History of the Estate

Lingenfelder Estate is located in the small community of Grosskarlbach in the in the north east of the sunny Pfalz, the warmest and driest region of Germany. The Pfalz wine region lies in the foothills east of the Haardt Mountains which offer protection from prevailing westerly weather and create the sunny conditions ideal for growing grapes. Together, the Pfalz and the mountains combine to form one of the great tourist areas of Germany complete with scenic drives, wonderful cycle and hiking paths, and a sophisticated hospitality industry. The Deutsche Weinstrasse (German Wine Route) is an 80 km (50 mile) scenic drive that runs from Bockenheim in the north to Schweigen-Rechterbach in the south – it is the oldest demarcated wine tour in the world, established in 1935, and links 40 villages on a north south line.
This southwestern region of Germany, adjacent to France, enjoys 1800 hours of sunshine a year. With an almost Mediterranean climate it is no surprise that crops other than grapes also flourish including almonds, peaches, apricots, cherries, sweet chestnuts, walnuts, figs, tobacco and many vegetables including asparagus and chicory.
Like so many things, the establishment of the wine culture in the Pfalz is owed to the Romans whose legions occupied the area in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Archaeological excavations support their early viticultural enterprise – an example is ruins of a Roman winery just to the south of Freinsheim. In the Middle Ages, monasteries served as custodian of the knowledge of wine and its appreciation. Fortifications were built, some say, for the protection of wines rather than property, and the practice of demanding wine as rent from the farmers on the extensive monastic lands helped sustain a wine industry.
Accounting records of the Lorsch and Weissenburg monasteries provide definitive evidence of wine production in Grosskarlbach from as early as the year 763. The vineyards of Grosskarlbach and Freinsheim look back upon a long tradition, as does the Lingenfelder family. Our family tree records 13 generations of Lingenfelders, back to 1520, of winegrowers in the Pflaz. Our story is not one of nobility and grand estates but one of hard-working farmers who worked the land and made the wine. In our recent past, we have been increasing our vineyard ownership and in 1998 we purchased the estate house in Grosskarlbach. The estate currently rests in the hands of Rainer Karl Lingenfelder who took the reins from his father in 1990.
Although our history is rich in tradition, today we gladly accept our responsibility for stewardship of our land to ensure that it remains vital for future generations. To this end, we tend our vineyards in an ecologically responsible manner. Our 15 hectares (35 acres) of prime vineyards are planted mostly with the grape varieties Riesling, Scheurebe and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
At Lingenfelder, we believe that great wines are created in the vineyard. This is the only way to create great wine. All our vineyard practices aim to create perfect fruit at harvest. We then practice gentle winemaking in the cellar, we intervene as little as possible and let nature take its course. To preserve the maximum complexity and fullness of flavour, we avoid clarifying or stabilizing agents. Our aim is to bottle the Pfalz sunshine and to create wines of distinction that reward repeated tasting, and, we hope, that contribute to your sense of well being.

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