until then, too.

Bleeding Grape VineVineLast Year's Clingers