The History of the Monkey Bottle

Wine from the "Valley of the Monkey"


The striking design of the Monkey Bottle pays homage to the unusual name of its home region: "Affentaler" (Valley of the Monkey). This name derives not from our furry simian friends, but rather from the Cistercian monks who first began cultivating Pinot Noir here over 700 years ago. They built a wayside chapel near the vineyards, and the pilgrims' cries of "Ave Maria" led the locals to refer to it as the "Ave Tal" (Ave Valley). Over time this mutated into "Affental.” The idea for the Monkey Bottle was born in 1949. In the intervening 60 years, the Monkey Bottle has progressed beyond just a unique design – it is a symbol for wines from the Affentaler vintners.


History of the Monkey Bottle

From then to now

As our gallery of historical bottles shows, there have been few substantive changes to the basic look and feel of the Monkey Bottle over the years. The way the bottles are produced, by contrast, has progressed in leaps and bounds.

The Region

Between the Black Forest and the Rhine


Our Affentaler vines are part of the stunning landscape of the Black Forest as it rises up from the Rhine Plain. While the nearby mountains soar to over 1000 meters, our vines thrive between 150-300 meters above sea level. The mild and sunny climate, warm, weathered granite and fertile loess soils all strongly influence the character of the wines. Our vineyards belong to the city of Bühl, due south of Baden-Baden and only 15 km away from the Rhine River and the French border. This kind of situation naturally fosters cross-cultural exchange. And that is how the first Pinot Noir vines came to us back in the Middle Ages — from the parent Cistercian monastery in Arbois, France (in the Jura winegrowing region). Affentaler Pinot Noir counts among the oldest and the best known of all German red wines. And as has been the case for centuries, Riesling remains the second most common variety in the Affental.

Quality and Style

One of a Kind


The exceptional quality of the wine in our Monkey Bottles directly reflects the quality of the grapes used to produce it. And exceptional fruit can only be achieved with exceptional vineyards. In this case those of our member winegrowers cultivated according to the directives of our cellarmaster. Each bottle promises the bounty of a high-quality harvest and wines with distinctly fruity aromas. On the palate, they are balanced, concentrated, and always long, delightful and delicious in the finish. The Monkey's charms pairs nicely with many different dishes like chicken, beef, game and even some fish dishes, not to mention classic German fare, as well as the savory, spicy and sweet and sour nuances of many Asian cuisines.


Pinot Noir - Red wine

Our Pinot Noir is the cornerstone of our cultural wine legacy with a style entirely unto itself. The wine presents a perfect interplay of fruit, tannins and a delicate, balanced sweetness. We recommend serving it with meat or rich pasta dishes.


Riesling - White wine

Our Riesling in the Monkey Bottle is the tangy player in our wine triad ― loaded with fresh fruit aromas and an elegant, balanced interplay of sweetness and acidity. We recommend serving our Riesling chilled with fish or white meats. The fine residual sweetness also pairs beautifully with spice, or Asian-inspired sweet and sour dishes.


Pinot Noir - Rosé wine

With its intense aromatics, this Spätburgunder Rosé is a deliciously quaffable and concentrated wine. We suggest serving it as the perfect summer wine, or throughout the year with lighter fare, such as crispy salads or fish dishes.

Our Company

Over 100 years of winemaking experience 


The genesis of today's Affentaler Winzer eG stretches back to the 1908 founding of the Naturweinbauverein Affental. We are among the oldest vintners' associations in Germany. At that time, the winegrowers cultivated only Pinot Noir, selling it exclusively to restaurants and inns. Over the last few decades, our Affentaler wines in the striking Monkey Bottle have secured a fixed spot in any wine shop’s shelves. Riesling has joined Pinot Noir as a second, crucial pillar of our program.

Today our winegrowers cultivate more than 240 ha under vine. Our location in the foothills of the Black Forest, with its notable weathered granite and loess soils, lends our wines a truly special and distinctive character. Our winegrowers also undertake intensive vineyard management throughout the year, from the winter pruning through harvest. Cellarmaster Leo Klär and his team have the final say on which fruit passes his strict quality standards. All aspects of the agricultural process are subject to rigorous inspection and selection in the vineyard. Each vintage presents us with a new challenge and chance to make first-class regional and varietal wines.

Where to buy our wine

Find your nearest stockist


Over decades, our monkey bottle has inspired wine lovers across the world. Due to different legislation for selling wine please click the flag of your respective country to find your nearest stockist of our wine.

Come along and discover for yourself our lovely wines that reflect the sunny and warm Southwest of Germany with its unspoiled countryside and the natural wilderness of the Black Forest. Located at the foothills of the Black Forest nearby the famous spa town of Baden-Baden we welcome visitors to our winery all year round. Drop into our wine shop and enjoy a wine tasting or take part in a cellar- or vineyard tour.