I have always been facinated with the history that lies within the walls of castles.  Europe, having a plethora of castles to discover, offers one from Heidelberg, Germany, with a great history. 


Deep within the bowels of Heidelberg castle is the home of the world’s largest wine barrel, the famous Heidelberg Tun.  It holds 58,000 U.S. gallons of wine! The barrel was constructed in 1751 from 130 oak tree trunks. It was used to hold taxes paid in the form of wine. (We’ve all heard of blends…but can you imagine this?)   History tells us the barrel was empty most of its existence. On the sides of the barrel are axe marks where Napolean’s soldiers tried unsucessfully, to get the wine. (Little did they know the barrel was empty at that time!)

You can see by the picture: in recent times, a staircase was built for the “huge” barrel, leading to a dance floor for people to drink and dance!


Marie Griffin, ABC Wine Supervisor, North-West Florida

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