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Citizens' Hospital

Historical winery in the German wine-growing region of Franconia in the city of Würzburg with the full name "Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist". The Würzburg patrician Johannes von Steren (1270-1329) provided an estate at the present location for the admission of people in need of care and thus established the foundation. The official foundation of the "New Hospital" (later renamed "Citizens' Hospital") took place in 1316, which was then confirmed by Pope John XXII (1244-1334) in 1320. The founding family pledged 13 acres of vineyards as security for this. Today the estate is owned by the "Foundation under public law" and is managed by Robert Haller as administrator. Elmar Nun is responsible as cellar master, Karl Brand as oenologist

Over the centuries it grew to its present size. The vineyards cover 120 hectares, of which about 100 are in production. 80% of these are located within the Würzburg city limits in the individual sites of Abtsleite, Innere Leiste, Pfaffenberg and Stein mit der Stein-Harfe in exclusive ownership. There are further shares in the individual locations Marsberg, Pfülben and Teufelskeller (Randersacker), Sonnenschein (Veitshöchheim), Scharlachberg (Thüngersheim), as well as Kapellenberg (Frickenhausen)

Unusual for the Franconian wine growing region, Riesling is the most common variety (30 ha) with almost a third, followed by Silvaner (27 ha), Müller-Thurgau (10 ha), Bacchus, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rieslaner, Domina, Gewürztraminer, Scheurebe and Blaufränkisch. In the vineyard, dense planting is used. Natural viticulture is practiced with restrictive fertilization. The cellar, one of the largest in Germany, has a capacity of two million litres of wine and contains over 200 oval oak barrels with a capacity of 700,000 litres. The best qualities of Riesling, Silvaner and Burgundy varieties are fermented in these barrels and matured with subsequent yeast storage. The red wine varieties generally mature in wooden barrels

Then they are consistently filled into the famous Bocksbeutel with the unmistakable Bürgerspital shoulder emblem (the Bürgerspital is considered the "birthplace" of this special bottle shape). Wines from four centuries are stored in the cellar of the Bürgerspital, the oldest being a Würzburg stone from 1540. Such a bottle was tasted in 1961 (i.e. at the age of 421) by the wine author Hugh Johnson and found "still alive". A wine from this site was one of the favourite wines of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Another lover of Stein wines was the writer Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935). The annual production is about 850,000 bottles. The winery is a founding member of the VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wineries) and the Association of European Foundation Wineries.

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