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History

Spelled in several different ways, the name Tschäpperli has been associated with the cultivation of wine for centuries. This remotest part of the Klus-valley in Aesch near Basel, Switzerland, was part of the larger “Klushof”, now an adjacent estate of its own. The Tschäpperli, and “its belongings”, were part of the hereditary fief of the Family Blarer von Wartensee since 1619.  As fief holders, the family was obliged to pay rent each autumn to the feudal lord Prince Bishop in Pruntrut in the form of: “five saum[1] Cluserwine from the forerun hence sweet from the press” and “…for St. Martins, five Pounds Stebler[2] and four chicken”. This relationship was based on feudal law, which applied in countless versions until the invasion of the Prince-Bishopric Basel in 1792 by Napoleon’s troups. As representatives of the old regime, feudal lord and fief holders were forced to flee. Their estates were expropriated and offered for sale.  The then lineage holder of the von Blarer family was put on an emigrants list and was referred to as “Refugiant Blarer” in documents of the time.

At the beginning of the 19th century,  most of the expropriated land and buildings were returned to the family or were made available to repurchase. The Tschäpperli, which then held 2-3 hectares (50 to 75 acres)of vineyard, was part of such a purchase.  New inheritance legislation made the division of the land in plots of equal quality to each heir possible, but joint management was not really an option for a more and more disrupted family.

Due to bad weather and new diseases associated with grape cultivation, wine production slid into crisis at the end of the 19th century and through the beginning of the 20th century. Still, after initial setbacks, it was possible to reunite the Tschäpperli between the two world wars as a coherent wine estate under the von Blarer family’s sole ownership and management. After the Second World War, land for grape cultivation was expanded in three stages until the Tschäpperli grew to the current  surface of 3.5 hectares (83 acres).  New varieties of grapes gradually took the place of old varietals such as “Gutedel” and “Elbling”.

Dieter von Blarer and Steffi Wirth von Blarer have been the owners of the Tschäpperli since 1990. Ulrich and Barbara Baenninger-Zurflüh have managed the production of grapes and wine since 1986.

 


[1] Old measure for liquids
[2] Probably old currency