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The winery is located in the city of Würzburg in the German wine-growing region of Franconia. It was founded in 1576 by Prince-Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn (1545-1617), modelled on the Christian Hospice Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy, France. He acquired the "Judengarten" outside the historic town centre for this purpose. This makes the estate one of the oldest wineries in Germany and Europe. The prince-bishop transferred sufficient income and extensive property to his foundation to cover its tasks, which included vineyards, including the world-famous Würzburger Stein site, as well as extensive agricultural and forestry properties.

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