On Oct. 1st 2016 Unstrut’s oldest wine cellar has opened its doors for visitors and wine connoisseurs.
The Pfalzgrafenhofkeller, 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 I, Otto 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.