Monday, June 20, 2016

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg, Franken, Germany

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller at Alte Mainbrücke, Würzburg

Würzburg

This city of 130,000, nestled among vineyards along the river banks, is arguably the finest of Germany's Baroque and Rococo towns. Its history dates from the 8th century, when Frankish dukes, converted to Christianity by Irish missionary monks, laid the foundations of massive Marienberg Fortress on the crest of the highest of Würzburg's many terraced and vine-covered hills. One of the oldest churches in the country, the Marienkirche, consecrated in 706, still stands in that castle's courtyard.

From the Middle Ages until 1802, when Napoleon reshaped the map of Europe, imposed secularization and ceded the city to the newly created Kingdom of Bavaria, Würzburg was a rich, influential and virtually independent prince-bishopric whose rulers enjoyed both ecclesiastical and worldly powers. Most important though, nearly all those prince-bishops were connoisseurs and patrons of the arts. Their sponsorship and commissions attracted great artists and architects, who made the city the major cultural center that it is today.
Thus it was Würzburg where the painter Matthias Grünewald was born and did some of his earliest work as an apprentice to local masters. In 1483, during the reign of Prince-Bishop Rudolf von Scherenberg, Tilman Riemenschneider, the greatest of the Renaissance woodcarvers and sculptors, settled and established his studio in Würzburg, ultimately becoming the city's burgomaster. His work is omnipresent in Würzburg churches and in those of nearby towns and villages.

Two other prince-bishops hired Balthasar Neumann, Germany's preeminent Baroque architect, to build the Residenz, their diocesal palace, and commissioned Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo to decorate it with Rococo ceiling and wall frescoes.

To be sure, a great deal of what you see in Würzburg today is not what you think it is or what it purports to be, for much of what looks old is relatively new. Most of the city's architectural heritage was destroyed in a single World War II air raid in March 1945. But visitors today will hardly notice, for many beautiful churches, graceful bridges, ornate patrician houses and splendid hospices were rebuilt.

3 Legendary Wineries with Wine Taverns

When you are in Würzburg, Franken, and want to go out for a bite and couple of glasses of wine in the evening, the obvious choice that immediately comes to mind are the 3 iconic wine producer Bürgerspital, Juliusspital and Staatlicher Hofkeller that are all located in the center of Würzburg and that all have wine taverns.

My first choice is the Bürgerspital. A tiny step below is the wine tavern of the Juliusspital, in terms of food and ambiance, which are more basic than at the Bürgerspital. The wines, all from the Juliusspital, are equally world class. The Staatlicher Hofkeller also has a tavern, which I cannot recommend however. The location is excellent as is the ambiance and the food. It is part of the residence but not in terms of spirit. There are no wines from the Staatlicher Hofkeller on the menu (but lots of beer).

Bürgerspital Tavern

The first vineyards of the Bürgerspital were planted in the 1300s and served to supply the Bürgerspital’s own needs. It is reported that in 1598, the residents of the old people's home were provided with a tankard - 1.22 litres - of wine. Today, the vineyard area of Weingut Bürgerspital totals 120 hectares, of which about 80 hectares are located in Würzburg.

The iconic Bürgerspital tavern -- with its 10 rustically furnished rooms and a retail store -- is in a wing of this institution. The food is regional and the wines are those of Weingut Bürgerspital. The last time I ate there I had steak tartare.

Pictures: Bürgerspital

Juliusspital Tavern

Weingut Juliusspital is Germany’s second largest winery with 177 hectares under vines. At the center of the Juliusspital Foundation are a hospital, an assisted living home for elderly people and a hospice. This has been so for more than 400 years. Today, the buildings of the Juliusspital Foundation comprise many modern buildings but also very impressive and well maintained historical buildings. As to the latter, the Fürstenbau, a palatial building, designed by the architect Antonio Petrini built in the Barock style with its historical cellar vaults, its garden pavilion and the fountain statues of Jacob van der Auvera, make the Juliusspital a unique monument of art and culture at the heart of the city of Würzburg. The historical cellars, which we had the opportunity to visit, with the old traditional wooden casks, are still in use for fermentation and aging.

The iconic Juliusspital tavern is part of the Juliusspital complex. It is large. The wines are those of Weingut Juliuspital. The last time I ate their I had “Nürnberger Bratwürste”.

See:
Tour and Tasting at the Historic Weingut Juliusspital in Würzburg, Franken – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Pictures: Juliusspital and Juliusspital Tavern

Würzburg Residenz and Staatlicher Hofkeller

Würzburg's most dazzling piece of architecture, and the one for which it is on UNESCO's list, is the Residenz, the palace of the prince-bishops, one of the largest and most richly decorated chateaus in all Europe. Its sponsor was Johann Philip von Schönborn, who was elected prince-bishop in 1719. The Residenz’ mind-boggling centerpiece is the grand staircase, capped by Tiepolo's 7,000-square-foot ceiling fresco. The vaulted ceiling is more than 17 feet high and is entirely unsupported by pillars.The appeal of the wines lies in their fascinating diversity.

Pictures: Würzburg Residenz

Once you have traversed the rooms and parlors of the Residenz, be certain to visit the Staatliche Hofkellerei Würzburg. The extensive and labyrinthine wine cellars stretch out deep below the building.

The Staatliche Hofkeller Würzburg is one of Germany’s largest wine estates. Founded in 1128, it is also one of the oldest. Initially, it was owned by the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg. From 1814 onwards, after the Vienna Congress, the Kingdom of Bavaria was the owner under the name Königlich Bayerischer Hofkeller (royal Bavarian state cellar), with an interlude from 1806 to 1814, when it was owned by Grand Duke Ferdinand of Tuscany.

After the revolution of 1918, the Kingdom of Bavaria became part of the Weimar Republic as the State of Bavaria and the State of Bavaria took over the Staatliche Hofkellerei Würzburg as the successor of the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Today, the vineyard area totals 120 hectares. These holdings are spread over many communes.
The Staatlicher Hofkeller also has a tavern, which I cannot recommend however. The location is excellent as is the ambiance and the food. It is part of the residence but not in terms of spirit. There are no wines from the Staatlicher Hofkeller on the menu (but lots of beer).

Pictures: Staatlicher Hofkeller

Other Wine Taverns

Moving on to other wine taverns, my favorite is the Weinhaus Stachel. The food is excellent as is the selection of wines from the region. A step below is the popular Backöfele. The Würzburger Ratskeller is another option.

Weinhaus Stachel

Weinhaus Stachel is the oldest restaurant of Würzburg and it’s got a lovely romantic inner courtyard where you can dine on warm evenings. Today a nice restaurant, Weinhaus Stachel once was the conspirative venue of the knights in the German Peasants’ War in the early 16th century. The mace hanging outside the door is referring to this history of the tavern. Gressengasse 1

Pictures: Weinhaus Stachel

Backöfele

A step below in terms of quality is the very popular Backöfele. It is large and always packed. The food is good as is the wine. The crowd there is a bit younger than at Weinhaus Stachel. Ursulinergasse 2

Pictures: Backöfele

Würzburger Ratskeller

The Würzburger Ratskeller is located in the Würzburg city hall. It has seventeen different rooms - one is in the old house chapel and another was once the city dungeon. There is also a beautiful inner courtyard where you can dine next to the fountain. Langgasse 1

Just for a Glass of Wine: Alte Mainbrücke

Finally, just for a glass of wine, go to the Alte Mainbrücke, a stunning 500-year-old stone bridge. You will find—especially on a sunny day—hundreds of wine drinkers. The bridge crosses the River Main and motor traffic is banned. It has become quite common for the Würzburg citizens, as well as visitors, to stroll across bridge, relax against one of its balustrades, sip a glass of wine and enjoy the amazing view.

On the left bank, you will see the imposing fortress—Festung Marienberg—standing guard over the city from and the Käppele, a beautiful baroque chapel. Along the steep banks of the Main, you can make out the Würzburger Stein. Where do you get your wine? Weinbistro Mainwein on the Alte Mainbrücke is an outlet of the GWF co-operative (Winzergemeinschaft Franken). The GWF has 2270 members. The vineyard area totals 1321 hectares. You can purchase wine by the bottle or by the glass. Restaurant Alte Mainmühle is another option.

Pictures: At Alte Mainbrücke, Würzburg

Fine Dining and World Class Wines at Reisers am Stein

Moving up, the top place for premium wine and food is Reisers am Stein, which is part of Weingut am Stein/ Ludwig Knoll, right in the middle of the Würzburger Stein, the biggest single vineyard in Franconia, overlooking the city. Along with the Staatliche Hofkeller, the Bürgerspital and the Juliusspital, Weingut am Stein Ludwig Knoll owns parcels of the Würzburger Stein. You need a car to go there, but you will be rewarded with Michelin-starred cuisine and world class wines, from Weingut am Stein/ Ludwig Knoll and elsewhere. Mittlerer Steinbergweg 5

See:
Visit and Tasting at Weingut Am Stein Ludwig Knoll in Würzburg, Franken - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Pictures: Reisers am Stein, Würzburg

Schiller’ Favorites

Here is a complete list of Schiller's Favorites:

Europe

Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg, Franken, Germany
Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and Wine Taverns in Freiburg, Baden, Germany
Schiller's Favorites: Frankfurt Apple Wine Taverns that Make their own Apple Wine
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Winemakers in the Saale-Unstrut Region, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany
Schiller's Favorite (Wine-) Restaurants in Deidesheim in the Pfalz, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Berlin, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, 2013, Germany
Schiller's Favorite Apple Wine Taverns in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Mainz, Germany

France

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France
Schiller’s Favorite Restaurants, Brasseries, Bistros, Cafes and Wine Bars in Paris, France
Schiller's Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France, 2014
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
Schiller’s Favorite Restaurants, Brasseries, Bistros, Cafes and Wine Bars in Paris, 2012 France
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux (City) (2012), France

UK, Spain, Austria, Hungary

Schiller's Favorite Winebars in London, UK
Schiller’s Favorite Tapas Bars in Logroño in La Rioja, Spain
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in London, 2012, UK
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and Other Wine Spots in Vienna, Austria
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Budapest, Hungary
Schiller’s Favorite Spots to Drink Wine in Vienna, Austria (2011)

USA

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Austin, Texas, USA
Riesling Crawl in New York City – Or, Where to Buy German Wine in Manhattan: Schiller's Favorite Wine Stores, USA
Schiller's Favorite Oyster Bars and Seafood Places in Seattle, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in New York City, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Seattle, USA
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Washington DC, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Crab Houses in the Washington DC Region, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in New York City, 2012, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in San Francisco, USA
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and Other Places Where You Can Have a Glass of Wine in Healdsburg, California

Asia

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Singapore
Schiller s Favorite Winebars in Beijing, 2014, China

Africa

Schiller's Favorite Wines of Madagascar
Schiller’s 12 Favorite Restaurants of Antananarivo, the Capital of Madagascar

Postings: Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Tasting at Weingut Lützkendorf in Bad Kösen, Saale-Unstrut, with Uwe Lützkendorf

Vinyard Walk and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hey in Naumburg, Saale-Unstrut, with Matthias Hey

Tasting at Weingut Pawis in Freyburg-Zscheiplitz, Saale-Unstrut, with Marcus Pawis

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany

Wine and Music: Lunch with Gottfried Herrlich at Restaurant Vincenz Richter in Meissen

Visit, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe

Tasting at Weingut Tim Strasser/Rothes Gut in Meissen, Sachsen, with Tim Strasser

Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Drei Herren in Radebeul, Sachsen

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)

Lunch at Weingut Lutz Müller, Schloss Albrechtsburg, Sachsen, with Lutz Müller

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Zur Schwane in Volkach, Franken with Winemaker Christian Kallisch

Vinyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Schmitt’s Kinder in Randersacker, Franken, with Martin Johann Schmitt

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Staatlicher Hofkeller in Würzburg, Franken, with General Manager Marcel von den Benken

Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour, Lunch and Tasting at Weingut Fürst Hohenlohe Öhringen in Öhringen–Verrenberg,Württemberg with Winemaker Joachim Brand

Visit of Staatsweingut Weinsberg in Weinsberg, Württemberg, with Kyle Frank from the Finger Lakes

Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder in Schozach, Württemberg, with Kilian Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder
 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr. Schiller!
    With huge interest, I read your article!!!!
    You have a fine, fascinating, interesting syllable, it is easy to read your narration.
    You describe chronology, magnificent places and buildings of huge historical value and all this is very harmonious and consistently connected by you with Win, Winemaking and Wine growing!
    I am an artist, I paint pictures on a cardboard the impregnated natural grape wine.
    I would be very grateful to dialogue with you.
    To me is than to share with you.
    With deep respect and appreciation

    GALA KWIN www.galakwin.ru FB GalaKwin

    ReplyDelete