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History of Mittelbergheim

Then from the 14th century , Mittelbergheim had a curious destiny. It was sold and divided into three parts until the French Revolution:

  • a third to the diocese of Strasbourg
  • a third to the Andlau family
  • a third to the town of Strasbourg

The village is dominated by the castle of Haut Andlau, providing shelter and protection.

Mittelbergheim is situated on a huge block of limestone. Several quarries provided the stones for the construction of the village’s gorgeous Renaissance houses.

While the village counted up to 1037 inhabitants in 1846, the current population is just over 600.

Our village was founded by the Franks at the beginning of the 6th century under the name of “Berge”. After several name changes (Mittelbergensis, Villa Bergheim, Berckheim “près Andalo”, …), it becomes Mittelbergheim in the 17th century.

Originally, the village was an imperial property. In 880, the emperor Charles the Fat gave it to his wife Richarde, also founder of the Abbey of Andlau.

Wine history

The vine was cultivated in Alsace by the Romans from the beginning of our era. The vine’s existence in Mittelbergheim was mentioned for the fist time in a parchment dated 8 June 880.

Viticulture was very prosperous from the 16th century which allowed the construction of the magnificent Renaissance houses in the village, all with wine cellars.

The « Weinschlagbuch »

Mittelbergheim is lucky to possess a wine and vineyard chronicle held since the 15th century (1456).

This is a register which reports the official price of wine for the year, generally fixed by a commission. This price served as a reference for wine merchants, but also for the calculation of taxes. The register was kept by the clerk of the local court, the mayor or the schoolteacher.

Gradually, comments on the quantity and quality of the wine, the climatic conditions, as well as important facts from the history of the village were added to the wine prices.

Some extracts:
1540: “the harvest was marvellous, the wine was very sweet like malvoisie and in large quantities”.
1631: An epidemic hit the village. “370 people, young and old, died, although the harvest was as rich in sugar as in 1624.
1900: “Hot and very dry summer, good half harvest, very good quality”.
1947: “Average quantity of harvest with very good quality. It was a truly ideal year for the development of the vines. The subsoil was already dry in the spring… The vines were not affected by disease… this was due to the excessive heat and drought”.

This chronicle, which has been kept for more than five centuries, is unique in Alsace.

The Wine Museum

Winemakers memories

Inaugurated in 2008, the museum presents an important collection of ancient objects related to viticulture. The Museum is open to the public every Sunday afternoon from mid-July to mid-October, and all year round by appointment for groups.

The wine library

Hidden in the magnificent vaulted cellar of the Mittelbergheim City Hall, renovated by the Wine Association, is a treasure. Behind a wrought iron gate, there is a collection of wines from the village’s winemakers.

This wine library can contain up to 5,400 bottles. The oldest bottle, a Sylvaner Zotzenberg, dates from 1959. Each year, a “blind” tasting is organised to select the most structured wines that are best for aging.

The wine library can be visited during the Kallerladel’s open day (early April).