Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier: A Traditional Heritage
In 1966, with the merger of the three major wineries – Bischöfliches Konvikt (est. in 1840), Bischöfliches Priesterseminar (est. in 1773), and Hohe Domkirche (est. in 1851) – an estate was established that owns absolute prime vineyards: Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier.
Since its foundation, all three estates belonged to the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer (VDNV), known today as the VDP, or Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (Prädikat Wine Estates). As it was at that time forbidden for members of the auction circle to chaptalize quality wines, they decided to resign in 1971.
Bischöfliche Konvikt (Episcopal Seminary) includes 37 hectars vineyards along all three rivers: Piesporter Goldtröpfchen and Avelsbacher on the Mosel, Ayler Kupp on the Saar, Eitelsbacher Marienholz and Kaseler Kehrnagel on the Ruwer. In Eitelsbach, Duisburger Hof, owned by Bischöfliches Konvikt, is still used as the press house for all the grapes harvested in the Mosel and Ruwer.
In 1806, Bishop Karl Mannay set up in an outbuilding school, which he later called a “little seminary.” Since the original building was insufficient to meet the influx of students, they founded in the early 19th century a private charity that should reflect “on means and ways to study for the church, also for impecunious boys.” This allowed the seminary to take 16 boys on Easter 1840.
The vineyards of the Bischöfliches Priesterseminar (Episcopal Seminary)
comprise 34 hectares of land, including sites such as Erdener Treppchen and Trittenheimer Apotheke on the Mosel, Kaseler Nies’chen on the Ruwer, and Ayler Kupp on the Saar.
In 1773, Archbishop-Elector Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony founded the Bischöfliche Priesterseminar under the name “Seminarium Clementinum.” To date, it is still the training center of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trier for the priesthood.
Hohe Domkirche (Cathedral of Trier) holds 27 ha of vines with 6 ha in the precious Scharzhofberger in the Saar region. All the grapes that are harvested on the Saar are pressed in the legenday old Scharzhof in Wiltingen.
The history of the Cathedral of Trier – the oldest church in Germany and the oldest cathedral north of the Alps – goes back to the beginnings of Christianity. Emperor Constantine, who granted the persecuted Christians religious freedom in the fourth century, erected under Bishop Agritius in the years 310 to 320 the first great basilica in Trier. The building was considered the largest church of the Roman Empire.
The history of the cathedral has been closely associated with winegrowing. Documents dating back to 1249 show members of the Archdiocese were freed of their religious duties during the harvest.
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