German wine festivals and markets
Dig those Dirndls and Lederhosen from the back of the closet and give them a good press, as you’re going to want to dress the part and join the camaraderie at these outstanding wine festivals and markets found around Germany. Most of these listed below are right in your back yard, but those reached with a little drive are definitely worthy of an overnight or weekend stay at a local boutique hotel or bed and breakfast.
Visit the Marktplatz of this beautiful little medieval town during the first Saturday of August for its annual Rhine Red Wine Festival. The one-day festival attracts tourists and locals alike, while the town is also a popular stop for Middle Rhine river cruises. After enjoying the local wines, consider an overnight or weekend stay at the fantastically preserved and über romantic four-star castle hotel, Burghotel auf Schönburg. The hotel offers fairy-tale inspiring chambers offering the best views of the Rhine and exceptional gourmet cuisine.
This beautiful and quaint village along the Rhine is known for more than just good wine. Its exceptionally steep vineyards are highly prized and protected, as they are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sit with locals under the fruit trees of the market square and sip some of Rheingau’s best Pinot Noir and Riesling vintages. Local chefs will also be preparing favorites including roast pork leg, Riesling sour cream soup, grilled king prawns, potato pancakes and more. A play area with jumpy castle will keep kids entertained while adults enjoy wine, dining and the sounds of live music.
More than 500,000 wine enthusiasts flock to the city’s municipal park for its annual wine market. Considered one of the largest regional festivals, guests can enjoy a large Sekt festival, arts and crafts fair, wine tastings, sales and pairings, all in the beautiful rose garden.
Considered one of the largest and most beautiful wine events in Germany is the Stuttgart Wine Village. The peaceful festival (no rides or loud music allowed), celebrating 38 years, transforms the city’s center into a gorgeous wine village with traditional décor, costumes and tasting opportunities of more than 250 regional wines in 120 beautiful booths. While there, be sure to try each Swabian dish, including cheese spaetzle, meat-filled dumplings called maultaschen, and a type of bread pudding casserole called ofaschlupfer.
The largest wine festival along the Mosel is indeed the Bernkastel-Kues Middle Mosel Wine Festival. And it’s definitely worth a weekend stay at one of its half-timbered guesthouses. Go early for the coronation of the wine queen and celebration that follows; find the perfect vantage point along the Mosel to watch the brilliant fireworks display Saturday night from the Landstut Castle above town. Then, seek another great viewing point for Sunday’s fun and colorful winemaker’s procession and parade on Sunday afternoon. And the wine. Don’t forget to taste plenty of wine.
This delicious festival offers only food and wine; however, your taste buds will appreciate the simplicity. Approximately 30 stalls provide more than 600 wines to try, with Rheingau Rieslings as the most popular. Held in the charming Fressgasse, a “foodies paradise” within the city, you’ll find scrumptious samplings ranging from traditional and modern German cuisine, Asian cuisine, cheeses, breads and more.