- Maximiner Monks
Carl Schmitt-Wagner Winery has a rich, unique history. Beginning in 1804, the Schmitt-Wagner family cultivated vineyards in the beautiful Mosel River village of Longuich, Germany. The vineyards previously belonged to the Benedictine Convent of St. Maximin in Trier, but were then secularized and made available for purchase by Napoleon Bonaparte. During this time, it was widely known that the clergy owned only the very finest vineyards. So this purchase from Napoleon Bonaparte, although quite expensive, was a worthwhile investment. In fact, a member of the Schmitt-Wagner family had to travel a great distance to make the purchase, while carrying a very heavy load of gold coins on her back in a wooden "hotte". (A "hotte" is normally used for carrying grapes in the vineyard.) Two centuries later, the Schmitt-Wagner family continues to value that purchase, as they know that top quality vineyards are the foundation for all high-level wines. The winery is old-fashioned in its beliefs, practices, and most of all, its commitment to quality. Dedication to quality is a duty and a tradition at Carl Schmitt-Wagner Winery.
The "Reichsabtei" (The Empire's Abbey) St. Maximin in Trier, Germany is mentioned for the first time in the 12th century. The area headquarters of the Benedictine monks were located in Trier, but one of the branches was in Longuich. Originally, it was an "upper estate" which administered the "lower estates" of Kenn, Issel, Riol, and the "Fährturm" (Merchant Tower) in Schweich. The current farm complex was built in 1714, after the renovation and addition of the previous building. The "Stair Tower" in the east wing is from the 16th century. The arch over the gate was built from "late gothic parting stone" and ornamented with the crest of the abbot Nicetius André from the year 1714. In the year 1808, Napoleon Bonarparte secularized the church estate and sold it to the public. The estate was transformed to single agricultural farm tracks. Today, it is still home for many families involved in agriculture. Visit the village Longuich and see for yourself.
The property is distributed over two steep to very steep vineyards that are located on the opposite side of the Mosel River from the village of Longuich. On the south-southwest facing Maximiner Herrenberg vineyard, pure Riesling vines grow on hills that are over 60 degrees steep. The terrain consists of a very deep turf of fine soil, which irrigates the vineyard, and Devonian slate, which prevents erosion. This soil produces a Riesling that has great volume; it is full of character with a soft bouquet and fine fruit. Above the Maximiner Herrenberg, in the middle of the mountain slope, is the Longuicher Herrenberg vineyard. There the soil is deep and partly filled with Devonian slate, making it possible, especially in dry years, to harvest grapes full of extract.