Re-opening of the 1000 years old wine cellar

On Oct. 1st Unstrut’s oldest wine cellar has opened its doors for visitors and wine connoisseurs.

The cellar, dating back to the late 10th-early 11 centuries – by far the oldest in the wine region of Saale-Unstrut – is one of the earliest and finest example of utilitarian Romanesque architecture in Europe. The cellar is an antique remnant of a 10th century Pfalzgrafenhof – Palace of the Count Palatine – of Saxony: an aristocratic residence, a place of power and authority, but also a venue for lavish banquets and celebrations of the court of the German king Henry the Fowler, Emperors Otto IOtto II, Henry III. Here, at Weißenburg, around year 1000, Adalbert archbishop of Bremen was born – later one of the regents for Emperor Henry IV and an important political figure of the Holy Roman Empire.

After a year-long restoration work, performed and financed entirely by the Hahn family, has resulted in spectacular success. The cellar is now clean of cubic meters of rubbish and building waste from the construction works on the neighboring property, stored there by the previous owners. Its floor and walls are renovated using the traditional methods and local materials. Electricity is renewed, two medieval windows opened, cleaned and new windows installed. Heavy steel doors, dating back to mid 19th century, were cleaned, restored and returned to their original place.

With the holding capacity of 1200 bottles the cellar would be used as a house wine storage, but also as an exhibition piece and is accessible to the visitors of the manor, as well as tourists. It will also be used for presentations of PfalzMarke wine and produce collection, such as cheeses, hams, olive oils and game products.

This season we are proud to feature ALIRA wine from arguably the newest and the best the private wineries in Europe. It is located in Dobruja – historical region situated between the lower Danube River and the Black Sea, and includes the Danube Delta and Romanian coast. “We focus on quality and sacrifice quantity, to make sure that the best grapes end up creating the best wines. That is the reason we reduce the production to only 6 tons per hectare. Because we love and respect wine grapes” says ALIRA’s oenologist Marc Dworkin.

Currently, ALIRA produces four wine ranges:

ALIRA – the first range, launched in 2009, the first pages of the story. Alira range is the homage to the earth in Aliman and Rasova, the expression of our respect for nature, for the sunny hills that welcomed us and allowed us to “forge” these wines.

ALIRA TRIBUN – combination of truffles, prunes, currants and sour cherries. The attack is juicy, with a taste of ripe sour cherries, plums, and cocoa powder. The lively acidity of sour cherries and the ripe tannins mellow the alcohol, and the final is long and slightly spicy.

ALIRA GRAND VIN – the black pearl of the cellar. From the best grapes from the best plots, oenologist Marc Dworkin chose to create a collection of wines that define himself: Alira Grand Vin, super premium range of Aliman and Rasova.

LAURI – a light wine, for long summer days, with light red and roses nuances. It bears a delicate fragrance of strawberry and melon, and the taste is velvety with sweet notes of stum, raspberry and rosehip. An elegant combination between Cabernet, Merlot and Fetească Neagră, LAURI Cuvee Rosa has a fresh and mineral taste, with a sweet flavorful finish.

ALIRA has successully rehabilitated one of the oldest varieties in Europe – Fetească Neagră. This autohtonic, pre-phylloxeric red wine for Dobruja region produces dry, demi-dry or sweet wines, with an alcohol content of 12-14%, a deep red colour with ruby shades, and a black currant flavour, which becomes richer and smoother with aging.

More on ALIRA project in an interview with the founder Dr. Karl-Heinz Hauptmann.

Kloster Zscheiplitz is the exclusive supplier of best of ALIRA wines in three Federal lands: Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, as well as the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Wine tasting can be arranged for private persons and groups. Please contact us for reservations and enquiries.

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