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Kupferberg-Museum in Mainz: The multi-layered pleasure of Champagne
The tickling pleasure of champagne has a long tradition in Mainz - and a multi-layered one: 60 cellars, stretching out in seven layers underneath the earth, is the treasure of the champagne makers of Kupferberg, situated on the Kästrich hill in Mainz - they are the cellars with the deepest reaching levels in the whole world.
The old fermentation cellars originate to the largest part from the Middle Ages, remnants found by archeologists, however, date all the way back to Roman times such as wine amphoras, wine jugs and bowls, the oldest of which were 2000 years old.
It was the perfect ground for what once was the most famous champagne producer in Germany: In 1850, the export merchant Christian Adalbert Kupferberg founded the cellar under the name "Fabrication moussirender Weine" – the fabrication of sparkling wines. In 1852, already, the name "Kupferberg Gold" was patented, it is thus one of the oldest brand names in Germany. The founder presented his champagnes at the World Fair of 1862 in London but also maintained close personal ties to chancellor Otto von Bismarck as well as the French region of the Champagne. In 1872, Kupferberg was turned into a stock corporation, in 1978, the Racke company from Bingen bought the majority of the stocks, thereby becoming the owners of Kupferberg. In 2004, however, the brand name Kupferberg was sold to the champagne makers of the Henkell group which is owned by the Oetker company.
The old cellars on and beneath the Mainzer Kästrich, however, exist up to present day – displaying a unique museum with the world largest collection of champagne glasses. The Kupferberg owners were also pioneers of advertisement as the exhibits on display also demonstrate. One of the museum's highlights is the Grapes Hall, the "Traubensaal", a pavilion made of iron richly decorated with wine leaves, grapes and tendrillars which was designed for the World Fair of 1900 in Paris – a true masterpiece of Art Nouveau.
And, of course, also the historic cellars can be visited including the ostentatiously decorated wine casks which still hold in parts the wine necessary for the production of the famous Kupferberg champagne. Degustations of champagne are not to be missed, neither are the concerts which take place regularly in the Kupferberg Park right behind the building. In 2008, the program highlighting the tradition of champagne making and viticulture at the Kupferberg was awarded the "Best of Tourism Award" of the association of the Great Wine Capitals.