Wine. Who doesn’t love it, right? One of my favorite wines is a German Reisling…in fact, the wine I drink most often is a German Piersporter.
In October I’m headed to Munich and Frankfurt and one of the things I’m looking at adding to my itinerary (besides driving along the Romantic Road) is the German Wine Route.
A little history:
- Germany has a long history of wine-making. The Romans established vineyards along the banks of the Mosel River. Germany is in the top 10 of countries world-wide for annual wine production. As of 2010, there were 41 Bereiche (districts within the wine region), 160 Großlagen (collection of vineyards within the district) and 2,632 Einzellagen (single vineyards).
- The thirteen major wine regions of Germany are; Ahr, Baden, Franken, Hessische Bergstrasse, Mittelrhein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Saale-Unstrut, Sashsen and Württemberg.
- Eleven of the wine regions are in the west and the other two are in the eastern part of Germany. Most of the wines are white because the climate is cooler than in other parts of the wine-making world. Steep slopes for growing grapes help the grapes ripen in the sun and temper the extremes of weather. The red wines come from the more southern vineyards.
Most of the regions are within a couple of hours of Frankfurt – which makes this a perfect destination to travel on my way to Frankfurt!
Some of the more mentionable sights along the German Wine Route are Bad Dürkheim which is a well known city. Also, Deidesheim has a beautiful garden and palace in the centre of the downtown with town hall that is commonly photographed. Dörrenbach is a very pretty small town that has half-timbered houses and a unique looking church. Freinsheim is an old town with a city wall. It has a lovely downtown. Neuleiningen has a castle on the hilltop that overlooks the Wine Road.
SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR THE WINE ROUTE
Some of the highlight towns and attractions along the Route include:
Deutsche Weinstraße from Deidesheim to Landau
- Bockenheim – St. Lambert’s Church
- Bad Dürkheim – Spa town that has the biggest wine festival in the world. The sausage market (Wurstmarkt) takes place in September. The biggest wine barrel is here, and houses a restaurant! There are many cafes and wine bars.
- Wachenheim –Wachtenburg castle
- Deidesheim –Historic town hall
- Neustadt an der Weinstraße – Beautiful market square in the old town centre that has many half-timbered houses and the Hambacher Schloss ruin.
- Landau – Augustinian church, many cafe’s and restaurants to stop at
- Trifels – Richard the Lionheart, King of England was imprisoned in the castle here, all that remains are the castle ruins.
- Leinsweiler – Hof Neukastel was home of Max Slevogt,the German impressionist artist.
- Bad Bergzabern – Petronella spa and the Royal Castle are attractions here. Also there are some interesting Renaissance remains such as Angel’s Inn and the Gasthaus zum Engel.
- Dörrenbach –This small town’s main attractions are the half-timbered town hall and Gothic church.
- Schweigen-Rechtenbach – German Wine Gate
If you’re driving or biking along this route…
you’ll know you’re on the right path if you see a signpost with a bunch of grapes or a wine jug!