History of the Königswein
Its origin – wine of kings – the king of wines
The story of the wine … summarized by Gumpoldskirchen village historian Mr. Doctor Hagenauer
The fact that the “Gumpoldskirchner” is the king among the wines of the world will convince anyone at a wine tasting. But may he also be rightly called “the wine of kings”? He can! The following stories will show you why!
Gumpoldskirchen is first mentioned in a document in the year 1140. At that time, the Babenberg already had a “princely Berghof” on the sunny slopes of the Anninger. After the death of the last of the Babenberg the Berghof came into the possession of the Habsburgs. The wines of this winery were intended for the royal table in Vienna! However, the Emperor of the Habsburg dynasty was not satisfied with the good wines from their Berghof, so they always bought wine from locals too. These were charitable foundations with extensive vineyard property. In the surviving accounts of the mines of the 16th and 17th century seem almost all emperors of the house of Habsburg as customers and also their wives, brothers and sons.
Emperor Rudolf II ordered his “Saumalieren”, so were the carriers called at that time, to get his beloved Gumpoldskirchner even to Prague. But not only secular also spiritual princes liked it to buy wine in Gumpoldskirchen. For example Cardinal Franz Dietrich Prince of Dietriechstein, the Bishop of Olomouc, or Archduke Charles of Inner Austria, that was about 1615 Bishop of Neisse in Silesia. The most famous military commander in the Thirty Years’ War, Albrecht von Wallenstein, Duke of Frydtland, and the Croatian general of his cavalry, Johann Ludwig Hector Count of Isolani, were also famous customers. Sons of the Muses were inspired by our noble plants to peak performance: as the court conductor Giovanni Valentini or the court goldsmith of Rudolf II, Paul of Vianen. We owe the first written praise for our wine village the great scholar, physician and historian John Cuspinianus who also owned a vineyard in Gumpoldskirchen. He writes in his “Austria”, based on his own experience, Gumpoldskirchen was best known in Austria for the finest wines.
And that was in 1502! Of course he knew that already for a hundred years Gumpoldskirchner wines were supplied in large quantities to Bavaria. That might have been enough for the early modern period. In the 19th and 20 Century is the list of the highest reigns not less impressive. Around 1880, for example, was Josef Gottfried Wieninger the owner of the now-defunct winery Johannesstein purveyor of the Emperor of Brazil.
On January 1st 1934 queen Maria of Romania came personally to Gumpoldskirchen to taste our fine wines. She had known them for a long time, because the famous wine school of Gumpoldskirchen served the Romanian royal house with its finest products. After the Second World War the king of Greece starts to enjoy the “Gumpoldskirchner” as well.
This led to the fact that the best wines of Gumpoldskirchen may be designated as “Königswein” after strict examination. When Queen Elizabeth of England and Prince Philip were married, the wedding guests also drunk Gumpoldskirchner wine. In the eighties, Prince Philip himself was in Gumpoldskirchen and convinced himself once more on the quality of our “royal” vintages. When in 1961 two famous politicians, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev met each other in Vienna at the U.S. Embassy, there was also Gumpoldskirchner wine on the menu. It would be nice if we could say that he had helped that there was no military confrontation between these great powers.
The new Königswein
In 2002, a group of young vintners got together to create a new look for our Königswein. The varieties Zierfandler and Rotgipfler were also defined for the new Wine.
This new concept should top everything that has ever been in Gumpoldskirchen. So precise educational measures in the vineyard were established for the members, also the amount of harvested grapes was defined as well as the plant protection. The grapes selection was strictly controlled. Two different styles were created, one dry to Semi-dry with 8 grams, and a lovely one with about 28 grams of residual sugar.
There were two new labels developed and a new bottle was found as quickly as the packages for the new style. The first appearance was on 15 May 2003 where the two new Gumpoldskirchner were presented in the noble place of the Benediktiner Hof in the heart of Gumpoldskirchen!