In 1780, the father of Dr. Franz Werner, the renowned Domdechant (dean) of the Cathedral of Mainz, acquired from the Count York the Hochheim wine estate. Domdechant Werner is credited with having saved the Cathedral from being demolished during the French Revolution and was responsible for its reconstruction.
The historical estate is owned by Dr. Franz Werner Michel, the seventh generation of the founding family. The eighth (and possibly ninth) generation is now on the scene, as Dr. Michel's daughter, Catharina Mauritz, mother of three sons, has also become involved in the estate's management.
The picturesque estate is located on the edge of the small wine-growing village of Hochheim. It is surrounded by vineyards and affords a wonderful view of the city of Mainz and the Rhein-Main landscape. The stylish estate manor dating from 1864 is not only home to the Michel family, but also the site of tastings and special events in the intimate setting of the family's dining room, complete with period furnishings and historical pictures. The half-timbered barn opposite the manor is also used for tastings and sales. Beneath the manor and the mighty chestnut trees in the courtyard lie the estate's cellars, where the grape musts are fermented, vinified and stored until they are shipped to destinations around the globe.
The estate's chestnut-shaded courtyard is inviting, but limited in space. For this reason, daughter Catharina and her husband acquired the nearby Domänenhof buildings that were part of the Mainz cathedral domains (probably) since 1250, then owned by the Dukes of Nassau (as of 1806), the King of Prussia (since 1866), and most recently, the state of Hesse. The complex includes the former tithe barn, where peasant farmers annually had to deliver ten percent (the tithe) of their crop as tax payment...today, a modern pressing facility and a site for cultural events that provide the Domdechant Werner estate additional space. The young Mauritz family lives in the domain's baroque manor.
In the chronicle of the Domdechant Werner wine estate, the first public wine auction was mentioned in 1795. Since then, the tradition of annual wine auctions has continued for some 150 years. The estate also presents and sells its fine wines from Hochheim at national and international trade fairs, exhibitions and competitions.
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