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Klingelberger

This synonym for Riesling is permitted in the entire German Baden wine region, but is mainly used in the Ortenau area. The name is derived from the Gewann or Klingelberg section, which is the uppermost part of the single vineyard Schlossberg at 400 metres above sea level in Durbach. The Klingelberg was not designated as a single vineyard site by the 1971 wine law due to its small size of only 2.5 hectares. The south-facing steep Klingelberg is documented as having been planted with vines for over a thousand years. The soil consists of weathered granite with little humus and is partly interspersed with porphyry and gneiss. It is a very barren soil with little water storage capacity. This forces the roots into the depth, allows only low yields and produces complex, mineral wines. In 1680 the Klingelberger was mentioned separately in the wine stock of Margrave of Baden (Staufenberg Castle) and was thus given higher value than the other wines. However, the stock at that time still consisted of a mixed set of 15 varieties.

In 1776, the Klingelberg was replanted with 8,000 seedlings of a Riesling variety from the stately vineyards of Karlsruhe-Durlach. Since the vines were not thriving, Grand Duke Carl Friedrich von Baden (1728-1811) had 2,200 Rieslings from the vineyard in Bergen and 1,500 Rieslings from a vineyard near Frankfurt replanted in 1782. Klingelberg was thus the first varietal vineyard in the whole of Baden. At the same time, the cultivation methods were also optimised. The variety thrived excellently and was in great demand, so that soon seedlings from this site were used to propagate Riesling throughout Baden. This is why this seedling was called Klingelberger and this name has been retained to this day. It is thanks to the innovative Grand Duke (he also abolished serfdom in Baden and introduced compulsory schooling) that Staufenberg Castle and the Klingelberg are now called the planting site of quality viticulture in Baden. The first plantings of the two varieties Gewürztraminer and Clevner (Traminer) also go back to Carl Friedrich.

The Klingelberger Riesling was from the beginning a mixed set of at least three different clones, so there is no single variety. The berries of the typical Klingelberger have a distinctive black dot, called "eye", and are somewhat flattened. They also change their colour to bluish when exposed to sunlight. The severe frost in 1956 froze a large part of the Riesling vineyards. As a result, only a few of the extremely rare varieties of this old Klingelberger can still be found. In Durbach there were still only a few vines left. In the winter of 2004/2005, cuttings were made from them, grafted and thus in April 2006 part of the Klingelberg was planted with 1.1 hectares. The project is scientifically accompanied by the Viticulture Institute in Freiburg. Around 30 different Riesling varieties are to be planted parallel to the old Klingelberger. Evaluations of growth, resistance, yield, maturity etc. will then be carried out over a period of years in order to document the differences.

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