A day at Kloster Eberbach

A day at Kloster Eberbach

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Europe

An enchanting afternoon awaits visitors to Eberbach Monastery, located in the Hesse region and one of Europe’s most well-preserved medieval complexes. A quick 25-minute drive outside of Wiesbaden or a longer 1 hour-and-15-minute drive from Kaiserslautern, this 900-year-old monastery is open to visit and enjoy one of its oldest occupations: wine.

Founded in 1136 by Bernhard von Clairvaux with 12 French monks, the Eberbach Monastery has long been associated with fine wines of the Rheingau, as it was a primary occupation of the monks. Their winemaking quickly grew and by the 15th century, the Eberbach winery was the largest in Germany. Although Eberbach was secularized in 1803, the wine industry continued to live on.

All about the Rieslings

Speaking of wines, there are many opportunities for tasting during your visit. On site, you can take a guided tour of the monastery and wine facilities, accompanied by a tasting. The wine shop is located in the former wine press house, and is fully stocked with wine for purchase and staff eager to advise you on which wines to take home. For a relaxing way to sit and sip, check out WINEBAR 1136 on-site and be sure to check their calendar of events for special wine tastings and experiences.

The winery’s grape varieties include Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, and the wine-making process continues to mirror the values that the monks first established: gentle processing and respect for the environment. Because the Riesling is one of the region’s most popular grapes, you won’t be surprised to hear that Eberbach focuses on this grape and produces some of the finest in the world.

Beyond the medieval complex of the winery, you can also find the winery’s vineyards spread out in the area. These are some of the most coveted grape-growing locations and are open to visit and sip wine, such as the wine terraces on the Bergstrasse or Steinberg domains of Eberbach. Back at the main site, you can even make your visit a full weekend affair because Hotel Kloster Eberbach provides the hospitality for a complete Eberbach experience.

Now for a bit of trivia. Do you know what movie was partially filmed at the Eberbach Monastery? The famous actor Sean Connery starred in “The Name of the Rose,” and you can visit the movie’s filming locations at the monastery during your guided tour—offered with German and English audio guides.

Gastronomy at the monastery

After your history lesson and a preview of the wines, you may be a little peckish. Luckily, the monastery property has a few different options for you. Stop at The Gatehouse for quick and easy bites or enjoy a beautiful meal at The Monastery Tavern. Serving Cistercian cuisine, the restaurant focuses on regional and seasonal ingredients—what the monks and those in the abbey would have eaten, but with a modern and contemporary twist.

Things to know

You can easily purchase wine or souvenirs on site, but the online wine shop also makes it easy to stock up or order gifts for wine-loving friends. Be sure to research any entrance restrictions or requirements prior to visiting, including purchasing visitor day tickets online.

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