IL MAGNIFICO: PRINCE NIKOLAUS II – A GLORIOUS DISPLAY
The public appearances of Nikolaus II, Prince Esterhazy were characterised by their marvellous splendour – for example, in his legendary dress uniform, sewn with 10,000 pearls and his aigrette, set with 4,000 diamonds. His collections of art and scholarly works today still provide core material for the Hungarian National Museum, while his gardens and palaces in Vienna and environs continue to attract visitors from all over the world. The myth remains alive.
JOSEPH HAYDN – MUSICAL GENIUS IN RESIDENCE
Haydn and his music are closely connected with the House of Esterhazy. He served them for some thirty years as music director, with daily access to his own orchestra, composing important works such as his Paris symphonies. For a heavy workload – ranging from composing, to accompanying members of the royal family, to conducing more than 100 performances per year – Haydn was paid in princely fashion, not only in coin but in wine as well!
The palace of the House of Esterhazy in Eisenstadt is one of the loveliest baroque palaces in Austria. Here one can still breathe noble air from the splendid and animated life at the court of our princes. And the ‘Esterhazy Fairy Kingdom’ (thanks, J.W. von Goethe!) still lives to this day in concerts, exhibitions, festivals and civic events. Welcome!
WINE MUSEUM – A CELLAR FULL OF CULTURE
The largest wine museum in Austria beckons to visitors in the 500-year-old vaulted cellar of Schloss Esterhazy, displaying more than 700 unique objects from the realm of wine and viticulture, including the oldest beam press in Burgenland. Here the sprawling rooms, hallways and vaults offer the visitor an authentic excursion into the world of wine, illustrating the culture and history of the vine in the Pannonian region. The Esterhazy family became involved with viticulture rather early on; their palace cellars could hold 5,000 Eimer (a measure, not a bucket!) or some 280,000 litres of wine in 1666, and remained in use into the 21st century for maturing wines from the estate’s own holdings.
THE ESTERHAZY FAIRY KINGDOM
Empress Maria Theresia, Joseph Haydn and many other public figures of their time were closely connected with the House of Esterhazy. The description of this glamorous world as the Esterhazy Fairy Kingdom comes from Goethe’s autobiographical work ‘Poetry and Truth’. Since then the famous saying has come to stand for the entire milieu and works of the House of Esterhazy – from the cultural presentations to the ultramodern winery.
250 Years young
The Esterhazy line was founded in 1687 by Kaiser Leopold I. Quite suitably, other prominent early patrons included Empress Maria Theresia, Joseph Haydn, and Goethe. In 2006 vinification was brought up to its current, leading standard with a new wine cellar and the most modern facilities. For a seamless story with a happy ending.
COUNT QINQUIN. BLACK SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ESTERHAZY
Count Franz ‘Quinquin’ Esterhazy was born in 1715. He became a close confidant of the Imperial couple, as well as Court Chancellor of Hungary and director of the court theatre in Vienna. A favourite among the ladies, Quinquin was famous for his charm and elegance. His French nickname, which means more or less ‘rogue’ or ‘playboy’ lives on as the eponym for our buoyant and vivacious sparkling rosé.
LUNATI-VISCONTI. THE RED WINE PRINCESS
For centuries the House of Esterhazy has made its mark on viticulture throughout the region. Among other innovations, consort Countess Maria Lunati-Visconti (wife of Prince Paul II Anton, with the help of a French oenologue) was the one to introduce Pinot Noir vines from Burgundy. Other members of the Pinot family were soon to follow, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, today among the most significant grape varieties in Burgenland.