Zellerweg am schwarzen Herrgott
The Schwarzer Herrgott sits at the mouth of the Zeller Valley basin, which opens up a few kilometers further to the east and concludes with the Frauenberg. Pure lime bedrock lies below both sites. The essential difference: their microclimates. While the Frauenberg is characterized by its open, exposed location and flowing winds, the Schwarzer Herrgott sits along a steep, narrow cliff that shields the site from rain and the full impact of direct sunlight.
The first official documentation of the site was in the records of St. Philip of Zell. The Irish monk served as a missionary to the region in roughly 700 A.D. and founded a cloister near Zell. In the early Middle Ages, it served as one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Germany. No less than Emperor Charlemagne himself made a pilgrimage with his wife to Zell to pray for children. St. Philip planted the vineyard for his sacramental wine on this site, which was 15 minutes by foot from his cloister. To eliminate the need for the monks to return to the cloister at prayer hours, they also erected a cross here. Over time it grew black and weathered, giving the site its name. Thanks to church records from that period, the Schwarzer Herrgott is among the oldest verifiable vineyard sites. The border between Rheinhessen and the northern section of the Pfalz winegrowing district runs directly through the Schwarzer Herrgott.