The country may be more closely associated with beer, but Germans are quite proud of their locally-produced wine, and justifiably so. There are 13 officially recognized wine regions in the country, six of which are located in the Rhineland-Palatinate.
For wine lovers, there’s no better time to visit this area than in the spring and summer, when dozens of wine festivals take place. The Mosel Wine Festivals kick off, is held in the Rhine in early August in Oberwesel and the Ruedesheimer-Weinfest (Rüdesheim Wine the season in late April running through September) with weekly festivals held in small towns along the Mosel River; the most popular is the Weinfest der Mittelmosel, held in late August in Bernkastel-Kues, which includes a fireworks show from Landshut Castle, a parade and the crowning of the Wine Queen. June’s Assmannshausen Red Wine Festival celebrates the area’s Pinot Noir (a relative rarity in a country where white wine accounts for two-thirds of the production). Another red wine festival, called Rotweinfest Festival takes place over a few days in mid-August in the small Rhine wine village of Rüdesheim.
One of the largest celebrations of German wine takes place in Stuttgart at the end of August. The Stuttgart Wine Village features 120 vitners pouring around 250 local wines, including Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Schwarzriesling, Schillerwein and Weißherbs, plus live music and traditional food from the region.
Other large festivals include the Aachen Wine Festival (late August) in North Rhine Westphalia, and the Mainzer Weinmarkt, or Mainz Wine Festival, which attracts more than half a million visitors each year. Even if you can’t make it to one of the smaller towns in the German wine country, you can still enjoy a traditional wine festival. The Frankfurt Rheingau Wine Festival is held for a week in late August and is the only wine fest in the city. Regional wine producers bring more than 600 wine varieties for visitors to enjoy from late morning until 11pm each day.
- Katie Hammel