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Episcopalian Baroque residence at Lake Constance

Meersburg New Palace

Blick vom See zur Meersburg und dem Neuen Schloss; Foto: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
FINE WINES FROM LAKE CONSTANCE

VITICULTURE in Meersburg

The temperate climate around Lake Constance is perfect for growing vines. Viticulture has been recorded in and around Meersburg since the 13th century and was significantly supported by the Prince Bishops of Constance. The “Wine” theme is also reflected in the interior decor of the New Palace.

Vines in twilight. Image: Pixabay

There is evidence of viticulture around Lake Constance going back to the 8th century.

A PERFECT CLIMATE FOR WINE

Medieval records show that the aristocracy as well as churches, monasteries and cities participated in viticulture all around Lake Constance. Many vineyards that were established are still around today. This region is known for its ability to retain warmth, thanks to the lake and the special characteristics of the soil. Viticulture in Meersburg has been traced to 1210. The annals of the episcopal church in Constance makes reference to a vineyard belonging to Manegoldus von Rohrdorf, which passed to the bishop due to lack of an heir.

The Meersburg state vineyard in the New Palace's equestrian school. Image: Pixabay

The former equestrian school is now home to the state vineyard.

PRINCE-BISHOPRIC VITICULTURE

The quality of viticulture has improved consistently since the 16th century. The prince-bishops’ vineyard in Meersburg greatly contributed to these improvements by cultivating new varietals in their experimental garden. Other vineyards profited off the results, the demand and the sales. Over the course of secularization after 1802, the New Palace and the prince-bishops’ vineyard passed to the Grand Duke of Baden and became the first wine-producing domain in Germany. In 1919, it was renamed “Staatsweingut Meersburg”, the Meersburg State Vineyard.

Stuck-Detail von Joseph Anton Pozzi, die Meersburg mit Weinbergen und See; Foto: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Stucco detail in the New Palace, Meersburg Castle with vineyards to the left.

THE NEW PALACE AND WINE

Prince-bishops resided in the Medieval Meersburg Castle until 1710. The construction of the representational New Palace included a wine cellar in the former town moat. The New Palace's bel étage now houses the palace museum, with exhibits on the prince-bishops’ domestic culture and lifestyle. Wine and viticulture are two specific topics. On display are several pieces of the original palace decor, such as multiple ceremonial wine vessels. The importance of viticulture is also reflected in the motifs found in the interior decor: stucco and paintings depict bacchants, nymphs, vine tendrils and grapes, a world for the pleasures of wine.

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