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The Scharzhofberg is located in a quiet side valley of the Saar just east of Wiltingen. It has south- to southeast-facing slopes. On the western flank, the slope faces more southwest. The incline is anywhere between 30 and 60 percent, with an elevation between 190 and 310 meters above sea level.
The Scharzhofberg is not just a vineyard. It is a myth that is known as Germany’s most famous vineyard in the world. Its wines are sold at auction for breathtakingly high prices.
The vineyard rises steeply in parts, but has nothing of the visual drama of an overwhelmingly steep slate slope of the Mosel Valley. The beauty of the Scharzhofberg is of a quieter nature.
The greatest thing about the Scharzhofberg is its soil. Nowhere on the Mosel is the slate—in this case, gray slate—so weathered as in the best and oldest section of the Scharzhofberg. The fine earth is clayey-silty, with a crumbly structure—partly ferrous and red. The eastern flank of the hillside towards Oberemmel has more hard gray quartzite-bearing sandstones mixed in with the gray slate. The great harmony of the soil gives the wines their power and depth. The wine’s balance comes from the microclimate here. The side valley is open to the wind, which provides ventilation but also a cooling effect, with an extreme temperature difference between day and night. The Riesling grapes enjoy the sunlight from an ideal exposition. In the center of the Scharzhofberg, there is a heat-storing hollow. On top of the hillside is the wooded ridge that secures the water supply to the vines.
A large parcel owned by Egon Müller has ungrafted, old vines that are thought to have been planted in the 19th century. Scharzhofberg Riesling wines are rather subdued and elegant on the nose. The wines have herbal flavors, such as peppermint, chamomile, bergamot, and blossom notes, as well as a fine spicy saltiness. The wines show the greatest nobility.
The Gold Slope
The Scharzhofberg has a long winegrowing history. If it is correct that the origin of the field name Scharz—as it was still known around 1800—comes from the Latin sarta or sartum, which means “cleared woodland,” then grapes were harvested from the Scharzhofberg already in Roman times.
The Scharzhof was possibly already a part of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Mary ad Martyres, which was founded in 700. In 1797, it was auctioned off in the course of the Napoleonic secularization and experienced an enormous increase in value. In 1896, a plot of 0.3 ha cost 90,000 Goldmarks!
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