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The Bernkasteler Doctor is today, as in ages past, one of the largest of the large sites on the Mosel, despite or because of the only 3.25 hectares it covers. The imposing, dizzying steep slope rises conically above the village of Bernkastel. In this wind-exposed location with its extreme sunshine, only Riesling is cultivated. The Doctorberg produces wines that are often finely structured and can develop a strong, spicy taste. The aging potential of Doctor wines is legendary.
The Berncasteler Doctor enjoys a unique reputation in the worldwide wine scene. The "Doctorberg" is one of the most famous and expensive vineyards in the world. From its origin the "Doctor" is an aristocrat among the vineyards. Electors and sovereigns strove to own this vineyard, since the wine from the "Doctorberg" was considered the most valuable commodity and aroused great desires. It was sold or inherited, from one noble family to the other. In the 19th and 20th centuries, its subsequent secular owners always took the same care as the previous noble owners and the quality of the wines still testifies to the uniqueness of this vineyard today.
The "Doctor" saga
It was in 1360, when Archbishop Bohemund of Trier once fell so ill that the doctors despaired of his recovery in spite of all the medicines and cures, but he would have liked to live for several more years, the whole archbishopric was informed who had a remedy for the feathers, may it be brought to his attention, a high reward was certain. Whereupon almost daily pharmacists with wonder boxes and old women with medicinal herbs appeared in Trier. It was already well into summer, and the doctors believed that autumn would lay the venerable lord in his grave, when one day an old knight came and carried a barrel on his shoulder. The feverish man was frightened when he saw it, for he feared the medicines, which tasted bitter and yet did not help. The knight, however, placed his barrel on the table and said: "It would be good for his grace, he may only try it. When Bohemund saw the golden spring that poured out of the bunghole, he let it be handed to him and drank with obvious pleasure. As the sick man enjoyed a few more days of the delicious drink, the fever broke and soon he stood up and cried "This is the real doctor". But the knight, asked for his reward, laughed and said that the archbishop should grant the title of Doctor to the mountain on which the wine grew, since he could do more than the learned gentlemen. And Bohemund had the knightly medicine issued a doctor's letter with all the seals, since what days the Berncasteler is called Doctor and has helped many a sick person from his need.
The outstanding goodness of the Berncasteler Doctor
Apart from the medieval marketing of the Doctor Sage, the Doctorberg owes its reputation mainly to the special taste of its wines. The Riesling wines produced there are among the best white wines available worldwide. The reasons for the excellent quality can be attributed to several factors. The Doctorberg is a south-south-west location with a slope slope between 35 and 45 degrees, which is ideal for all-day sunshine. The favorable angle of incidence of the sun allows for irradiation from morning to evening, resulting in particularly high climatic values in the Doctor. The soil, made of weathered slate, has a high proportion of fine earth, which ensures good water retention. This makes the soil more fertile and nutritious than in neighboring areas. The massive slate rock of the Berncasteler Doctor is vertically fanned out, so the rainwater can trickle through the slate and dissolve valuable minerals, which are absorbed by the roots and passed on to the vines.
The most expensive vineyard in the world
The Berncasteler Doctor is no plagiarism, it is considered for 300 years as the most expensive vineyard in the world. In 1899, when 30 Marks were paid for a vine in the best location on the Saar and 60 Marks in Berncastel for a vine in the Doctor, it was believed that the highest price had been reached. In 1900, Privy Councillor Julius Wegler, the co-owner of the Deinhard sparkling wine cellar, purchased a plot of land of 4,300 square meters in the Doctorberg and paid an incredible 100 Goldmarks per vine. The entire property was worth more than one million marks. This is still the most expensive vineyard purchase in German history.
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