World's Oldest Winery Blends Tradition and Innovation in Germany's Mosel Valley

Staffelter Hof, the world's oldest operating winery, has been producing wine for nearly 1,200 years, established in 862 by Benedictine monks. Today, 7th-generation descendant Jan Matthias Klein leads the winery, producing natural wines using organic practices and hosting cultural events.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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World's Oldest Winery Blends Tradition and Innovation in Germany's Mosel Valley

World's Oldest Winery Blends Tradition and Innovation in Germany's Mosel Valley

Nestled in the picturesque Mosel Valley of Germany, Staffelter Hof holds the distinction of being the world's oldest operating winery. Established in 862 by Benedictine monks at Stavelot Abbey, the winery has been producing wine for nearly 1,200 years, a remarkable legacy that continues to this day under the stewardship of 7th-generation descendant Jan Matthias Klein.

The winery's origins trace back to the 9th century when the monks were gifted a parcel of Mosel River by the Holy Roman Emperor. Staffelter Hof operated under the authority of the church until it came under state control during the French Revolution. In 1805, Peter Schneiders purchased the vineyards, and his descendants have carried on the family winemaking tradition ever since.

Today, Jan Matthias Klein is bringing the winery back to its roots by producing natural wines using organic practices. Inspired by the idea of introducing organically grown wines to the region and maximizing the growing potential on the steep terrain of the Mosel Valley, Klein introduced organic growing practices at Staffelter Hof in 2011. The winery has been eco-certified by the European Organic Certifiers Council since 2012.

In addition to a full suite of conventional wines, Staffelter Hof now produces a collection of natural wines that are unfiltered, unfined, and sulphite-free. These wines showcase the terroir and unique characteristics of the Mosel Valley, reflecting Klein's commitment to sustainable and traditional winemaking methods.

Beyond its winemaking prowess, Staffelter Hof has also evolved into a destination for wine enthusiasts and travelers. In 1962, Paul Klein and his wife Rosina added two guest rooms to the property, which has since expanded to seven fully furnished on-site apartments. The winery hosts a full calendar of cultural events, including tours, tastings, musical performances, curated luncheons, and guided hikes, immersing visitors in the rich history and vibrant present of this storied estate.

As Staffelter Hof continues its 1,200-year legacy, it stands as a testament to the enduring power of tradition, innovation, and the timeless allure of fine wine. Under Jan Matthias Klein's leadership, this ancient winery is embracing organic practices and crafting natural wines that showcase the essence of the Mosel Valley, ensuring that the world's oldest winery remains at the forefront of viticulture for generations to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Staffelter Hof is the world's oldest operating winery, established in 862.
  • It's located in Germany's Mosel Valley and has been family-owned since 1805.
  • 7th-generation winemaker Jan Matthias Klein introduced organic practices in 2011.
  • The winery produces natural, unfiltered, and sulphite-free wines showcasing terroir.
  • Staffelter Hof is a destination for wine enthusiasts, offering tours, tastings, and events.