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Adam von Itzstein

Adam von Itzstein (1815 - 1848) was a well-known political figure whose contributions to the political dialogue in the early 1800s figured prominently in the development of a modern, post-World War II Germany. Adam von Itzstein lived in Hallgarten and had a vineyard and winery there. Because of his love for Hallgarten, his reverence for the land and the wine it produced, and to commemorate his 150th birthday, we honor Adam von Itzstein with a special line of wines.

The Hallgartener Jungfer

MadonnaSince there were no pumps to transfer wine in medieval times, a "Schröter" (wine barrel handler) had the unenviable task of bringing full barrels of wine up out of the cellar. They would roll the heavy barrels up the cellar steps by hand. Or, they would use a beam over the door of the cellar and over which a rope was thrown, one end attached to the barrel in the cellar and the other to an ox. The ox would then pull the barrel up the cellar steps while the barrel handler guided it. It was dangerous work and many of the barrel handlers in the Hallgarten area would stop at the local church on the way to the cellar and pray to the Virgin Mary to help them get through the day unharmed. Hence the reverence for the "Schrötermuttergottes" or Mary, the patron saint of barrel handlers.

One of the many legends that grew up around the Hallgartener Madonna was that of a local farmer who purchased a barrel of wine from a local vintner for a marriage ceremony. On the way home from the winery the barrel fell out of the ox cart and broke open, spilling the precious contents on the ground. The legend goes that as the farmer prayed to the Virgin Mary (Jungfer) to come to his aid, a young woman stopped by the cart, miraculously repaired the barrel and using a small jug, refilled the barrel from the puddles of wine on the ground. Around 1400 a church in the middle-Rhein region of Germany erected a statue depicting Mary with her small jug, a statue referred to as the "Madonna with the Pottery Jug", the "Hallgartener Jungfer", or simply as the "Beautiful Hallgartener".