Pfedelbach: Princes' Barrel and Master's Wine PressHöhepunkte der Weinkultur: Württemberg
In this scenery, wine presses mark the wanderer's routes, quite literally: Between Öhringen and Pfedelbach, there were once eight wine presses situated along the road. Their names were such as Pfaffenkelter, the priest's press, Meisenkelter, the tit's press, or Wacholderkelter, the juniper's press - most of them have vanished today. Stones from the presses, however, still mark their spots – and a Wine Press Path reminds of the old locations.
The stones remind of a viticulture 2000 years old, since the Romans are said to have brought the cultivation of grapevines to the region. The wine community of Pfedelbach probably developed throughout the 11th century, in 1037 it was first mentioned in a historic charter. The Romans, however, are sure to have settled here before, at least around the year 150 after Christ: Through the city of Pfedelbach, the Upper-German and Rhaetian Limes leads, that famous Roman wall which became part of the World Heritage of the Unesco in 2005.
Viticulture's role in the city's history probably was not a small one: In 1604, the "Lange Bau" is erected, a long-stretched half-timbered house with a master's cellar of 70 meters of length and 12 meters of width – big enough for storing several hundred of thousands of liters of wine. Today, the Viticultural Museum of Pfedelbach documents the centuries old history of cultivating grapevines in the region. Its most impressive item on display is the third biggest wine cask in Germany: the Princes' Barrel from 1752 which was ordered by Prince Joseph von Hohenlohe Bartenstein and which held the legendary amount of 64 664 liters of wine. The last time it was filled with wine from the prince's tithe was in 1828 – with wine for the prince's troops.
In the historic cellar around the famous barrel, the Wine Estate of Hohenlohe was founded by 14 wine makers in 1950. Today, 450 winemakers from 16 different wine making villages contribute their grapes to the association "Fürstenfass-Weine". The wine cellar has its central administrative seat in Bretzfeld-Adolzfurt.
The Wine Press Path however does by no means end at the Museum in Pfedelbach: it leads on to the city quarter of Heuholz where the oldest still preserved Masters' Press of northern Württemberg can be found. The Master's Press of the Princes of Hohenlohe was erected in 1740 as communal wine press for the houses of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg and Hohenlohe-Öhringen. The construction with its self-supporting roof, spanning a space of 15 meters multiplied by 18 meters, was a masterpiece of masonry. The press house is today owned by a private citizen and was beautifully restored in 1990.