Germans love boisterous public parties, and their wine festivals are a sight to behold. A great way of sampling wine like a local in Germany is to attend one of the almost 1,250 wine festivals held in the country. While some of these fests are informal affairs lasting a few hours or a day, the more famous ones are humongous celebrations lasting over days or weeks, often combined with fireworks, exhibitions, concerts, and fairs.
Among the 13 official wine-growing regions in Germany, Mosel is the most famous, so it should come as no surprise that their wine festivals are top-notch. The region consistently stays in a merry party mood from April to October, as big and small local wine festivals are held in Mosel towns almost every weekend. Among these, the one in Bernkastel-Kues is noteworthy for its brilliant fireworks, parade of vintners, crowning of the Wine Queen, and tasting of a wide variety of wines.
Stuttgarter Weindorf (Stuttgart Wine Village) is one of the largest wine festivals in the country. Over a million wine enthusiasts flock to Stuttgart in August-September for the chance to sample almost 250 varieties of wine produced locally. The most popular culinary delicacies accompanying the wine in this festival are maultaschen and käsespätzle, which are washed down with Trollinger, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, Kerner, Schwarzriesling, Schillerwein, Lemberger, Ruländer, and Weißherbst wines.
Schillerpl. 1, 70173 Stuttgart, Germany, +49 0711 295010
Every September, Frankfurt Rheingau Festival entices wine aficionados with as many as 600 varieties of wine over ten days! Travelers can choose from red, white, sparkling, fruity-flavored, light, or strong wines – the possibilities are almost endless. The most popular among these is Riesling. The festival takes place at the Freßgass, Frankfurt‘s high-end culinary and shopping destination, upping the glamour quotient of the festival. Food stalls selling mouthwatering food are especially set up for the festival.
The wine festival to beat all wine festivals in the world, however, is the 600-year-old Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim, Rhineland Palatinate. Wine connoisseurs from all over Europe pour into the Wurstmarkt every September, enticed by 150 varieties of local wine. Around 400,000 liters of wine is consumed by the combined effort of half a million visitors every year! Rides, fireworks, yummy food, and other fun activities ensure that this is an event the whole family looks forward to.
Brühlwiesen, 67098 Bad Dürkheim, Germany, +49 6322 935140
As spring arrives, the entire 77-km-long German Wine Road slips on its gorgeous pink outfit of almond blossoms, kicking off the first wine festival of the year. The Almond Blossom Festival (Mandelbluetenfest)is hosted amid this impossibly pretty natural phenomenon, and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, who come as much for the vintage wine as for this magical setting. Cookies with pink icing and culinary delicacies with almonds are whipped up in honor of Rosa Wochen (pink weeks).
The Golden Wine Autumn Festivals celebrated in towns along the Middle Rhine are truly exemplary. Travelers have a dreamy chance of cruising the River Rhine in illuminated boats, witnessing the spectacular fireworks overhead at the Loreley Rock, aptly named “Rhine in Flames.” Cruise boats depart from several towns in the Middle Rhine, including St.Goar, Koblenz, Rhens, Braubach, Rüdesheim, and more. Locally produced Federweisser (new wine), red wine and white wine, alcohol-free drinks and scrumptious food (especially Zwiebelkuchen, or onion tart), cultural programs, light displays combine to ensure that this experience remains etched in the minds of visitors forever.
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