Sip on fine German wines at this 500-year-old winery
Can you imagine being able to trace your family business back to its humble beginnings … a mere five centuries ago? Founded in 1503, fine winemaking has been a household undertaking at Weingut Eduard Kroth for more than 500 years.
Current owner, Bart Kroth, took over his parents’ winery in 2004. Together with his wife, Dani, he manages more than six acres of the best and steepest vineyards in the picturesque towns of Briedel and Zell, Germany. He carries out the work himself, with support of his family and a few harvesting employees.
Kroth with his son after a day of harvesting grapes. Photo courtesy of Bart Kroth.
I first met Bart on a memorable day trip to the Mosel River with a group of ladies not long after I arrived in Germany. A wine tasting had been arranged in honor of a new friend’s birthday, and I couldn’t wait to relax and get to know my companions a little better with a glass of Riesling in hand. From our table in Kroth’s wine shop, the sweeping view of the Mosel River and steep hillside vineyards in full bloom had me swooning.
That afternoon, we sampled a nice variety of reds (Dornfelder and Spätburgunder, or Pinot Noir), whites (a selection of Rieslings ranging from dry and fragrant to sweet and fruity), rosés, and even a few high-end specialties, including a delightfully sweet and syrupy Eiswein and a delicious peach liqueur (Weinbergspfirsichlikor). Kroth’s complete list has more than 50 offerings to choose from.
The experience was so much more than I’d anticipated it to be. The atmosphere was comfortable, friendly and warm, and I didn’t feel silly asking questions like I have at wine tastings in other locations. We even got to meet Kroth’s wife and son — a testament to the fact that Weingut Eduard Kroth is truly a genuine family business.
At the end of the day, I left with a couple of cases of Riesling and Dornfelder to share with my husand. Since then, we’ve made a handful of trips back together each year to restock our supply of Kroth’s delicious wine, and we’ve taken more than a few of our visiting family members to his shop on the Mosel River for special tastings.
Weingut Eduard Kroth vineyards on the banks of the Mosel River. Photo by Courtney Woodruff.
When car trouble left us stranded at the winery on our most recent visit, Kroth saw to it we received the help we needed from ADAC, and kept us warm and comfortable with friendly conversation and as much wine as we cared to drink while we waited for the tow truck to arrive. His kindness, hospitality and generosity was unexpected, but it shouldn’t have been. Just one look at his extensive military coin collection and the framed certificates of appreciation that hang on the walls of the winery, it is easy to see he has formed quite a bond of friendship with the U.S. military community in Germany.
The one-and-a-half-hour trip to Weingut Eduard Kroth from the Kaiserslautern Military Community is worth it, especially when you add in an excursion to nearby Cochem Castle (Reichsburg Cochem) or Bernkastel-Kues.
If tasting delicious, authentic German wines at a centuries old vineyard is on your European bucket list, treat yourself to a tasting at Weingut Eduard Kroth. Kroth will leave you feeling more like a friend than a customer.