Outstanding Vinotheks Details
Outstanding Vinothek in Pfalz
When Sarah Janson was growing up, the view to the west from her Long Island home fell upon the imposing skyline of Manhattan's skyscrapers. Nowadays the view that greets Sarah Janson when she opens her door is the houses of Bockenheim – a small, cozy village on the border between the northern Pfalz and Rheinhessen. The pace of life is relaxed here, mirroring the pleasantly flowing landscape.
It was love that drew her here twelve years ago, her devotion to Kurt Janson, whom she first met at a winery on Long Island. Sarah Janson has done more than just assimilate into the Schloss Janson estate. She's brought a wonderful burst of new blood into the family-run business. With creative ideas and just the right temperament, the lively American quickly succeeded in giving a jolt to the Wine Route.
When the family ordered a full renovation of the vinothek in early 2014, one priority was to establish a uniform style. The design needed to blend in well with the historic estate's overall look and feel, built upon a history reaching back to the 12th century and in the possession of the Janson family since 1831.
Sarah Janson, as junior member of the management team, consciously sought to resist the trend toward modern vinotheks made of glass, steel and concrete. This 80-square-meter vinothek was instead built primarily around wood, historic tiles, restored antique furniture and shabby-chic decorations.
Even more important was drawing upon their region. The antique furniture comes from a local dealer, the ceramics came from a neighborhood potter and even the edible delicacies come from delis in and around Bockenheim.
The vinothek in the inner courtyard is one part of the attraction; the remainder of the castle grounds on this northernmost stretch of the Wine Route are another. There are many romantic spots to discover, including the quarrystone walls and the hydrangea-ringed chapel garden. Kurt and Sarah Janson had already been offering a variety of wine hikes before adding in a romantic dinner back in July 2016. It is celebrated on a long table amidst the vineyards in Bockenheim and Dirmstein, with delicious dishes from "Freinsheimer Hof" restaurant — and, of course, Schloss Janson wines.
Kurt Janson, the other "junior member" of management under father Kurt Senior and mother Annesuse, tends to reach for Pinot Blanc and Gris, as well as Chardonnay and Riesling. The "Mundus Vini" wine competition recently awarded gold for the 2015 Chardonnay trocken and silver for the 2015 Grauer Burgunder Spätlese trocken.
Visitors to the vinothek can naturally look forward to regional Pfälzer specialties such as the homemade Spundekäs made based on Annesuse's secret recipes, cheese cubes with fruit and baguette and Pfälzer Dubbes, an herbal mix for dipping into olive oil and baguette. And so Schloss Janson has grown to accommodate a thrilling mix of Pfälzer tradition paired with a charming breath of America.
Wine sales during office hours Wednesday through Friday from 8:00 am - noon and 2:00 - 6:00 pm and by appointment
Vinothek (closed for winter until February 28):
Saturday from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday from noon - 6:00 pm