Joint history, joint legacy
Winegrowing in the Ortenau is historically entwined with both Schloss Staufenberg and the noble house of the Margrave of Baden.
The steep hills of the Staufenberg have been planted with grapevines for hundreds of years. And while the breathtakingly beautiful landscape is reason enough for a visit, a deeper understanding of the historical background affords a richer and more profound view. For this historical element is crucial to understanding how it came to be that vines were planted on and around the Staufenberg, as well as the position that the history of Schloss Staufenberg played for Weingut Markgraf von Baden both in the past and still today. One might ultimately come to appreciate the interwoven fates of the castle's history and the quality of our wines.
Schloss Staufenberg, Fortress of the Margrave of Baden
The fortress was constructed in the 11th century by the famous house of the Duchy of Zähringer, the ancestor to the current Margrave of Baden. As such it boasts almost 1000 years of history. The name of the fortress is derived from the Old High German word "Stauf" meaning a "cone-shaped hill." A fitting description for the 380-meter-high Staufenberg.
While the earliest records of winegrowing come from 1366, wine was likely cultivated on the Staufenberg even earlier. Some believe that grapes were grown here before the fortress itself was constructed.
The Markgraf von Baden family writes wine history
History attests to the influence of the Margraves of Baden on Baden winegrowing, perhaps most importantly through the house's innovative approach to quality standards over the centuries. Christoph Markgraf von Baden's original winegrowing law of 1495 was only the first step in this process. Carl Friedrich Margrave of Baden, later the Grand Duke, established further standards for quality winegrowing in Baden in 1782 by planting pure Riesling vines for the first time in the "Klingelberg" site. This created the legendary "Klingelberger," now a symbol for the unique Riesling tradition in the Ortenau.
Schloss Staufenberg through the ages, in good times and bad
The Staufenberg suffered heavy damage during the Thirty Years War. The fortress was plundered by French marauders during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King. The subsequent plan to rebuild the stronghold into a French fort, however, failed due to a lack of access to drinking water. And the castle was once again returned to the ownership of the House of the Margrave of Baden.
In 1693, Louis William Margrave of Baden, the "Türkenlouis" and godchild of the Sun King, reacquired the castle. Befitting the style of the time, it was expanded into a 'Romantic' castle in 1832. And it is this 'Romanticism' that marvels visitors even today.
Architecture and nature, castle and vineyard, have achieved a refined balance at Schloss Staufenberg. The ancient winemaking tradition, one that stems directly from the history of the Staufenberg, the heavenly landscape and distinct terroir are the foundation for the high quality of our wines. We understand and assume the responsibility for this legacy. And approach the quality of our wines bearing the label "Markgraf von Baden" with an awareness of the necessity for artisanal craftsmanship in the vineyard and cellar.