Germany - Edelbrennerei Schloss Neuenburg

Bailliage of Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Freyburg, November 21, 2023

Matthias Hempel: from banker to master distiller
" For Matthias it is always important not to approach a new project half-heartedly "

Matthias Hempel has been a Professionnel du Vin in the local Bailliage of Sachsen-Anhalt since 2018.

From 1998 to 2016 he ran a small wine-growing business as a sideline. In 2011 he stopped working at the bank and looked for another source of income. It needed to be one that suited viticulture and based on it. It made sense to start a distillery.

The location was quickly found - Schloss Neuenburg (Neuenburg Castle) high above the town of Freyburg*. The largest castle of the Thuringian landgraves** offered space for the distillery, which opened in 2013, in an old, former stable building. Everything is made of natural stone walls and therefore “naturally” stylish, so that Matthias Hempel only had to carefully complement the furnishings. The castle also provided the distillery's logo, the lily-shaped window reveal of the castle chapel's windows. The stylized lily now adorns every bottle from the distillery.

For Matthias it is always important not to approach a new project half-heartedly. That’s why in parallel to setting up the distillery, he completed training in Bavaria to become a distiller. Becoming a master distiller in Baden-Württemberg followed.

Today, the distillery’s range stretches from apricot and banana brandy to “Schlosswhisky” (lit. Castle whisky). Nothing is left to chance. For example, to mature the whisky regional wines are aged in Port style barrels which are then used for the product’s finish.

A special rarity is currently on offer in the form of “Schlosswhisky 8”. The whisky matured for six years in a half-size Hungarian ‘Göncer’ barrel (68 Litres), in which a Tokaji Aszú Essencia had previously matured for five years. The barrels are purchased directly from the winery.

Matthias’ success proves him right. Numerous national and international awards adorn the walls of the tasting room.

Karin Deissner
Chargée de Presse

Edelbrennerei Schloss Neuenburg
Schloss 5
06632 Freyburg
Phone: +49 (0)170-5447007

* Ed. Freyburg is a tourist destination, best known for its vineyards, historic town centre, superb 11th-century castle and associations with Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (founder of modern gymnastics). One of the most prosperous towns in the region, Freyburg is nicknamed "Tuscany of the North". It is the headquarters of one of the world's largest wine companies, Rotkäppchen-Mumm.

** Ed. The historical German title of Landgraf (Landgrave) is categorised below a Duke but above a Count. A landgrave exercised sovereign rights over a sometimes quite considerable territory.

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