Wintricher Geierslay

Exposure: south-facing slope

Soil: thick with quartzite and iron penetrated, purple slate floor

History and Trivia: In the early 19th Century, the merchant Böcking family, famous for their Trarbacher wine, acquired vineyards, including Geierslay, as a result of the secularization following the Napoleonic wars.

In addition, the family ran an estate above the Wintricher valley. This farm, located in the Kasholz district, was cultivated for agriculture products. It also served as a source of manure to be used as fertilizer in the vineyards.

To this end, a windmill-powered stone grinder was installed to crush the shale. The shale was brought by cart over steep passages from Geierslay, ground to powder at the mill, then carted back to Geierslay and spread on the fields as an additional mineral additive. The amount of effort put into producing the shale powder illustrates the value the Böckings placed on it for their grapes.

At the beginning of the 20th Century Geierslay’s ownership passed due to a marriage alliance to the Heusgen family, an important wine merchant dynasty originally from Traben-Trabach. Geierslay was listed in the Prussian viticulture card as a Class 1 location. In the late 19th Century, Geierslay and the surrounding fields produced grapes which were among the most expensive on the Mosel, as witnessed during numerous wine auctions of the period.

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