World famous winery with headquarters in the same named castle on the famous Johannisberg in the Rheingau, At Johannisberg allegedly already left Charlemagne (742-814) create a vineyard for the first time. Built between 1096 and 1100 Benedictine monks out Mainz on the plateau of Bischofsbergs above the village Johannisberg a monastery and also operated viticulture. The Basilica " John the Baptist "Was inaugurated in 1130 and gave the monastery and community the name. The prince-abbot of Fulda Konstantin von Buttlar (1679-1726) bought in 1716 from the Mainz Elector Bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1655-1729) from the remains for 75,392 gulden, demolished the building and there erect a three-winged, baroque castle building as a summer residence. A huge, 250-meter-long cellar was added in 1721 to the old cellar.
At that time it was common in the Rheingau, the vineyards in the mixed sentence including the historic varieties Elbling and Orleans, In 1720 the prince abbot ripped out the mixed sentence on the southern slope to the Rhine and brought along Riesling tiller. This contributed to the popularity and spread of the variety also known as "Johannisberg Riesling". Cuttings from the Johannisberg were coveted in every continent, and so many vines in Australia, South Africa and the USA come from here. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Rheingau was occupied by the French and in 1803 the castle and vineyards were secularized. Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821) gave the estate to his Marshal François-Étienne-Christophe Kellermann (1735-1820), the Duke of Valmy. This sold the entire harvest of the famous vintage 1811 to Gottlieb Mumm (1782-1852), which gives rise to today's winery GH from Mumm founded.
The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) wrote enthusiastically about the Johannisberg: "Mon Dieu, if I had so much faith in me that I could move mountains, the Johannisberg would be just the mountain that I would follow everywhere" . Other famous lovers of Johannisberger wine were Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), who served on his 66th birthday a Riesling Johannisberg Cabinet vintage 1748, the author of the novel "Leather Stocking" James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) and the German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941). Goethe visited Schloss Johannisberg in 1814 and wrote: "Johannisberg towers above everything else. The magnates have no dispute among themselves. Hochheimer, Johannisberger and Rüdesheimer allow each other to prevail, only among the gods of a lower rank is jealousy and envy " .
Thomas wrote in a letter Jefferson (1743-1826), the later US President, after a trip to the Rhine in 1788: "Interrupt your journey in Rüdesheim and at the monastery Johannisberg to examine there the vineyards and wines, the latter being the best produced on the Rhine, it is incomparable and costs about as much as the oldest Hochheimer. The vintage 1775 is the best " . In the same year occurred on the Johannisberg the famous story of Spätlesereiter of which a sculpture in the castle courtyard announces. From 1788, all vintages were drawn on bottles and accurate bottling lists with origin, bottle price and capacity created. The monks began to read more selectively and systematically produce late reading and reading. In 1858, one of the first documented documents Eiswein vinified.
After the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and the defeat Napoleon the possession stood until 1815 under common administration of Austria, Prussia and Russia. In the course of the negotiations at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) it came into the possession of the Austrian Emperor Franz I (1768-1835), who paid it to Prince Klemens Wenzel Lothar Count Metternich-Winneburg (1773-1859) for his services to the European peace under the condition that the Habsburg family or their legal successors enter annually tithe be paid from the income. This agreement is valid until today, the beneficiary is the house Habsburg.
In 1942 the castle was bombed and almost completely destroyed. The great-grandson of Chancellor Paul Alfons Metternich rebuilt it to its former glory until 1965. Owner is the "Prince of Metternich-Winneburg'sche domain Schloss Johannisberg GbR". The manager is Christian Witte and the cellar master is Gerd Ritter (who incidentally also works for the neighboring winery GH from Mumm are responsible). At the end of 2001 Schloss Johannisberg celebrated the 900th anniversary of the winery with numerous celebrities.
The vineyards cover 35 hectares of vineyards in the monopoly owned location Castle Johannisberg, which extends below the castle at an altitude of 114 to 182 meters with 10 to 45% slope. Schloss Johannisberg is administratively a separate district of Geisenheim, which with the Wine Law of 1971 gives the right to keep the name of the place without place name on the bottle label. The soils consist of stony loess and clay with Taunus quartz in the underground. Exactly through this vineyard runs as a geographical feature of the 50th parallel, which is commonly considered the northern border for commercial viticulture. However, the excellent microclimate allows figs, almonds and lemons to ripen.
After a Whole bunch pressing The wines are fermented slowly and cool. The quality levels are indicated by colors. These are yellow for quality wine, red for , green for late vintage, pink for choice, pink-gold for Beerenauslese, gold for Trockenbeerenauslese and blue for Eiswein, When Wine of the century is the Eiswein 1996 referred to, which was read on December 26 early in the morning in bitter cold and had 180 ° Oechsle must weight and 18.9 per thousand acid. Every year around 260,000 bottles of wine are produced. Castle Johannisberg is the origin of the champagne brand "Prince of Metternich", see the history below Söhnlein,