Lake Constance is famous for its white wines including Thurgau, Grauburgunder and Weissburgunder grapes. However, in recent years, the viticulture district of southwestern Germany has also begun to produce some very notable reds, especially the Spätburgunder (a German Pinot Noir), for which it even received an award. Check out some of the best vineyards to visit around Lake Constance.
Weingut Aufricht became quite the local favourite when their 2014er Isabel 3 Lilien Spätburgunder won first prize in the 2016 competition held by the European wine magazine, Vinum. The winery itself is an impressive estate overlooking Lake Constance with endless rows of grapevines, a modern production facility and a renovated wooden structure with a tasting room and terrace with a view. Drop by the winery to taste their extensive menu of reds and whites and buy a few boxes of your favourite to enjoy at home.
Weingut Schmidt has managed to stand out from the rest with Pinot, a recent contemporary construction of wood and glass by architect, Elmar Ludescher overlooking the lake and the Alps. While Pinot is the perfect place to enjoy dishes paired with Schmidt wines in the summer, the winter means the opening of the Rädle restaurant (a renovated 300-year-old traditional farmhouse) and the Vinothek, where guests can try out wines and even listen to some live music. For a true immersion in Lake Constance’s wine culture, rent one of the lovely vacation homes under the shade of apple trees.
Certainly one of the oldest wineries in Lake Constance, the Staatsweingut Meersburg (State Vineyard Meersburg) has been producing wines for over 800 years. The winery has six different vineyards, from the grapes growing right beneath the historic vineyard estate to the vineyard by the extinct volcano, Hohentwiel, with its historic ruins. The Staatsweingut Meersburg produces excellent white wine varieties, most notably Spätburgunder Blanc de Noirs, Weißburgunder, Müller-Thurgau and Chardonnay.
Located within the stunning Schloss Salem estate surrounded by blooming fruit orchards and gardens, the Weingut Markgraf von Baden is also one of the oldest wineries in Lake Constance with a history that dates back to 1112. Tours can be booked for an inside look at the production facility, the history of local wine and (of course) plenty of wine tasting. Apart from local reds and whites, the Weingut Markgraf von Baden also produces Bodensee Secco, a fresh sparkling wine perfect for summer.
Located in the beautiful village of Hagnau by Lake Constance, the Winzerverein Hagnau (Hagnau Winegrowers’ Cooperative) has more than 50 winemaker families who take part in the cooperative. Established in 1881, the cooperative was the first of its kind and continues to produce a very impressive array of grape varieties including Müller-Thurgau, Bacchus, Kerner, Grauburgunder, Ruländer, Weissburgunder, Auxerrois, Sauvignon Blanc, different varieties of Spätburgunder and Regent. Apart from tastings, the cooperative also hosts events such as tractor tours through the vineyard or special tastings with live jazz.