History of the Henninger

Fachwerk unter Putz 1900
Luise Henninger 1916Fachwerk freigelegt 1919

From stories told by my grandmother Luise, I know the history of my family, which has shaped the Weinhaus Henninger. Our family has been cultivating wine in Kallstadt for over 400 years and for 160 years they have filled the concept of hospitality with life.

In the years up to 1615 the stately half-timbered house was built in the form of a Franconian courtyard, which is now a listed building. Wine has always been the guiding principle of our family. Only a few years after its completion, the house was partly destroyed by the Thirty Years’ War and only in 1688 was it finally completely rebuilt. The archway with the large and small gate, which was rebuilt at that time, existed in this form until 1919, when my grandfather destroyed it while manoeuvring his first truck. The reconstruction also changed the form to its present appearance, with the large gate.

The guest house was founded by my great-grandfather Johannes Henninger II, who was followed by his son Georg Henninger IV, a highly esteemed wine expert . His marriage to Luise Georgens brought the soul into Weinhaus Henninger. It was she who first made people in other parts of the country aware of the house’s reputation. At the South German Horticultural Exhibition 1925 in Ebertpark in Ludwigshafen, Weinhaus Henninger was represented with a timber construction information stand. After the death of my grandfather in 1926, my grandmother Luise continued the business on her own and, in an extraordinary step at the time, hired a full-time cook, making the Weinhaus the place to go for good food and famous far beyond the borders of the Palatinate region.

He was certainly not one of the first guests in the famous Kallstadt Weinhaus, but he was certainly the first to arrive in a car. How quiet times were when car pioneer Carl Benz chugged from Ladenburg into the Palatinate on Sundays and parked his patented motor car next to the horse-drawn carriages in front of Weinhaus Henninger.

China's head of state Chu-En-Lai, ship owner Aristotle Onassis and champagne baron Remy Heidsiek also followed the call of good food. The Shah of Persia and his Empress Soraya stayed with us, as did Princess Eleonore D'Este, Franz-Josef Strauß, Willi Quadflieg and Erika Köth, who wrote “Oh my, it just tastes sooooo good!” in our guest book.

The Saumagen (pig stomach) is certainly the best-known and most popular Palatinate cuisine speciality - the highlight of our meaty delights. Grandmother Luise was the one who rediscovered the long-forgotten dish after the First World War. She turned the former commoner’s food into a speciality of Kallstadt: It came to the table in a new and refined form and today features on almost all Palatinate menus. The fact that the best Kallstadt vineyard bears the same name is more than coincidence. Was it the terrain's similarity with the food favourite? Was it the sow pasture on which a vineyard then developed, or simply the excessive, shall we say, affection for the delicacy? Whatever the connection of thoughts may be - both are magnificent; the one on the plate and the one in the glass. A Saumagen Riesling Kabinett is therefore the best accompaniment to a meal - full-bodied yet racy and elegant!


Walter Henninger