Rich in tradition, Staatskellerei Zürich delights wine lovers with spectacular, high-quality innovations, yet thankfully remains true to its roots.
From monastery wine cellar to Staatskellerei Zürich
Poet and wine lover Gottfried Keller, who was also Chancellor of the Canton of Zurich, issued a decree in 1862 that after the dissolution of the Rheinau Monastery its wine cellar (Klosterkellerei Rheinau) would come under cantonal administration. The Rheinau Monastery cellar was then merged with Zurich's hospital cellar, creating Staatskellerei Zürich, the cantonal wine cellar.
Back then the main task of Staatskellerei Zürich and its vintners was producing wines for hospitals and public institutions. Its target consumer group has of course changed over time, and its high quality specialities delight modern-day wine lovers now. Near-natural, sustainable cultivation methods, strict quantity limits and advanced cellar techniques are what ensure the high quality of Staatskellerei Zürich wines.
State wine cellar now privately owned
The Staatskellerei Zürich winery has been owned by Mövenpick Wein AG since 1997, but its wines are still produced in the original monastery cellar in Rheinau. The cellar is on the banks of the Rhine near the island that houses the former monastery, and has produced wine for over 400 years. Christoph Schwegler is the current managing director of the winery.Staatskellerei Zürich buys 24 different grape varieties from around 90 winegrowers in the Canton of Zurich, which it then processes to create a wide range of wines. Over half the grapes are Pinot noir.
Blends and single-varietals: the Staatskellerei Zürich wines
Gottfried Keller would be happy: with newly created top wines like "Pinot Noir Tête de Cru" and "ÉO", a cuvée of Gamaret and Merlot, the Staatskellerei vintners are proving that Zurich is in a position to produce not only Pinots with Burgundy richness, but also cuvées with almost Mediterranean charm.
The two "Staatsschreiber" wines, celebrating the decree from the State Chancellor, have almost achieved a cult following. The white cuvée of Pinot noir, Riesling x Sylvaner,Muscat and Gewürztraminer boasts a fresh fruitiness and balanced aromas, while the red Pinot noir has seductive hints of raspberries and red cherries and is perfect with lightly seasoned white meat and poultry.
Staatskellerei Zürich's second flagship wine is "Pankraz", available in all three colours, with the red "Pinot Noir Prestige Barrique" the winery's best-seller. Its red cuvée "Compleo", first released in 2010, is produced with grapes from various different Swiss wine regions and has been carefully crafted to achieve the velvety fullness and fruity sweetness appreciated by younger wine lovers.