How to Enjoy Wine Walks and the German Weinstrasse

wine walks in Germany

I love driving the German Wein Strasse, but I love walking it even more. Exploring Germany’s wine roads is an experience for anyone who loves wine. The wine road stretches through the middle of the Pfalz– the biggest wine-growing area in Germany. The German Weinstrasse is redefining wine tasting– open vineyards, generous pours, wine walks with friends, & tons of delicious food at the festivals and fairs. The German Wine Road is for anyone who enjoys a good time.

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Great-bottle-wine-Gemany How to Enjoy Wine Walks and the German Weinstrasse
  1. Where to Start
  2. an der Weinstrasse
  3. Weinstrasse Towns and Villages
  4. Wine Walks
  5. Wine Festivals
  6. Cheap Wine
  7. Map of the Weinstrasse

Exploring the German Weinstrasse
From Schweigen-Rechtenbach to Bockenheim

The German Weinstrasse starts at the Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach. It stretches about 52 miles to Bockenheim and the French border. Fortunately, the wine trail doesn’t stop there. Because there is more wine on the other side of the border. The area is known for reds and whites– Rieslings, Gewurztraminer, and Dornfelders are a few of my favorites.

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The Landscape
an der Weinstrasse

The hilly Palatinate is pretty, resembling a Mediterranean landscape because they also grow figs, kiwis, or oleander. And not because of the weather. The wine road is surrounded by the Palatinate Forest. It’s the largest forest in Germany– emblematic of the country’s natural beauty and ruggedness. Many of the villages along the route include “an der Weinstrasse” (on the Wine Route) in their name. Unlike here in America, vineyards belong to the people and are open to the public for picnics, daily walks, and exploration.

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Weinstrasse Towns and Villages
Freinsheim, Bad Durkheim and, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse

You can’t explore them all in three years– trust me I tried. And even though I didn’t drive the entire route, I visited many of the wineries, wine walks, and festivals along the route. Some of the wineries are large. Some of them serve wine out of their living room. The largest wine festival in the world is held annually in Bad Durkheim. And the largest winemaker parade takes place in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. And Freinsheim (pictured above) is exactly what you’d expect a town surrounded by a 16th wall would look like. In addition, there are music, medieval festivals, fun runs, and fairs. And many of them are held within the eyesight of a beautiful winery.

I miss the wine walks (wanderungs) the most. I loved getting the little 3″ booklets at the start of each season. They detailed the dates, times, and locations of all the wine festivals and walks held around Germany. They also became the basis for which I planned my weekends during the summer and fall.

wine-walks How to Enjoy Wine Walks and the German Weinstrasse
wine-walk How to Enjoy Wine Walks and the German Weinstrasse
Herzheim-Wine-Walk How to Enjoy Wine Walks and the German Weinstrasse

Wine Walks

Germans love to walk. And wine walks are probably one of my favorite ways to explore German wine with friends. I enjoyed them so much I began organizing them for my friends. I hired a van with a driver at Outdoor Rec to take us to the winery or festival, so no one had to drive.

Imagine this. Twenty temporary wine and food stalls are set up every quarter mile in a vineyard. You choose between 3 or 4 wines, get a full glass, and begin the short trek to the next stall. Sprinkle in a few food stalls, music, and entertainment. And hopefully, you’ll have an empty glass when you get there. Repeat.

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Wine Festivals
Kid-Friendly Affairs

Wine Festivals were also a lot of fun. I’ve already mentioned the one in Bad Durkheim, but all the towns and villages along the German Wein Strasse had them. I loved that they were family-friendly celebrations and often included performances, medieval tournaments, and contests. And some had kid-specific areas that included petting zoos, face painting, archery, and carnival rides.

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Wine is Cheap
So Buying in Bulk Makes Sense

I also need to pay more attention to the price of wine. Trust me when I say it was cheap. Especially compared to the US. When we found something we liked, we didn’t buy the bottle. We bought it by the case. I learned that good wine is not defined by its price or the fancy surroundings it’s poured into. Wine is good when you enjoy drinking it– a lot of it. Buying in bulk on the German Weinstrasse is very reasonable. My favorites are Wolf Winery in Bad Durkheim and Bendel Winery in Maikammer.

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Comments

  1. Casey

    Wow… sign me up for all of them. This is great and I can see so many of my friends are up to all of these. Oh, I can see myself strolling down the vine yard with my glass in hand… wow, what a perfect scenario! Must fond out more about this. Thx!

  2. Adventure Bound

    Beautiful photos and this sounds so fun! I don’t always think of Germany as having some of those wineries! Thanks for the ideas.

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