State Estate Schloss Wackerbarth: the oldest Champagne Cellar in Saxony
The motto, however, continued with the Saxon King's lust for life, and it is still being continued by the modern estate: Castle Wackerbarth has been well renowned far beyond the borders of Saxony for its premium wines as well as for its first class champagnes. Being the inheritors of the traditional brand name of Bussard Champagnes, Wackerbarth is considered to be the oldest champagne manufacturer in Saxony – and the second oldest in all of Germany.
The history of Castle Wackerbarth begins in 1727 when the Count of Wackerbarth bought the land and the vineyards in the surrounding area. The Count, a minister of Saxon King August the Strong and Governor of Dresden, built "Castle Wackerbarth's Peace" between 1727 and 1730 by none other than the king's master builder, Christoph Knöffel: a wine estate with a mansion in Baroque style, lavish gardens. The small Lusthaus, the Belvedere, was even erected by the famous architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann. Legends tell of excessive feasts full of splendor arranged by the Electorate court – Castle Wackerbarth was soon to become a temple for the zest for life and, of course, also a temple of wine.
The Castle's history remained one of ups and downs, the wine, however, stayed on. In 1836, the "Stock Company for the Fabrication of Sparkling Wine" was founded nearby – is was the birth hour of the Champagne Cellars of Bussard as the company was called from 1897 on. Their factory in Niederlößnitz became soon famous for its classic method of bottle fermentation. In 1846, a maximum of 150 000 bottles were produced. The factory existed until the end of World War II, then, in 1972, Bussard was expropriated by the GDR-bureaucracy while the factory became a part of the people's enterprise "Viticulture Radebeul". The integration, however, marked the beginning of the cooperation with Castle Wackerbarth – up to the present day, the Castle Estate continues the tradition stemming from the Bussard family. One of the steep slopes of the vineyards in Radebeul' Steinrücken is even now called by the name "Bussardberg" – Bussard's mountain.
Castle Wackerbarth itself became a State Estate in 1927 and was turned into the People's Estate Radebeul after 1950. Since 1992, Wackerbarth belongs again to the State of Saxony, this time called Wine Estate of the State of Saxony. Since then, modernization and quality production has become the uppermost focus of the owners, as is demonstrated by the new estate building with its huge und highly modern cellars underneath, opened in 2002. Nowadays, Castle Wackerbarth is the first wine estate theme park in Europe and offers modern wine seminars and events behind its olf Baroque façade – including also many a feast. Schloss Wackerbarth has become a synonym for wine experience with all senses – serving, of course, wines from about 90 hectares of vineyards and champagnes of the brands of Schloss Wackerbarth, Bussard and August the Strong. As the motto says: Noblesse oblige.