Big Names in Paradise

The Palatinate wine town of Deidesheim, famous for its wines and prominent visitors, has dedicated one vineyard of its extensive appellations to well-known personalities from the fields of politics, economics, science and culture who have done a great service for the town and its wine. They are awarded a special vine for positive relevant achievements in society. Among these people are Gorbatschow, Yeltsin, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former Prime Mminister of the Rhineland-Palatinate, Dr. Bernhard Vogel and many more. Each year, the tenants are given a bottle of wine from their vineyards showing their name, and a signed bottle of the previous vintage.

In autumn, when the Riesling grapes of the special vines have reached the correct degree on the Oechsle scale, the “tenant winegrowers” meet, if possible, to harvest the ripe grapes in the vineyards under the guidance of Deidesheim’s former mayor Stefan Gillich. In spite of the moderate autumn weather, a considerable number of vine tenants are transported each year to the vineyards by tractor or car. These include wine queens and princesses, the well-known Deidesheim wine expert Werner Leim, Tower Writers, professors from various departments, and other well-known personalities. After the harvest is finished and a glass of new wine has been enjoyed amongst the vines, the tenants are informed of the quality of the new vintage, the history of winegrowing and the landscape around Deidesheim.

Then, after visiting the highly attractive Eva in the Paradiesgarten with her interesting story, the small crowd sets off to the historic town hall to visit the unique Museum of Wine Culture. In between the abundance of preserved testimony to the high cultural importance of wine, the guests are served a traditional Palatinate refreshment and wine from the Deidesheim Paradiesgarten. Stefan Gillich personally addresses all of his guests and new vine tenants are introduced. In 2005, the important document was given to Dr. Matthias Löbelenz, chief of staff at the urological hospital at Neustadt, and Heinz Schröder, executive senior government official from Neustadt.

The event, which is wholly devoted to wine and its culture, is finally rounded off by interesting conversations until midnight.


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