Famous vineyard sites
World Class Mönchberg
Stuttgart lies in a basin surrounded by vine-clad and forested slopes on three sides and the Neckar River to the north. The city’s name literally means “stud farm or garden”; the stadium is named after the Stuttart-based mechanical engineer Gottlieb Daimler (1834–1900), who pioneered improvements to the internal-combustion (gasoline) engine that led to the development of the automobile industry during the second half of the 19th century. In 1899, the Daimler Motor Co. built its first automobile, after some 44 years after its first motorcycle (1855). A special-model auto designed for the sales distributor Emil Jellinek at the turn of the century was ultimately named after his daughter Mercedes – which evolved into one of Gemany’s top brands to this day. The three-pointed star (logo of Mercedes-Benz, now DaimlerChrysler) derives from the original inventors’ (Daimler and Maybach) quest to design gasoline engines suitable for powering devices for use on land, on water and in the air.
Stuttgart and Wine
The first documented mention of vineyards in the heart of Stuttgart dates from 1108, in a deed of gift: a monk, Ulrich, ceded an inner-city vineyard to the monastery in Blaubeuren (near Ulm). As elsewhere, many of Stuttgart’s oldest vineyards were owned by monasteries and vineyard names reflect an affiliation with the church. The vineyard site closest to the Mercedes-Benz stadium, for example, is Mönchberg (monks’ hill), a 45-hectare site situated between the suburbs of Bad Cannstatt and Untertürkheim on the eastern bank of the Neckar River. Historians say the site name derives from former owners, the Benedictine monastery in Zwiefalten (1089–1802), located near Reutlingen (south of Stuttgart). A document in the city archives from 1138 mentions that the vineyards on these slopes were already among the finest in the Stuttgart area (recorded by the monk Berthold). Today, “Mönch Berthold” is a highly rated red wine cuvée produced by Untertürkheim’s cooperative winery, Weinmanufaktur Untertürkheim, one of the owners of the Mönchberg vineyard.
Within the Mönchberg site is a prime, 10-ha parcel named Gips (literally, gypsum or plaster), solely owned by the Aldinger family (www.weingut-aldinger.de). Its name derives from the gypsum factory (now defunct) once on the site.
The vineyards of Stuttgart and its suburbs are situated on gently sloping to steep and/or terraced, cone-shaped hills with various exposures (mostly southern and western). The sites located directly adjacent to the Neckar River in northern Bad Cannstatt (Zuckerle, Halde) are planted in shell-limestone soils. Weathered soils consisting of keuper, gypsum, marl, and various types of clay (sometimes mixed with sand and loam) predominate in sites further south (including Mönchberg).
As throughout the Württemberg region, red grape varieties predominate in the Stuttgart area, led by the region’s favorite, Trollinger. Other reds include Lemberger, Schwarzriesling, Spätburgunder and Portugieser. Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Silvaner are the main white grapes.
The Stuttgart area is home to the city’s estate, Weingut der Stadt Stuttgart (www.stuttgart.de/weingut), with 17 ha of vines in the sites Cannstatter Zuckerle, Cannstatter Halde and Stuttgarter Mönchhalde; 7 cooperative wineries (in Württemberg, known as a "Weingärtnergenossenschaft"); and numerous private estates. The city itself has 40 ha of vines and greater Stuttgart (including suburbs) takes in some 400 ha of vineyards. As such, Stuttgart is the largest metropolitan wine center of Germany, and its vineyard area is nearly equal in size to that of the entire Sachsen region (500 ha).