Historic wine estate located in Würzburg in the Franken wine-growing region in Germany, the full name is the „Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist” (Holy Spirit citizens hospital). Würzburg patrician Johannes von Steren (1270-1329) provided facilities at the current site for the care of any citizens who needed it, and laid the groundwork for the foundation. The official establishment of the „Neues Spital” (later renamed to „Bürgerspital”) was in 1319, this was officially documented by Pope John XXII. (1244-1334) in 1320. The founding family handed over 13 morgen of vineyard land as a surety for the income of the hospital. Today the estate is owned by a public foundation, and is administered by Sonja Höferlin and Helmut Plunien. Over the centuries, it has grown to its present size. The vineyard area now totals 140 hectares, of which around 110 hectares are currently in production. 70% of this area is located within the borders of the city, in the sites Abtsleite, Innere Leiste, Stein (with the subsidiary site Steinharfe, a monopole site) and Pfaffenberg. In addition, the estate holds parcels in top-quality sites in Randersacker (Pfülben, Teufelskeller, Marsberg, Sonnenstuhl) and Thüngersheim (Sonnenschein), as well as sites in Frickenhausen (Kapellenberg), Gössenheim (Homburg), and Veitshöchheim (Scharlachberg).
What is unusual for the Franken region is that Riesling is the most widely planted variety, making up almost a third (30 ha), followed by Silvaner (27 ha), Müller-Thurgau (13 ha), Bacchus (4 ha), Pinot Blanc (5 ha), Pinot Noir (4 ha), Pinot Gris (3 ha), Rieslaner (3 ha), Domina (3 ha), Gewürztraminer (2 ha), Schwarzriesling (2 ha), Scheurebe (1 ha), Dornfelder (1 ha) and Blaufränkisch (1 ha). The vines are planted at high density. Sustainable vineyard practices are implemented, with minimal fertilising. The cellar is one of the largest in Germany, it holds more than 200 oval oak barrels with a capacity of 700.000 litres, the total capacity of the cellar is two million litres. Following fermentation in stainless steel tanks, most of the wines are matured on the lees in the oak vats. All the wines are then bottled in the famous ”Bocksbeutel bottle with the unmistakeable Bürgerpsital coat of arms on the shoulder (the Bürgerspital is considered to be the birthplace of this bottle shape. There are wines from the past four centuries in this cellar, the oldest is a famous Würzburger Stein from 1540. A bottle of this wine was tasted in 1961 (i.e. when it was 421 years old) by wine writer Hugh Johnson, who declared it to be „still alive”. A wine from this site was also the favourite wine of author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Another fan of Stein wines was author Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935). Annual production is around one million bottles. The estate is a member of the VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitäts-Weingüter) association.