Landmarks and Wineculture Details
Queen Victoria Monument
Landmarks of Wine Culture: Rheingau
The English were and are great wine lovers. Wine from Hochheim am Main, called "hock", was one of Queen Victoria's favourite wines. As for its health-promoting effects, they used to say: "Good hock keeps off the doc!” Incidentally, the word was and still is generally used for German white or Rhine wines, however very few Englishmen or Americans are likely to associate "hock" with the town of Hochheim. In 1845, the Queen visited Hochheim with her husband Prince Albert and were treated to a wine tasting. This was offered to the royal couple in the "most beautiful and best vineyard in the district", today's "Königin-Victoriaberg". An enterprising winegrower who owned the vineyard at the time, a certain Georg Michael Papstmann, obtained the graciously granted royal permission to name his vineyard "Königin-Victoriaberg", monument included. This was unveiled with full pomp and ceremony on the occasion of the Queen's 35th birthday on 24 May 1854. The inscription reads: "Her Majesty Victoria Queen of Great Britain and Ireland had the grace to bestow her high name on this vineyard. In honour of the exalted monarch and as a grateful remembrance of such a gracious distinction, this memorial stone was erected by G.M. Pabstmann, Hochheim, 24 May 1854" The five-hectare vineyard even has a spring that gushes from a lion's mouth directly below the monument. The monument, still about seven metres high, proudly looks out over the vines into the plain. With its Gothic turrets and ornamentation, the monument looks as if it has sprung from a medieval English castle. The coat of arms of the Queen of England is clearly visible. Even today, Hochheim Riesling is still drunk by the English royal family. Hochheim, more than any other place, has made German wine known in England in particular, and won it many friends. Wine played a major role in Hochheim's history early on, and a vineyard hoe, a so-called karst, stands for viticulture in the town's coat of arms. Wine was most likely already grown in Hochheim in Roman times. There is evidence of local viticulture since 1329, and Hochheim has also made a name for itself among connoisseurs as the source of fine sparkling wines. Around 220 hectares of vineyards are located in Hochheim, including the Königin-Victoriaberg. It is located directly on the Main River below the town and is now cultivated by a renowned winegrower from Wicker. Incidentally, Thomas Jefferson, the President of America, was another "celebrity" to visit the town of wine and sekt. Back in 1788, Jefferson made a side trip from Paris. He tasted an old Hochheim wine (vintage 1726), which he apparently liked, inspiring him to buy 100 vines for his garden on the spot. However, there is no monument to him, nor is there a specially named vineyard. However, there is a memorial plaque in the vineyards along the Herrnbach path.