- June 8, 2012
- by Lars Carlberg
Florian Lauer of Peter Lauer has cleared Lambertskirch of thorny scrub and replanted this historic vineyard with old Riesling cuttings. Once farmed by his father and grandfather, the site is above the Saar River just downstream from the steep parcel of wurzelecht, or ungrafted, old vines at Schonfels, another vineyard that Florian has recultivated on the same slope.
The soil at Lambertskirch, once named Lambertsberg, is quite stony with predominantly gray and blue slate. From the southeast-to-east-facing hillside, there’s an excellent view of the well-known Ockfener Bockstein in the distance.
Friedrich Wilhelm Koch, whose books and maps on the Mosel and Saar were printed by Heinrich Stephanus in Trier, even lists the vineyard of Lambertskirch in his third edition of Die Weine im Gebiete der Mosel und Saar from 1914.
Lambertskirch lies above the former parish church of St. Lambert (hence the name), which later became for a period of time a church graveyard (see photograph). The church once belonged to the villages of Ayl, Biebelhausen, the farm “auf Kaipig,” Niederleuken, and Saarburg. It’s uncertain when the parish lost its role as a house of worship. In 1803, the Bishop Mannay noted that there were neither benches nor confessionals inside, although a wedding is supposed to have taken place here in 1826. Today’s chapel was erected on the spot of the rundown church at around 1850.
Legend has it that a pilgrim from the Orient came to the area in about 1150. He had seen better days and took strict vows for his wrongdoings. To honor the holy Lambert he decided to build a chapel, where he lived as a hermit to do penance.
Photograph courtesy of Florian Lauer.
Portions of this post appeared in similar form on the blog of the former Mosel Wine Merchant, February 1, 2011.