The Pavilion and Professor Blankenhorn

The Pavilion and Professor Blankenhorn

On 8 September 1868, Professor Adolph Blankenhorn married a Miss Adolphine from Müllheim, a union which was to produce six children. Oral tradition has it that this pavilion was the one in which they first got to know each other, in Aix-en-Provence, and that the Professor had it dismantled at Aix and rebuilt here as a symbol of his love for his wife. He is said to have planted a Taylor vine beside the pavilion, and we have a photograph taken in 1874 showing the vine enveloping the pavilion. Today that same vine stands on the northern face of the pavilion.


The Taylor is a white vine, probably a natural cross between the native North American species vitis riparia and vitis labrusca. (A further hypothesis is that Taylor is ein offen abgeblühter Sämling der Sorte Hartford.) Allegedly the variety was discovered by a certain judge Taylor of Henry County Kentucky, and further selected by a breeder named Cobb.


In 2006, Bernhard Huber, then as now general manager of the Baden wine estate, moved to the manager’s house at the centre of this vineyard. He converted the land around the cellar buildings to a garden, and freed the pavilion from many years’-worth of weed growth. His own marriage, to Elke, was celebrated beside the Taylor vine in 2008. Since that time, the cellar buildings are a favourite spot for couples to celebrate weddings. 2011 saw the complete renovation of the pavilion. It was re-roofed, with new roof beams and full galvanization of all metal parts. By 2013, the path and garden areas had been renewed, using varieties cultivated for the beauty of their flowers, of species that are native to this part of the Kaiserstuhl.


Adolf Blankenhorn and his life

 Adolf Friedrich Blankenhorn was born on 6 June 1843 in Müllheim in the Markgräflerland, in upper Baden some way south of here. By 1860 Blankenhorn was attending the technical high school in Karlsruhe and in 1862 he enrolled at the University of Heidelberg to study chemistry.

In 1864, Adolf Blankenhorn had graduated and been awarded a PhD from the University of Heidelberg. In line with his father’s wishes, he dedicated himself to the study of viticulture in the family estates in Müllheim and here on the Kaiserstuhl. He appears to have encountered his life’s mission here, to study and support wine production in Germany. Family resources were used to establish an ‘Oenological Institute’ in 1868, and by 1874 Blankenhorn had become president of the German Association of Wine Producers. A year later he was appointed to the Imperial Commission for Combating Phylloxera, and from then on his professional work focused on dealing with this agricultural pest and other animals that live on vines. In 1878 Blankenhorn was awarded the golden medal of the sociétés d’agriculture, and in 1881 he was appointed to a full professorship by the Archduke of Baden. By 1893 he had been elected honorary life president of the German Association of Wine Producers.

Blankenhorn had suffered from a nervous disease since 1880, and he died of this disease in Konstanz on 7 January 1906.