Famous all over the world among red wine lovers is Count Stefan von Neipperg in St. Emilion who runs (among others) Château Canon La Gaffelière and La Mondotte, which were promoted to the extremely closed circle of Premiers Grand Crus Classés in the new St. Emilion classification a couple of years ago.
Not so well known is the fact that Count Stefan von Neipperg is descendant of the German von Neipperg family in Württemberg. He grew up in Schwaigern at the von Neipperg castle and Weingut Graf Neipperg. Count Stefan’s older brother, Karl Eugen Erbgraf von Neipperg, the head of the von Neipperg family, is in charge of Weingut Graf Neipperg.
Björn Schilling hosted us. He gave us a cellar tour and led a wine tasting.
Wine Region Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 German states that make up Germany. Baden-Wuerttemberg is one of the growth centers of Germany due to its booming export industries. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are prime examples. Baden-Württemberg comprises two wine growing areas, Baden and Württemberg.
Wine from Württemberg is mainly red wine. The main production area is along the Neckar River between Stuttgart and Heilbronn. There are also vineyards on Lake Constance that belong to Württemberg.
More wine is consumed here (per capita) than anywhere else in Germany - actually twice as much as in the rest of Germany. The German poet Friedrich von Schiller wrote already several centuries ago: “A Württemberger without wine--is that a real Württemberger?”
The Trollinger is the most popular variety, which is grown almost exclusively in Württemberg. It is a nice table wine that goes well with the local food. If you are looking for a premium wine, Lemberger (known as Blaufränkisch in Austria and Kékfrankos in its Hungarian homeland) is the grape variety to go for. The Lemberger made by Weingut Dautel and Weingut Wachstetter, which we had during the tour, can compete with the best red wines in the world.
With 11,000 hectares under vine, Württemberg is Germany's fourth largest wine region. Winemaking cooperatives are very common in Württemberg, number around 70, and are responsible for almost 75% of the region's production.
Wines from Württemberg are hard to find in the US. This is partly explained by the production structure, which is dominated by co-operatives. These co-operatives are known for producing top class wines. But they tend to be less aggressive in terms of penetrating new markets.
Weingut Graf Neipperg
Weingut Graf Neipperg is in Schwaigern in Württemberg. Bernd Supp has been responsible for the winery since 1992.
The vineyards comprise 30 hectares of vines, a large part of it in the Neipperger Schlossberg and the Schwaigerner Ruthe. In terms of red grape varieties, Lemberger (30%) dominates; Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Trollinger are also planted. In terms of white grape varieties, Riesling (24%) dominates; Müller Thurgau, Muscatel and Traminer are also plated. About 40% of the vineyards are steep slopes, which are cultivated using the vertical terraces approach.
The Counts of Neipperg are said to have brought Lemberger to Germany in the 17th century. In any case, it was from here that the high-quality grape began its advance at the start of the 20th century. As a German red wine, it can effortlessly achieve the caliber of its international counterparts as a deep-colored, well-structured wine with powerful tannins.
Weingut Graf Neipperg’s focus is on traditional grape varieties of the region, vinified dry, and aged in one of the estate’s enormous casks in the castle cellar. The house also feels traditionally committed to the white specialties Muskateller and Traminer.
Rising Star of the Year - Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015
Last year, Karl Eugen Erbgraf zu Neipperg, Weingut des Grafen Neipperg, Schwaigern, was the Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015 Rising Star of the Year and was promoted to 4 (of 5) grapes.
The von Neipperg Family in Germany, Austria and France
Proprietor Count Karl-Eugen zu Neipperg is a descendant of an Austrian / German noble line dating back to the Holy Roman Empire. Members of this dynasty always played important roles in European history and politics, and have been making wine since the 12th century.
The first record of the Count von Neipperg goes as far back as the 12th century.
Looking back, there are many major historical figures in the von Neipperg family.
Count Eberhard-Friedrich von Neipperg epitomises the family's devotion to both military pursuits and winemaking. Imperial Field Marshal at the Austrian court, he was famous for having defeated the Turks at Timisoara in 1667. He was also responsible for introducing the famous Austrian grape variety Blaufränkisch (Lemberger) at his vineyard estates. This variety continues to enjoy prominence in the family vineyards.
Adam-Adalbert von Neipperg, is undoubtedly the family's most famous ancestor. A legendary soldier, nicknamed "the German Bayard" by Madame de Staël, he is most often depicted with an eye patch hiding a wound received at the Battle of Doelen in 1794. A devoted enemy of Napoleon, he used his diplomatic talents to contribute to the emperor's downfall. In 1814, Franz II, Emperor of Austria, asked Adam-Adalbert to court Napoleon's wife, Marie-Louise. Adam-Adalbert married her shortly thereafter. Their marriage produced three children, which prompted Chateaubriand to say that Adam-Adalbert "had dared to lay his eggs in the eagle's nest".
The family tree of the present Counts von Neipperg goes back to Adam-Adalbert's first marriage to Countess Paula de Treviso. It was during this troubled time that the von Neipperg holdings were annexed by the Duke of Württemberg, who had been proclaimed king. The family nevertheless managed to hold on to some of their land. At this juncture, the von Neippergs devoted most of their energy to winegrowing, while continuing to be involved with their country's political affairs.
The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany
The von Neippergs in France
Count Joseph Hubert von Neipperg branched out in 1971 and acquired 4 St. Emilion estates: La Mondotte, Château Canon-La Gaffelière, Clos de l'Oratoire, and Château Peyraud. Since 1984, Count Joseph Hubert’s son Count Stephan has been in charge of these 4 estates. Moreover, he expanded the family’s French holdings further and also entered into a joint venture in Bulgaria.
Château Canon La Gaffeliere in Saint Emilion with Owner Count Stefan von Neipperg, Bordeaux
Stephan Graf von Neipperg was borne at the family estate in Schwaigern. As a young man, he had no intention of getting involved in wine. He studied politics and business administration in Paris. Later, after having decided to change course, he also studied winemaking in Montpelier.
In 1983, Stephan Graf von Neipperg Neipperg moved with his German wife Sigweis to St. Emilion and at Château Canon La Gaffelière. At that point, the French holdings of the von Neipperg family consisted of the four estates his father had bought in 1971. Since then Stephan Graf von Neipperg he expanded the family’s French holdings further and also entered into a joint venture in Bulgaria. He has become one of the Right Bank's most successful winemakers.
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Muskateller
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Neipperger Weisburgunder
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Neipperger Riesling Kabinett
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Neipperger Schlossberg Riesling GG
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Rose
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Lemberger
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Neipperger Spätburgunder
2014 Weingut des Grafen Neipperg Neipperger Schlossberg Lemberger GG
Postings: Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015) (Published and Forthcoming)
Preview: Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
The Art Marketer: OMBIASY PR & WINE TOURS - Germany-East
Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Tasting at Weingut Lützkendorf with Uwe Lützkendorf – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Pawis (Saale Unstrut): Estate Tour and Wine Tasting with Markus Pawis – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Thürkind in Gröst, Saale-Unstrut: Tour, Tasting and Lunch – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany
Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe, in Zadel, Sachsen: Tour and Tasting with Prinz zur Lippe – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Dining with Prinz zur Lippe, Owner of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, at the Lippe’sches Gutshaus - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Karl Friedrich Aust in Radebeul, Sachsen: Tour and Lunch with Tasting – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany
Tour and Tasting at Weingut Wirsching in Iphofen in Franken with General Manager Uwe Matheus – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Visit and Tasting at Weingut Am Stein Ludwig Knoll in Würzburg, Franken - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Tasting and Tour with the Pinot Noir Legend Paul Fürst, Weingut Rudolf Fürst in Bürgstadt, Franken – Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Graf Neipperg in Schwaigern, Württemberg
Tasting at Weingut Dautel in Württemberg with Christian Dautel
Wine Pairing Dinner at Restaurant Friedrich von Schiller in Bietigheim-Bissingen in Württemberg
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Herzog von Württemberg at Schloss Monrepos with Owner F.R.H. Carl Duke of Württemberg
Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Rainer Schnaitmann at Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann in Fellbach, Württemberg
Wine Tasting at Weingut Simon-Bürkle in Zwingenberg, Hessische Bergstrasse