Immich-Batterieberg ranks among the oldest estates on the Mosel. The middle portion of the estate’s grounds – still standing today – was first mentioned, in 908 A.D., by Ludwig IV, the last East Frankish Carolingian king, in a deed that confirmed the estate’s transfer to the church.
According to archaeological estimates, the foundation of the building dates from the second half of the 9th century. Especially remarkable is the cellar’s load-bearing basalt pillar, which was “recycled’ from a nearby Roman estate.
In the 12th Century the estate was ceded as a fief to Prince von Esch (hence to day’s Escheburg) and was then remodeled and expanded. The right wing of the property, the “Franzenhaus,’ was not built until the 16th Century and the “Herrenhaus,’ richly adorned in the Mosel-Frankish style and which today makes up the left wing, did not appear until the early 1900s.
It was the Immich family – among the oldest winemaking families on the Mosel, with a history that spans from 1425 through 1989 – that was especially crucial to the history and the development of the estate. We have them to thank for our most famous site, the Batterieberg, which between 1841 and 1845 was formed into one of the Mosel’s top sites by way of ceaseless rounds of dynamite. Batterieberg, along with the older top-tier sites Steffensberg, Ellergrub, and Zeppwingert, are all steep slate slopes and all achieved the highest ranking in the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868. Today they comprise the heart of the estate.
Those who clamber with open eyes through the stone labyrinth of Enkirch’s steep slate slopes are seized by a feeling of thankfulness: a few kilometer’s worth of dry stone walls made up of millions of slate and quartzite stones, both large and small, laid by hand without the aid of transportation, and which link rocky outcroppings and also structure and align the slopes – and make them workable.
It is a unique backdrop for a cultural achievement which, perfectly interwoven with the natural landscape, evades in large part repetitiveness and which yields only with great resistance to the continual attention and character of its caretaker.
With that comes responsibility, first for the preservation of a singular cultural landscape and also for the use and the growth of the vineyards. A process, a journey of discovery, which is for us part of the estate’s core mission in the coming years.
Immich-Batterieberg works four vineyards on extremely steep slopes, all of which were included in the highest class in the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868 (based on Napoleon’s Classification des Vines from 1804). Ellergrub, Zeppwingert, and Batterieberg are to be found in a particularly quartzite-rich slate formation, the so-called “Starkenburg Slope”, located between Trarbach and Enkirch. More iron-rich is Steffensberg, which possesses one of the oldest kinds of vineyard demarcation – a pure south-facing slope behind the village of Enkirch itself.
Just as important to us as the inherent quality of the vineyards is the available grape material. We are delighted to have a very large portion of old, ungrafted vines, from which, because of their genetic diversity and their naturally low yields, the highly differentiated, deep, and site-typical Rieslings that we want can come into being.