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By Gisela Kirschstein
When you roll through Rheinhessen, along those soft, vineyard-strewn hills, you find on the outskirts of a small village named Köngernheim a very inconspicuous assemble of buildings. When you step through the gate, a whole new world opens: old half-timber houses surround a romantiv yard and cuddle the main house – an old grain mill. Its secrets lodge on the inside: highly modern, yet cosy rooms, a gourmet restaurant, and a 1.000 square meter spa area with yoga room, saunas and an outdoor pool that bows to the wine dedication of the area.
“This place was pretty run-down, when my parents bought it”, Niclas Jordan confesses. It’s quite a while ago, in 2005, when Gerhard and Martina Jordan saved the old “Untermühle” from compulsory auction. “To run their own hotel was an old dream of my parents”, reports Jordan – the 28-year-old hotel manager joined the team of “Mill Ghosts” about three years ago. His parents grew up in Mainz and Bingen, both became hotel employees, the grandparents ran a famous wine bar in Mainz. “Already when they still were apprentices, they sat here in the yard, dreaming of running the place one time“, the son explains.
Today, this place is called "Jordan’s Untermühle“, and its history stretches back over centuries. From 1608 dates the oldest written record of the mill on the borders of the small river Selz, yet historians are sure: the mill dates back at least to the 14th century. For decades, the “Untermühle” was known as a gourmet restaurant in all of Rheinhessen and throughout Germany until its decay before the 1990s.
Today, the “Traum-Mühle” is the first building the guests are greeted by in the inner yard of the estate. It’s the oldest of all the buildings here, containing eleven cozy rooms inside, adorned with old wooden beams and equipped with a standard matching the international 4,5 star-standard. The “Snuggle-Mill” holds more rooms and since October 2018 another 18 rooms have been added in an adjacent new building.
In the restaurant, they serve high-quality pikeperch fillet and beef rolls as well as home-made pheasant sausage while the wine menu holds delicacies from the wineries surrounding the mill and down to the Rhine valley at Nierstein. “You can also drink your way through all the Great Wine Capital regions”, Jordan says. From each member of the worldwilde network of Great Wine Capitals, there’s a wine to have here in rural Rheinhessen.
But it wasn’t for the mill or the wine menu either, that Jordan’s Untermühle was awarded the Best of Wine Tourism Award for Accommodation 2020. The reason is called “Heart & Grapevine” – it’s a brand new spa area, built behind the main house in 2018. The central spa lounge looks like a private living room and is dominated by design made of wood and warm colors. Four-poster beds around the corner offer space for quiet retreat, several side-rooms for massages and the modern pool leads into the open where guests have a view onto the new sauna building in mill-design with its beautiful yoga-room on top.
Riesling, Silvaner, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are not only served here in glasses, they also lend their names to the spa treatments and their philosophy. “Riesling signifies purification and freshness, Silvaner care and attentiveness”, Jordan explains. Each program is designed around these philosophies, inspired by the vivid wine culture of Rheinhessen. Quiet and focusing comes along with Pinot Gris while the Pinot Noir lends power and energy to its guests.
“We wanted to convert the wine characteristics into the individual needs of our guests”, Jordan says, “that’s probably unique in wellness spas.” And of course, they use wine cosmetics and peelings made from wine kernels, Sauvignon Blanc peelings as well as vinotherapy and footbaths in barrique vines. “It’s our opening ceremony before you start the spa day”, Jordans says, and of course, a glas of wine is part of that. “We are in the middle of a thriving wine region, there are so many winemakers around us”, says Jordan, “we thought it was appropriate.”
Learn more about Jordan's Untermühle: www.jordans-untermuehle.de/en-EN