Monday, December 15, 2014

Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Picture: Opening a Bottle of Sekt in Style: Sabrage

The Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014) took us to 3 exceptional winemakers in the Saale Unstrut region. One of them was Weingut Kloster Pforta.

See also:
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

Managing Director Christian Kloss toured with us the vineyards and the cellar and then sat down with us for a tasting.

The Saale Unstrut Wine Region

The Saale Unstrut wine region is Germany’s most northern wine region, in the valleys of the Saale and Unstrut rivers, around Freyburg and Naumburg. With 730 hectares of vineyard area, it is one of the smaller wine regions in Germany. The oldest record of viticulture dates back to the year 998 during the reign of Emperor Otto III.

Located in the area of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), Saale-Unstrut has become a thriving emerging wine region after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 (as Sachsen, the other wine region in the area of the former GDR; Sachsen is half of the size of Saale Unstrut).

Most of the region's vineyards are situated in the State of Saxony-Anhalt, with the remainder in the State of Thuringia and in the State of Brandenburg (the "Werderaner Wachtelberg" near Potsdam). The vineyards are located on the hillsides lining the Saale and Unstrut rivers. It all looks very attractive, with steep terraces, dry stone walls and century-old vineyard cottages, interspersed with meadows, floodplains. High above, are defiant castles and palaces. Culture, history, nature and wine are combined here perfectly.

Picture: Saale Unstrut

Saale-Unstrut is the northernmost of Germany's wine regions, and is therefore one of Europe's northernmost traditional wine regions. It lies to the north of the 51st degree of latitude, which was considered to be the limit for viticulture before global warming. Also, the weather is more variable than in the regions to the west.

White grape varieties make up 75% of Saale-Unstrut's plantations. The most common grape varieties are the white varieties Müller-Thurgau and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc). The wines tend to be vinified dry and have a refreshing acidity.

Weingut Kloster Pforta

Weingut Kloster Pforta is owned and run by the State Government of Sachsen Anhalt. It is one of five important wine estates owned by a state government in Germany. The others are: Hessische Staatsweingueter Kloster Eberbach (Rheingau and Hessische Bergstrasse), Saechsisches Staatsweingut Schloss Wackerbarth (Sachsen), Staatliche Hofkellerei Wuerzburg (Franken) and Staatsweingut Meersburg (Baden).

Its history mirrors German history. Its origins date back to the Pforta Abbey, founded in 1137 by Cistercian monks. In 1154 the monks started to plant vines in the Pfortenser Köppelberg vineyard, which still today is one of the six vineyards of the winery, producing excellent wines. Pforta Abbey soon had a reputation as the richest abbey in medieval Thuringia, with vineyard holdings in 192 communes, totaling at least 250 ha (around 625 acres).

Pictures: Managing Director Christian Kloss Welcoming us

After Reformation (during the 16th century the eastern part of Germany became Lutheran and the monks had to leave), ownership went to the kings of Saxony, which subsequently lost the Abbey Pforta to the Kingdom of Prussia at the Vienna Congress in 1814.

Prussia converted Pforta into a wine estate and wine research institute. After World War II, it became the socialist co-operative VEG Weinbau Naumburg in East-Germany, with 120 hectares of land. After the breakdown of the socialist system in East Germany in 1989, Pforta was in the hands of the privatization organization Treuhand for a couple of years, but not privatized and became the Landesweingut Kloster Pforta of the Federal State of Sachsen-Anhalt.

The vineyard area totals 51 hectares, with holdings in the following sites: Goseck (Dechantenberg), Großjena (Blütengrund), Naumburg (Paradies), Pforta (Köppelberg) and Saalhäuser (with eponymous monopole sites). The main grape varities are Müller-Thurgau (10 ha), Silvaner (6 ha), Riesling (6 ha) and Pinot Blanc (5 ha) as well as Portugieser (5 ha), and Zweigelt.

See also:
The Role of Government - Government Owned Wineries in Germany 

Christian Kloss

Christian Kloss was born and grew up in the Rheingau, but he was deep roots in the Saale Unstrut wine sector. The Sekt Giant Rotkäppchen-Mumm, based in the Saale Unstrut region, was founded in 1856 by the rothers Moritz and Julius Kloss and their friend Carl Förster. After World War II, the Kloss + Förster Sekt House was nationalized by the communist regime and became VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb/Company owned by the People) Rotkäppchen Sektkellerei Freyburg / Unstrut. Günther Kloss - the grandson of the founder and grandfather of Christian Kloss fled to West Germany and reestablished the Kloss and Förster Sekt House in West Germany in 1952.

Christian Kloss has degrees from the Fachhochschule Wiesbaden, University of Texas at Austin and the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen.

Sekt Reception

We started the tour with a 2011 Kloster Pforta Burgunder Premium Sekt.

Pictures: Sabrage and Sekt Reception

Vineyard Tour

We then toured the vineyards of Weingut Kloster Pforta, with a 2013 Bacchus trocken.

Pictures: In the Vineyards of Weingut Kloster Pforta

Cellar Tour

Christian Kloss then showed us the wine cellar of Weingut Kloster Pforta.

Pictures: In the Cellar of Weingut Kloster Pforta


We finished the visit with an excellent tasting of Weingut Kloster Pforta wines. All the wines we tasted were bone-dry.

2013 Naumburger Roter Traminer trocken
2013 Pfortenser Köppelberg Blauer Silvaner trocken
2012 Breitengrad 51 Saalhäuser Weisser Burgunder Barrique trocken
2011 Saalhäuser Blauer Zweigelt Alte Reben trocken
1999 Grossjenaer Blütengrund Andre trocken

Pictures: Wine Tasting


Thank you very much Christian Kloss for a memorable visit. We will return!

schiller-wine: Related Postings

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014

German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region - A Profile, Germany

Weingut Pawis in Saale Unstrut, Germany (2011)

The Role of Government - Government Owned Wineries in Germany 

1 comment:

  1. Terrific time we had - great that you made all the way to visit us! See you soon