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Rhodt unter Rietburg: Oldest Vineyard with Original Grapevines
These grapevines are true veterans of viticultural history: More than 400 years old, the grapevines from the "Rhodter Rosengarten" have not only survived the centuries but still bear fruit every year. The vineyard in the wine community of Rhodt unter Rietberg is said to have existed already before the 30-Years-War – and that took place between 1618 and 1648.
If that's true, the Rosegarden is definitely the oldest vineyard which is still stocked with its original grapevines – that holds true at least for the Palatinate region, if not for the world.
400 grapevines are still standing on the 900 square meters of the vinyard site, most of them Traminer grapes with occasional Silvaner grapevines in between. The person who stocked the vineyard is unkown. Viticulture, however, has a long history in Rhodt: The Romans are said to have started viticulture, in Medieval Ages the community is well known for its Traminer wine. In 1603, Margrave Ernst Friedrich of Baden bought the whole village, he and his successors ruled up to the year of 1801. It was the margrave who transformed the village with its castle built in 1200 into a rich wine community – by installing the trade of wines. Consequently, proud mansions of wine producer's families were erected and can still be seen today: Almost 80 percent of the village are registered historic sites, beautiful old manors with old archways.
The beauty of the region, nicknamed Tuscany of the North, went not unnoticed by the rulers and kings: King Ludwig I. from Bavaria had his summer palace built right above the village on a romantic hillside in 1846, the Villa Ludwigshöhe. The significance viticulture held for the village can be deduced from the local speciality: wine is served here not only in the traditional Palatinate "Schoppen"glass, holding half a liter of wine – but also in the "Rhodter Piff": a wine glass which holds a whole liter of wine.
On the eastern side of the village, right across the street from the Rietburg Wine Cooperative, however, the ages-old Rosegarden still holds its centuries old, gnarled grapevines, hard as stone and authentic to the core. Year by year, 500 liters of wine flow from their grapes. The Gewurztraminer vinified by the estate Arthur Oberhofer in Edesheim, the owners of the vineyard, is of course a cherished specialty. The wine beguiles by age alone – but also by his rose flavor which is so typical for the Gewurztraminer, and which perfectly reflects the name of the vineyard's site: “Rhodter Rosengarten”.