Unimog power in the vineyards.

Bürgerspital Würzburg doesn't just focus on old vintages.

He's been in the business for 40 years now. He knows everyone and everything, not to mention each story and every machine. So when master vintner Günter Wohlfart is asked about the Unimog, he can wax lyrical about the versatile machine. In the 1960s, the first Unimog was brought into service at the Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist vineyard in Würzburg.

In service for 40 years.

"It was a truly special highlight at the time. Unimog drivers were a privileged bunch. They didn't even have to get out of the cab to open the dropsides. That was the job of the others. Back then, the Unimog drivers stayed comfortably in their seat." In the early 1970s when the 406 model series was launched, the Bürgerspital couldn't wait to get their hands on one: the 84 hp engine output of the Unimog had become a major aid to their daily business operations. "The Unimog is just quicker than a regular tractor." Even today, the four Unimog vehicles procured in this period are still reliably performing their duties.

And Günter Wohlfart was able to experience each new addition to the fleet in person. "Today we only use Unimog vehicles for transport applications," explains Wohlfart. "In the past, we had a cable winch mounted in the area between the two axles. We used it to plough between the vines on the steep sections of the vineyard. The Unimog proved to be particularly steadfast. At the front, there was a 60-bar pump for crop spraying. It provided the right level of power we needed for our hand-held spray guns." Special equipment like that is no longer required these days – in spraying operations directly on the vines, ten vineyard tractors carry out the job much more efficiently.

The latest generation of compact Unimog.

The latest vehicle from 2018 – a U 218 with a 180 hp engine – is also indispensable for the vineyard's operations. "With a regular tractor, we wouldn't even be able to drive along the narrow paths. But with its 2.20-metre exterior width, it's as if the Unimog was made for our logistics requirements in the vines," explains the master vintner. Plus, the three-seater cab relieves the need to take a second vehicle along.

During the harvest, things move fast: one load of grapes after the other has to be transported to the pressing location. For Several generations: Weingut Bürgerspital has been working with the Unimog for decades. this purpose, four plastic boxes containing 400 kg of grapes each can be loaded onto the load surface. A 10.5-tonne trailer rounds off the vehicle combination.

Project implemented with Unimog partnership:
Herold GmbH & Co. KG

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Unimog know-how in operation.

At the vineyard, there's one more person who knows the Unimog like the back of his own hand: the workshop manager Thomas Weiß. Incidentally, he knows his way around the Unimog better than anyone else in the town because he completed his training at the Herold Unimog general distributor in Würzburg before spending 16 years working on Unimog vehicles there. And over the past few years, he's been using this know-how at the vineyard.

The Bürgerspital Würzburg.

A team of 24 employees tends to the 120 hectares of vines, while around the same amount again work in sales and administration. Between them, the five Unimog vehicles have so far covered a total of 960,000 kilometres and have 23,500 operating hours on the clock. The Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist vineyards in Würzburg are among the oldest in Europe. It is also the first place to have used the infamous Bocksbeutel-type bottles which are typical of Germany's Franconia region. Every bottle of wine which has ever been sold makes a contribution towards the foundation's charitable cause.

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