Germany - Weingut Schloss Proschwitz
Prof. Dr. Georg Prinz zur Lippe and Princess Alexandra
The oldest private winery in Saxony
" The estate's white wines in particular demonstrate an intense fruitiness "

The oldest private winery in the small and exclusive German wine growing area of Saxony, Weingut Schloss Proschwitz produces wines that are described as individual and authentic.

This winery is an amalgamation of four historic religious vineyard sites - the former vineyards of the Bishop of Meissen, Abbot of Altzella, Clarissinnen of Seuslitz and the Monastery of the Holy Cross on the southern bank of the River Elbe.

In 1990 Georg Prinz zur Lippe began buying back and renovating his family vineyards and the castle, which were stripped from his father during the course of land reform after World War II. In 1996 the winery became the first in Saxony to be granted membership of the VDP (the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates), a classification that aims to preserve Germany’s finest vineyard sites.

The vineyards are kept as natural as possible to create a balance that ensures sustainability for future generations.

Today, approximately 80 hectares of vineyards flourish on a layer of loam up to six metres thick on top of granite and syenite rocks. The vineyards benefit from a south/south west aspect and the extraordinary microclimate of the Elbe valley with its long hours of sunshine. These elements combine to form its unique terroir.

Through gentle pressing of the grapes as well as cool and long fermentation, the wines develop authentic personalities reflecting the character of the grape variety, terroir and winery.

The estate’s white wines in particular demonstrate an intense fruitiness combined with a minerality that could at times be described as salty.

Weingut Schloss Proschwitz is also known for its Pinot wines, which flourish in the loamy soil and the climate. These include Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and the rare Pinot Madeleine, which is only produced in great vintages.

Other grape varieties include Elbling, Goldriesling, Müller-Thurgau and Traminer

Georg Prinz zur Lippe is said to be responsible for the re-cultivation of Elbling in Saxony and it is now the most widely grown grape in the area. Goldriesling is a rarity, cultivated on only 16 hectares in Germany - all of them in Saxony. Müller-Thurgau is the region’s most important variety and is especially floral and fruity with a vivid acidity. Traminer is the epitome of quality wines in Saxony producing unique aromas of spice and reminiscent of rose petals.

Since 1998 the winery has also had its own distillery making fruit brandy, schnapps, fruit liqueur and the first Saxon whisky, released in 2012. The distillery is the first in Saxony to be certified by EU Eco-regulations and is also a supporting member of Slow Food Deutschland e.V.

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne