There is written evidence of Emperor Otto III’s gift of vineyards to Memleben Abbey in 998: a document that laid the foundation for winegrowing along the Saale and Unstrut. From that time onwards history took its course; the long winegrowing tradition can still be seen in many places today.
The Saale-Unstrut winegrowing region covers some 760 hectares and is characterised by centuries-old dry stone walls, impressive terraced vineyards and romantic vineyard huts. The region is situated on the 51st degree of latitude, and is regarded as the northernmost designated quality wine region in Europe, extending over the three federal states of Saxony-Anhalt (639 hectares), Thuringia (108 hectares) and Brandenburg (8.4 hectares).
The shell limestone and variegated sandstone soils, 1600 hours of sunshine and 500 millilitres of rainfall a year provide the grapes with the optimal growing conditions. It is probably precisely these geological, geographical and climatic features which produce the distinctively delicate, scented and elegantly light wines.
With over 60 grape varieties, Saale-Unstrut offers unequalled variety. The specialities of the region include elegant Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, but also earthy Silvaner, lively Rieslings and the spicy Müller-Thurgau. The rarities include Gutedel and the red André, which only grows in the Saale-Unstrut region. And of course we should also not forget other red varieties, such as Blauer Zweigelt, Pinot Noir, Dornfelder and Portugieser.
The quality of the wines is ensured by over 50 private wine estates, the Winzervereinigung Freyburg winegrowers’ association, the state-owned Kloster Pforta vineyard and Rotkäppchen, the producer of sparkling wine.
The vintners and people of the region also bring the wine, history and landscape to life. At the numerous wine and farm festivals, at tastings in the wine cellars, when enjoying the gourmet offerings in the local restaurants and at many other events you can feel the genuine zest for life and hospitality.
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