Many different varieties of fruit grow at Haus Bürgel. For example, the orchard includes the apple varieties Kaiser Wilhelm (which was found as a chance seedling in the garden of Haus Bürgel in the 19th century), Remo, Winter Lemon, Red Star Renette and White Transparent, as well as the European plum.
The Kaiser Wilhelm apple is said to have been first cultivated at Haus Bürgel. This fact is not clearly documented historically. What is certain, however, is that the elementary school teacher and fruit expert Carl Hesselmann discovered an apple in the garden of Haus Bürgel in 1864, the variety of which he did not know.
More than ten years later, in 1875, the man from Witzhelden wrote to Kaiser Wilhelm I: “Most Sublime, Most Great Emperor! I have taken the great pleasure of giving the exquisite name of Kaiser Wilhelm to a new variety of apple, which is the most valuable among my 500 varieties of fruit, and of sending Your Majesty 35 fruits of the same variety for Your Christmas table.” In its reply, the office of the royal court conveyed the “special thanks of His Majesty” and requested a small tree for the park at Babelsberg near Potsdam. Numerous nurseries then included the Kaiser Wilhelm apple in their assortment.
The Kaiser Wilhelm apple variety is unsuitable for plantation cultivation because of its vigorous growth, which is why the variety has increasingly been forgotten since the 1960s. The Biological Station ensures the continued existence of this tasty variety by replanting. After harvesting at the end of September, Kaiser Wilhelm has a firm consistency that becomes crumbly during storage. Its taste is sweet and sour, and very juicy immediately after harvest.
The Red Star Renette is an old variety of cultivated apple. It is also grown in the meadow orchards in the Urdenbacher Kämpe and is considered worthy of preservation. Synonyms include “Pomme de Coeur”, “Herzapfel” (heart apple) and “Weihnachtsapfel” (Christmas apple). It was very popular as the classic shiny red Christmas apple and often served baked.
The Red Star Renette is still available at most major nurseries. Harvesting is early, usually in September, no later than the beginning of October. The apple then continues to ripen and can be stored until about mid-January before it becomes mealy. The flesh is yellowish white, often red, with a sweet and sour taste and a pleasant aromatic fragrance. Damaged areas do not rot immediately, which offers real advantages in the case of fallen fruit.
This fruit is highly suitable for juice, wine or puree and is ideally processed without other varieties. Its resistance to diseases and frost as well as lush growth make the tree suitable for the orchard.
Another old fruit variety that is grown in the Urdenbacher Kämpe is the Eifeler Rambur. This, like all the orchard cultivars mentioned here, is considered worthy of preservation. Mentioned as early as 1800 under the name “Winterrambour”, it was later renamed "Eifeler Rambur" by the German Pomological Association in 1890.
It is no longer possible to determine today whether it originated in the Rhineland. In any case, this apple variety is widespread throughout Germany and particularly common in the region around the Rhineland, Aachen, Eifel and Luxembourg. The local population also calls this variety of apple “Breitauge” (wide eye) or even “Breitarsch” (wide ass).
The apple is ripe for picking in mid-October and the fruit remains edible until February, making it a good storage apple. While the flesh is initially firm and crunchy, the apple becomes crumblier with storage in the new year. Although it does not have a pronounced flavor, its balanced sugar/acid ratio makes it a good apple for immediate consumption. It is also ideal for applesauce or fruit brandies.
The apple named Luxembourg Triumph was first mentioned by name in Luxembourg in the middle of the 19th century. Supposedly, it was bred as a wilding from the Luxembourg Renette and sold provisionally under the names “Schusterapfel” (cobbler's apple) and “Wildling von Junglinster” (Junglinster wildling). The catchy epithet “Triumph” was intended to help the apple gain popularity.
Similar to the Eifel Rambur, the Luxembourg Triumph is frequently found in the Rhineland, as well as in the orchards of Haus Bürgel, and is still relatively widespread. It is especially suitable for higher altitudes and areas otherwise unfavorable to fruit growing such as the Eifel, the Westerwald and Oberbergisches Land. Its juicy, mildly sweet aromatic fruit makes the Luxembourg Triumph a popular apple for immediate consumption, while its flavor is also outstanding for mashing and as an apple brandy.
Its flesh is greenish white to yellowish white, still juicy when ripe for picking and increasingly crumbly with storage.