The first mention of winegrowing in our family dates back to the mid-18th century in the form of wills pertaining to the Emrichs (our ancestors).
"This time people were boasting of one of their local wines, called 'Monzinger'," noted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1815. "They say it runs down the throat with such ease and pleasure, that you only realise its bewildering effect too late. The temptation to taste it and to measure ourselves with it was too great to resist." (St Rochus Festival, Bingen).
"The meagre conditions on the Monzinger hill seem, in themselves, to be the cause of the good reputation of the wines, which are, as a result, so high in price and among the best in the Nahe region," wrote Johann Philipp Bronner in 1834 (Viniculture in the Provinces of Rheinhessen, the Nahe Valley and the Mosel Valley).
Until the 1960s, our estate was a mixed operation comprising agriculture, livestock and winegrowing. This form of diversification was common practice at a time when the risk of bad grape harvests (due to spring frosts, poor flowering, fungal diseases, etc.) was still very high. Only the most affluent families (often from industrialist backgrounds) could afford to grow wine and nothing else.
From 1965 to 1985, Wilhelm Schönleber (a native Swabian from southern Germany), followed by son Werner Schönleber, turned the property into a purely winegrowing estate, expanding the vineyard area from approximately 2 to 10 hectares.
With an increasing share of vineyard space devoted to Riesling and a continually improving portfolio of vineyard sites, our estate first made it onto the list of "Germany's top 100 wineries" (according to DM magazine) under Werner Schönleber's stewardship in 1991.
In 1994, our estate became a member of the VDP, the world's oldest association of elite wine estates.
Today we farm 20 hectares of vineyard. Riesling currently accounts for 85% of our vines, supplemented by Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). Werner and Frank Schönleber have worked their way to the top of their profession. Germany's leading wine guides unanimously rate Weingut Emrich-Schönleber as a world-class winery.