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Bernkasteler Doctor

History

The first references to the vineyard date back to the early 17th century. At that time, its owners were the Trier Sovereign Elect Phillipp Christoph von Soetern and Sovereign Elect Carl Casper von der Layen. The name "Doctor" was first mentioned in texts from the year 1736. It probably goes back to Heinrich Linden, clergyman and canon at the Trier Simeonstift, who had been the owner of the vineyard for some years. 

The first Riesling vines were already planted in 1722 under Carl Casper von der Layen. In a time- and labor-intensive process, the "Weißenstein" mountain was blasted to increase the acreage.

The 'Doctor-Keller' is a unique feature. Between 1650 and 1850, two cellar tunnels of 40 and 70 m length were driven into the rock. With a constant temperature of 10°C and a capacity of 200 barrels of 1000 liters each, this cellar ist the property of the Wegeler family to this day.

As all national goods of the German Reich, the "Doctor" was disappropriated around 1804 by the French administration in the course of the secularization, and auctioned off in Paris. The bid of the mayor of Bernkastel was accepted and the "Doctor" remained in the hands of the family Cetto, later Kunz, until 1900.

Julius Wegeler bought for his family a large part of the "Doctor" from Mayor Kunz. Following other purchases in 1910, Wegeler became the largest owner of the Bernkasteler Doctor, and has remained so till this day. In the frame of the restructuring provided for by the Wine Act of 1971, areas of inferior quality were to be included to increase the acreage of the Doctor to more than 5 Hectares. At the end of one of the longest legal procedures in German wine history, Rolf Wegeler managed to prevent this restructuring. 

Four centuries of appreciation make this vineyard a true Grand Cru on German soil. The expression 'small but fine' is a perfect description for the Doctor vineyard in Bernkastel. All over the world, the "Doctor" is known as a synonym for premium Riesling wines.

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