EASTERNMOST VINEYARD

Germany

Easternmost vineyard Germany

Germany’s easternmost vineyard belongs to the monastery complex of St. Marienthal and is managed by 10 Ostritzer families. The winegrowers’ association, founded in 1986, maintains the vineyard on a voluntary basis in the form of a registered association. Every year during the Easter holidays as well as the fruit and wine festival in autumn, the winegrowers open the wine cellar for serving.

With their voluntary work, all winegrowers contribute to the preservation of the easternmost vineyard in Germany andthus to the preservation of a unique cultural asset of the region. This is the only way to ensure that the vineyard could be restored even after the harsh winter of 1996/97 and a pest infestation.

The vineyard has a total area of 3,788 m². About 1,000 vines grow on it. The special varieties “Sirius” and “Saphira” are cultivated. The approx. 100,000 guests per year who visit the St. Marienthal Monastery can learn about the vineyard along a wine trail. This begins at the wine cellar and runs along the entire vineyard.
Further information can be found on the homepage at www.weinberg.ibz-marienthal.de/.
easternmost vineyard Germany 1

The beginnings

The vineyard is situated about 230 m above sea level. Until the middle of the 19th century it was cultivated on the southern slope of the monastery of St. Marienthal. Since Cistercian monasteries are almost always located along river courses, everything was available to provide for themselves. Around 1870/90 there was a phylloxera infestation in the region, which also affected the sister monastery of St. Marienstern in the district of Kamenz. As a result, the vineyard in Ostritz was abandoned and burned down. Since then the area has been used as pasture for livestock and for fruit growing.

The new beginning

In 1986, eight families came together to lease the 2,000 m² vineyard and rebuild the terraces. In cooperation with the Meissen winegrowers’ cooperative, about 800 plants of the “Müller-Thurgau” variety and about 200 plants of the “Goldriesling” variety were cultivated. Until 1988/89 the grapes were brought to Meissen to be pressed. From 1990 the wine could be pressed at the vineyard in Ostritz itself. In 1993 more winemaker friends joined and the vineyard could be extended to 3.788 m². Unfortunately, the harsh winter of 1996/97 and pest infestation in the following summer months damaged the vines so badly that the harvest failed to materialise.

The vineyard today

With the support of the Saxon State Office for Agriculture and the “Weinberg Pillnitz” winegrowing association, the vineyard was able to be re-vinified. This time it was decided to plant the fungus tolerant varieties “Saphira” and “Sirius”.