Steinberg, Kloster Eberbach
Steinberg is one of handful single vineyard sites in Germany which for reasons of historical significance have dispensation from having to include a village name together with the vineyard's name, so the wines from Steinberg are simply labelled Steinberger.
The vineyard belongs to the government-owned Hessische Staatsweingüter (Hessian State Wineries) and is today planted with only Riesling vines.
The Hessian State Wineries produces wines of many different styles from Steinberg, both dry, semi-sweet and sweet Rieslings. The vineyard is classified as an Erste Lage and therefore may be used for the production of dry wines using the Erstes Gewächs designation. Some of the Steinberg grapes are used for small-lot auction wines sold at the biannual wine auctions.
In similarity to many other large, wall-enclosed vineyards such as Clos de Vougeot, the entire vineyard is not homogeneous in quality. The slope varies between 15% and 35% inside the wall, which results in differences in sun exposure and drainage. Typically, different parcels (sub-areas) of Steinberg will be used for wines of different types. A parcel named Zehntstück, located in the middle slope, is the source for the best dry wines in most vintages. A row of vines just inside the wall are trained in an espalier fashion directly against the stone wall, and these vines have a markedly different microclimate because of the heat reflected by the stones. The grapes from these vines are harvested separately and are made into small amounts of Mauerwein ("wall wine"), which typically only are found at the wine auctions.
The new winemaking facility of the owner Hessische Staatsweingüter was built just outside the wall of Steinberg.
The name Steinberg
The name Steinberg is German for "stony hill" after Stein = stone and Berg = mountain or hill. Although Steinberg is surrounded by a stone wall, the name actually refers to the vineyard's stony soil, rather than to the wall. The name was originally used for only a part of the vineyard, but later became the name of the entire area.
The name Steinberg is also used for several other single vineyard sites in Germany. However, for all these other vineyards, the name Steinberg will be used together with a village name, such as Durbacher Steinberg (in Baden) or Niederhäuser Steinberg (in Nahe).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steinberg bei Kloster Eberbach.|
- Weingut Kloster Eberbach: Die Lagen der Domaine Steinberg/Hattenheim, accessed on June 13, 2009 (German)
- Wein-Plus Glossar: Steinberg, accessed on January 24, 2013