Johannisberg Castle

Johannisberg, Germany

Schloss Johannisberg is a castle and winery in the Rheingau wine-growing region of Germany. It has been making wine for over 900 years. The winery is most noted for its claim to have 'discovered' late harvest wine.

A mountain on the north bank of the River Rhine near Mainz has been associated with the Church and with winemaking since the Dark Ages, when the estate of Ludwig der Fromme ('Louis the Pious') made 6000 litres of wine during the reign of Charlemagne. In 1100, Benedictine monks completed a monastery on the Bischofsberg ('Bishop's') mountain, having identified the site as one of the best places to grow vines. Thirty years later they built a Romanesque basilica in honour of John the Baptist, and the hill became known as Johannisberg ('John's mountain'). It was constructed on floor plans similar to that of its mother house, St. Alban's Abbey, Mainz. The monastery was a prime target for the Anabaptists in the German Peasants' War of 1525, and it was destroyed.

In 1716, Konstantin von Buttlar, Prince-Abbot of Fulda, bought the estate from Lothar Franz von Schönborn, started construction of the baroque palace, and, in 1720, planted Riesling vines, making it the oldest Riesling vineyard in the world. The estate changed hands several times during the Napoleonic Wars, but in 1816 Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, gave it to the great Austrian statesman Prince von Metternich.

In 1942, the Schloss was bombed and reduced to a shell by the air raids on Mainz in 1942. By the mid-1960s it had been largely rebuilt by Prince Paul Alfons von Metternich and his wife Princess Tatiana, who had fled there on a farm cart in 1945 after the Russians had advanced on their other estates. Prince Paul died in 1992, leaving no heir, but a significant portion of his fortune to his mistress. With his death the House of Metternich became extinct. Although Princess Tatiana was allowed to reside in the Schloss until her death in 2006, the situation had forced her husband to sell the estate to the German Oetker family in 1974.

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Details

Founded: 1716
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chris Go (2 years ago)
Nice castle with a expensive restaurant, but the view is nice and there's a good walk though the wineyards
Nikki Chennault (3 years ago)
Johannisberg Castle is simply incredible. Beautiful views over the Rhine river. And I love the Furst Von Metternich wines. We had dinner in the cute little restaurant and watched the sun set. It was perfect. It's easy to get to and there is plenty of parking, even for larger vehicles.
Giancarlo Girardi (3 years ago)
This place is fantastic. The views over the Rhine river are spectacular. The service is very attentive and friendly. I've been there many times and have always loved the food. The wine choices are also very good. The place is not cheap, but the quality of food and service are worth the price. I definitively recommend this place!
Tim Swan (3 years ago)
It was pretty nice, probably geared towards larger groups. Although I saw a lot of cyclist sampling the wine I could see this being an ideal location for a corporate function.
Sarah Kenerley (3 years ago)
Beautiful all around but not kid friendly and I had my 3 year old and 1 year old so we didnt eat at the restaurant and I was only able to do a little sampling. I'm sure it would have been much more enjoyable sans kids and with another adult.
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