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Hans Wirsching is located in Iphofen, Franconia and is one of the largest wineries in Germany. Although the buildings and the cellar date back to 1550, the estate wasn’t founded until 1630, when the local abbey gave the Wirsching family their first vineyards. The family has maintained their legacy through extenuating circumstances in history the Swedish Intervention during the 30 years War, phylloxera and two World Wars and it remains one of the oldest privately owned estates in the country. It was Andreas Wirsching in the early 1910’s who managed to save the estate and passed along his love for the land to his son Hans. Upon his father’s death, Hans inherited the estate and spearheaded several key initiatives, most notably planting new vineyards with grafted, phylloxera-resistant vines and restoring the family’s estate vineyard, the Iphoefer Julius-Echter-Berg. Hans is credited for being the first to plant Scheurebe in 1952. When Hans Wirsching Jr. passed away in 1990, Heinrich assumed responsibility of the family enterprise. Heinrich, along with his daughters represents the 14th and 15th generation of the family to preside over the winery. The 197 acre estate is planted with Silvaner (40%), Riesling (20%), Pinot Blanc (8%), Scheurebe (7%) and Pinot Noir (7%). The remaining 18% is a mix of Pinot Gris, Muller-Thurgau, Bacchus, Traminer, Rieslaner, Chardonnay, Portugais Bleu, Dornfelder and Domina. The vineyards face south by southwest and are planted on steep slopes composed of Gypsum Keuper soils. The Julius Echter Berg Vineyard is comprised of grey-brown gypsum marl with layers of red sandstone and tends to produce rich and opulent Silvaners. The soils at the Iphoefer Kronsberg Vineyard have a higher mineral and calcium content and in the Iphoefer Kalb Vineyard, the Keuper soils are darker and tend to produce fuller-bodied fruit. Yields are kept low, organic fertilizer is preferred and the grapes are harvested late, to ensure proper phenolic ripeness. [+]