Wine is one of Oberlahnstein’s major sources of wealth and this is why the Elector of Mainz operates his winery in the immediate vicinity of the Salhof, the magnificent residence on the town’s main square.
The Salkellerei winery is one of Oberlahnstein’s oldest buildings. Some parts of it probably date from the 14th century. Parts of the west façade and a large cellar room with cross vaulting are still original. The Electoral wine pressing house is located next door to the winery. For many years it houses a mighty beam press which, because of its immense strength, is known to the townsfolk as “Samson”, after the biblical giant of the same name.
Up until the year 1845 the so-called ‘tithe‘ is stored in the former Salkellerei winery. This consists mainly of wine and cereals which the territorial lord receives as payment in kind. Following the creation of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau in 1868, one of the newly formed local courts of law takes up residence here until it is relocated to Niederlahnstein in 1876.
In 1890 this imposing, 3-storied stone building is put up for sale and is purchased by the publisher Franz Schickel and his son Eduard who set up a printing house here. From now on Oberlahnstein’s newspaper, the Oberlahnsteiner Zeitung, which was first published in 1863, is also printed here. In 1906 the adjacent wine pressing house is completely destroyed by fire and the top floor of the Salkellerei also falls victim to the flames. A new 2-storied, half-timbered house with a corner tower is now built in place of the neighbouring building which was destroyed in the fire. This is the Schickel printers’ new printing and publishing house. The old gateway of the pressing house now becomes a semi-circular window at the entrance to the courtyard.
The Lahnstein winegrowers’ cooperative stores its wine in the cellar of the former Electoral Salkellerei winery right up until 1972. Today the building houses offices and commercial premises.