800 years of
winegrowing history

The vineyards of Eitelsbach, named after a nearby tributary of the Ruwer, were first mentioned in writings circa 1223. Over a hundred years later, in 1335, Prince-Elector Balduin of Luxembourg gifted an estate on the land to the monks of the Carthusian order. The monks founded it as an official winegrowing estate and cultivated wine for almost 500 years. By 1803 the estate was secularized and passed into the hands of the French government. Eight years later it was sold to the highest bidder: Director General Valentin Leonardy of the French army.

Since 1811, the Karthäuserhof has been passed down from generation to generation within a single family. The current owner, Albert Behler, represents the seventh generation of the Leonardy / Rautenstrauch / Tyrell / Behler family to uphold the stellar international reputation of the Karthäuserhof, which it has held for the past 200 years.

Few commercial entities can claim such a long and distinguished history. There are only 80 such companies in the world older than Karthäuserhof, and of those only seven winegrowing estates.

Our History:

The first eight hundred years

  1. 1223

    The vineyards of Eitelsbach are mentioned in official documents for the first time. Archaeologists find indications that the Romans produced wine here.

  2. 1335

    Prince-Elector Balduin of Luxembourg gifts an estate in Eitelsbach to the monks of the Carthusian order. The order establishes it as a winegrowing estate operating with a small group of roughly 10 monks.

  3. 1803

    The Karthäuserhof is confiscated by Napoleonic troops and secularized.

  4. Valentin Leonardy
    Valentin Leonardy


    Valentin Leonardy, General Director of the French Army, buys the estate from the French government.

  5. 1824

    Valentin Leonardy’s sole daughter Susanne marries Johann Wilhelm Rautenstrauch, Councilor of Commerce and President of the Chamber of Commerce, who assumes responsibility for the estate.

  6. 1858

    Upon the death of Johann Wilhelm, his second son Karl Wilhelm, a member of the Prussian state parliament, inherits the estate. Karl further establishes recognition and renown of Karthäuserhof around the world.

  7. 1868

    The Prussian government classifies vineyard sites along the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer Rivers, placing the Karthäuserhofberg within the finest class.

    Historical winegrowing map
    Historical winegrowing map
  8. 1876

    Karl Wilhelm Rautenstrauch marries Kathinka Mühlens of the Cologne perfume producers “4711.” Kathinka makes her family’s distinctive “4711” turquoise blue the new house colors of the winegrowing estate.

  9. 1896

    Karl Wilhelm dies unexpectedly at 47 years old. Kathinka, his wife, assumes management of the estate until their eldest son Hans Wilhelm finishes his education as a winegrower in Hohenheim. Hans Wilhelm then leads the Karthäuserhof for the next 50 years. He is responsible for multiple legendary vintages, including 1903, 1908, 1921, 1934, 1937 and 1949.

  10. 1921

    Hans Wilhelm Rautenstrauch marries Elisabeth Michels, a daughter of a venerable patrician family from Cologne. The marriage produces three heirs: a son who died young and two daughters Maria and Cathinka.

  11. Selection from our catalog.
    Our Karthäuserhof legends.
  12. 1947

    Hans Wilhelm Rautenstrauch’s older daughter Maria marries an officer named Werner Tyrell. The two met while he was visiting his sister Mathilde who was staying at the Karthäuserhof. Werner assumes leadership of the Karthäuserhof upon the death of his father-in-law. Maria and Werner have seven children.

  13. 1986

    Christoph Tyrell, Maria and Werner’s eldest son, takes control of the Karthäuserhof. Under his guidance, the estate wins countless national and international awards. Der Feinschmecker magazine praises Christoph Tyrell as “Vintner of the Year” in 1997. And the Gault Millau Guide named the visionary behind the modern dry Riesling style “Vintner of the Year” in 2005.

  14. Christoph Tyrell (left) & Albert Behler (right)
    Christoph Tyrell (left) & Albert Behler (right)
  15. 2012

    Albert Behler, son of Werner Tyrell's sister Mathilde, assumes control of the estate from his cousin Christoph.