One Castle, Three Wine Makers, Eight Wines
Wein von 3 Winery in Franken (Bavaria), Germany
Alexander von Halem, Heiko Niedermeyer and Christian Werr, founded the winery "Wein von 3" (which means Wine of 3 or Wine made by 3) in 2012. It is located in one of Germany's most famous wine-growing regions, Franconia (Franken in German) in northern Bavaria. The winery is based at Schloss Zeilitzheim, a Baroque castle and country estate that Alexander von Halem inherited in 1999. His parents began restoration of the castle in the late 1970s through the present period. The von Halem family have been running a small hotel at the Schloss for the last 25 years.
The estate has a history of wine production, as in past centuries the castle was home to a flourishing winery; the size of which can only be guessed by the dimensions of a significant wine-pressing hall which housed four large wine presses and large fermenting barrels. These were sold by the owner in 1863 when Germany's wine industry came to an almost complete stop due to the phylloxera plague. Franconia had overcome this catastrophe by grafting German varieties onto resistant rootstock. The production of exquisite wines has been thriving in the wine region since the 1970s with overall wine quality having reached extremely high levels over the past ten years as lauded by international acclaim, especially in the field of dry white wines.
Revitalizing and restoring the castle as a winery of high-quality wines using local premier grape varieties is a critical focus and important mission for the three wine makers who hope the results are found to be inspiring to the palate. The winery compliments hotel and cultural events, in addition to other private and public business activities at the castle. Alexander von Halem comes to the business with the perspective of a wine enthusiast and is a certified wine tour guide. His two colleagues are specially trained wine-makers who in addition have formal university educations in the fields of wine-making which add to their practical wine-making job skills. Heiko has a Master's degree in "Wine Business Management" and Christian has a degree in oenlogy/viticulture. Both have significant experience in the field that predate the founding of their own winery in 2012.
The winery's vineyards are near Stammheim in Franconia, Bavaria; overlooking the Main River Valley. On a little over 2 hectares (20.000 square meters or roughly 5 acres) of vineyards the three winemakers we grow regional grape varieties such as Riesling and Silvaner to produce exclusive high-quality specialty wines (about 8.000 bottles of wine each year).
Silvaner: A dry white wine made with the region's traditional varietal Silvaner. This wine most uniquely represents Franken's typical wine style.
Riesling: A dry white wine made with Riesling, Germany's most famous grape variety, regarded as its international standard.
Domina: A dry red regional grape variety suited for making deep-bodied yet fruity red wines (with strongly-limited yields). Aged in French oak for about 10-13 months, depending on the vintage.
Petrini: A white sparkling wine typical for the region. Perfect for receptions, parties, BBQs.
Wolf jr.: A semi-dry white wine cuvée blended with the region's typical grape varieties, Bacchus and Müller Thurgau. One can already smell the fresh fruit aromas. It can be a Summer party wine, especially well-suited for spicy and savory food.
Melusine: A semi-dry pink wine, made by pressing white and red grapes together to create a wonderfully light (in color) and fruity blush wine.
Baron: A heavy, dry white wine fermented in a "Barrique", or, 225-Liter barrel made of American oak. The perfect wine to celebrate after dinner or in front of an open fire in winter. Reminiscent in style of Napa Chardonnays with a distinguishable local touch.
Fuchs v.B.: A heavy, deeply dark red wine, made with regional variety "Domina" and aged for two years in French oak "Barrique" barrels.
Feel free to contact Alexanderwho is a native English speaker with dual citizenship (German / American) if you have questions regarding the estate, hotel or winery. And be sure to visit the castle and winery and to taste the wines! The castle is located about halfway between Frankfurt Airport and Nuremberg, about 2 1/2-3 hours' drive from Munich.
The three wine makers at Wein von 3,
Alexander, Heiko, Christian