Eberbach Monastery (Kloster Eberbach) is a former Cistercian monastery founded in the 12th century. It is located near Eltville am Rhein in the Rheingau Valley of Hesse, Germany (famous for its Riesling wine). It is a little over an hour drive from Frankfurt. In addition to being a world heritage site, the monastery provided the interior scenes for the 1980s film, The Name of the Rose. It is still an active wine production centre with a full monthly calendar of events, including wine experiences, candlelight tours, holiday events, concerts, pruning instruction, and guided hikes in the grounds. These special events require booking, and sell out quickly, but you can also have a self-directed tour of the monastery without special booking.
Wine is of central importance to this area both historically and currently. The original French monks imported grapes from Pinot; thus establishing one of the most economically successful and powerful monasteries in medieval Germany. The monks dominated the wine trade in the region and extended their reach to form satellite wine-producing monasteries near Heidelberg, Liege, Wetterau, and other areas.
On my visit, we chose to have a wine tour through the Steinberg Cellar, but many other options are available (see links below). The guided tour involves a walk down 80 steps to the wine cellar, a brief history, and a tasting of 3 wines. In all, the tour and tasting is about an hour or so in length. The wines on offer are subject to change. The current selection (January 2019) includes 2016 Steinberger Crescentia Riesling trocken, 2015 Kloster Eberbach Spätburgunder Noir trocken and 2015 Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling trocken VDP.Großes Gewächs.
Tours are possible all year round by appointment except for the Christmas holidays with entrance fees of:
Adults (including 3 wines): € 10.00 / person Youth (12-16 years): € 2.00 / person Children (under 12): free
Other wine tours available at the monastery include Eberbach Riesling Wine Tasting, Burgundy Wine Tasting, Hospital Cellar Wine Tasting, Cistercian Wine Tasting and Strolling Wine Tasting. Full descriptions of these tours are available at Kloster Eberbach Wine Tasting Tours.
Note: these wine tours are conducted as guided group tours with a minimum number of participant requirements (10-15 individuals), however, it is possible for individuals or smaller groups to join with other groups. Simply tell the monastery your requirements when booking the tour.