Graf Erwein Matuschka-Greiffenclau, the Lord of Riesling

Graf Erwein Matuschka-Greiffenclau, the Lord of Riesling, the heir of Schloss Vollrads, founded in 963, the oldest family-owned manor in Germany, was also the chairman of VOP-Rheingau and of Weinbauerbandes. We met him during a ‘Grüne Woche’ in Berlin.

In 1997 he asked to stay in our guest house, La Fidanza, for a fortnight in August with his daughter and her secretary. He was a Lord who behaved with the courtesy of a true aristocrat. He brought us bottles of his Schloss Vollrads together with the glasses with green stems which he had created to show off the white colour of Riesling. We spent a pleasant afternoon together before taking him to La Fidanza. He liked the place; he spent one good night there. But, unfortunately, it was the last night of his life that he spent in a bed. The following morning, unexpectedly, he had to fly back to his creditors: the banks…Schloss Vollrads was bankrupt…the previous evening so wonderful, the following day so desperate.

During the night he went to visit his vineyards and to bid farewell to his vines and to life. He passed away under the beautiful grapes of his Riesling, nearly ready for harvest.

We helped his daughter and her secretary to leave for home safely, escaping the attentions of the German press, which was eager to spread far and wide the news of the great Wein Graf’s death. (“Wein Graf” is the title of his biography.) He is always present at Montenidoli with his Riesling and his glasses with green stems.