Suddenly German wine is on everyone’s mind…

There is no better way to get to know Germany and its locals than whiling away a few hours (or days) at local wine festivals throughout Germany’s 13 wine producing regions. August and September you can own your authentic travel experience in Germany at the expense of only a few Euros.  Here is the line up:  

Festivals and Wineries Nestled in and around Historic Cities

Baden, Freiburg offers a taste of the academic pace of life in one of Germany’s oldest university towns. A direct high-speed rail connection from Frankfurt over Freiburg to Basel is available as well as the comfortable, local Black Forest Bahn which offers beautiful views over the Black Forest hills and villages. Spend time at the open air market with all of the products from the local farmers and craftspeople later enjoy a wine in the Weinhaus Alte Wache with a view of all the market place activities. The Landmann winery is notable for its biological wines and the local wine festival from September 2 to September 9 is a particularly festive time. In November Freiburg hosts the Plaza Culinaria, a culinary trade fair with many local products from Freiburg’s partner cities. www.historicgermany.com

Nestled between the Moselle and the Rhine where the two rivers come together, Koblenz is currently starring as the host to the National Garden Show . Koblenz opened a new winery at Fortress Ehrenbreitstein which boasts not only wines from the region but also offers a history of the 2,000 years of wine making in the Rhineland Pfalz. Koblenz has long been a stop for wine lovers. Deinhard offers tastings of sparkling wine right in the middle of the old city.

Frankfurt, Mainz is known as the Great Wine Capital this is the perfect place and best way to get a taste of the local goings-on.  Spend hours on a Saturday afternoon in Mainz’s Wine market at the cathedral square were local farmers bring in endless regional and seasonal foods and wines that people can try as well as buy. One particularly sweet time is August 25-28 and September 1-4 when the Mainz Wine Festival takes place. Wend your way from stand to stand trying different wine,  enjoy music and peruse the crafts for sale. Two tips: The new Hofgut Laubenheimer Hoehe along with the Wine Institute created a Riesling lounge where Rieslings from each of Germany’s 13 wine producing regions are for sale. An especially enjoyable stop is the Zum Beichtstuhl. In the middle of Germany’s oldest wine territory close to the steeps banks of the Moselle River and famous for its Roman gate and walls, Trier is where the Romans first brought their roots to plant in Germany. The oldest winery is the Vereinigte Hospitien in Germany and in the buildings of the winery you can still see the original Roman walls of the storehouse. Most tourists don’t realize as they are pattering along the walking zone in the central city of Trier, that a famous wine cellar lies beneath them. In the elegant and relaxed spa town of Wiesbaden , the Rheingau Wine Week in August kicks off a wonderful celebration smack dab in the middle of town on the Castle Square in Wiesbaden. Known for its ornate and elaborate casino, beautiful spa buildings and hotels, elegant streets and antique galleries, Wiesbaden is a prime starting point to explore the Rheingau. The State Winery of Hessen in Eberbach, the former Cistercian monastery responsible for producing wines is one such example. On the other side of Frankfurt is the baroque city of Wuerzburg in the heart of Franconian wine region where wine is bottled in bulbous bottles, called Bocksbeutel. The wines of Franconia are outstanding and one great place to enjoy them is in Wuerzburg’s Residenz (castle). The wine cellar recently won an architectural prize for its renovation. 

Six Historic Cities and Gateways to Top Wine Regions in Germany – The 13 cities that make up the Historic Highlights marketing organization are charming individual destinations and six of them serve as gateways to several of Germany’s top wine regions. The cities are wine epicenters replete with wine bars, tastings, wine routes, overnights and wine walking tours that are especially lively in August and September when the wine harvesting and festivals take place. www.historicgermany.com

Freiburg in the Black Forest (Baden wine region) is famous for its  Spätburgunders (Pinot Noirs), Müller-Thurgaus and Grauer Burgunder (Pinot Gris) especially. Koblenz nestled in the corner where the Rhine meets the Moselle brings together two of Germany’s oldest wine areas, the Moselle and the Middle Rhine, famous for their Rieslings. Mainz on the northern tip of Rhinehessen is where the Silvaner reigns supreme among other stalwart whites including Rivaner and Rieslings. Trier lies in the heart of the westerly wine region, the Moselle, which is home to many fine whites and particularly the crispy Elbling; Wiesbaden in the heart of the Rheingau harvests well-regarded Rieslings and Pinot Noirs; while Wuerzburg on the other side of Frankfurt in the northern Bavarian region of Franconia, offers mineral-rich but light Rieslings. They are all convenient to Frankfurt Airport, reachable by train and still offer a refreshing change for all of the senses. Local tour operator, Toeurope.com, offers packages, including a five-day rail circle tour from Frankfurt airport and four overnights in Mainz and Freiburg for $699. www.historicgermany.com 

 Get a Taste of Old World Christmas with Gerhard’s Odysseys a unique adventure that will give you true holiday spirit! Enjoy the experience of an old world Christmas — traditional, filled with the charm of a story book and sure to recall memories of childhood celebrations. The German “Christkindlmarkt” dates back hundreds of years and today still turns the town squares and narrow lanes of many towns into a wonderland for all. Brightening the short winter days, the markets are a magical blend of the edible and decorative symbols of the season. Join carolers at the giant lighted tree in front of the town hall. Savor traditional delicacies of gingerbread, fruitcake and roasted almonds. Take home gifts of hand-crafted ornaments, tinsel angels and carved wooden nutcrackers. Tour dates include November 27th to December 5th, 2011 and rates start at $ 1995 (land only). www.germany.travel

Highlights of Germany with CosmosTours: Hamburg, Berlin, Luebeck, Dresden and more
Cosmos offer a comprehensive vacation focuses on the crown jewels of Germany, starting and ending in Frankfurt (12 days). Begin with a panoramic Rhine River cruise. See Cologne with its gothic cathedral, the historic buildings of legendary Hamelin, the harbor city of Hamburg, and Hanseatic Lübeck. Enjoy two overnights in Berlin, Germany’s once-divided capital, then the cultural centers of Dresden and Leipzig. Stop in Weimar, where the Bauhaus movement started in the 1920s, and Coburg with its medieval fortress. From Nuremberg, discover the half-timbered houses of picture-postcard Rothenburg, then follow some of the scenic Romantic Road. Wander at leisure in Munich’s Marienplatz and experience the gem of the Bavarian Alps: King Ludwig’s fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle. Enjoy more German panoramas as you drive through the famed Black Forest and stop in Heidelberg before returning to Frankfurt, where you’ll say “Prost!” to this exciting adventure. Rates start at $ 1399 (excluding airfare) and are available until November. www.germany.travel

Berlin’s Maritim Hotel offers Incredible Rates
Take the time to see everything the city of Berlin has to offer with a holiday at the two Maritim Berlin hotels! Enjoy free use of public transportation as well as discounted or complimentary admission to more than 130 tourist and cultural experiences with your Berlin Welcome Card. The concierge will even put together a tailor made programs. Rates for six nights start at $700 with breakfast and are bookable the whole year. www.germany.travel

SPECIAL EVENTS – August – September Wine festivals (Ahr Valley, south of Bonn)
Wherever wine is produced there is a reason for celebrating. In the Ahr valley, the wine festivals start early in the year. In Heimersheim, try the Historic Wine Festival where you can listen to medieval music, watch chivalry games of yore, see fire-eaters and clown shows and demonstrations of ancient craftsmanship as well as the proclamation of the incumbent “Queen of Wine.” The popular Vintner’s Festival in Ahrweiler and the festival “Art & Wine” in Bachem follow in September. A highlight of the latter is the nighttime grape harvest with 10,000 lights. Many of those wine festivals are rounded off with beautiful fireworks. www.ahrtal.de

 August 31 – September 9, 2011Rheingau Wine Festival, Frankfurt
More than 600 wines and sparkling wines from the Rheingau region will be tasted at 30 vintner stands. These range from the finest wines to light and zesty summer wines, with wines from alternative grape varieties also being offered alongside the dominant Rheingau Riesling. www.frankfurt-tourismus.de

September 1 – 5, 2011      Middle Moselle Wine Festival, Bernkastel Kues
The “Middle Mosel Wine Festival” enjoys legendary fame. The brilliant fireworks, the winemakers’ procession, the artisan market and all of the happenings on wine road and at the locales in Old Town as well as the large amusement park are the attractions featured at the Moselle region’s largest wine festival. Over 30 wine booths present famous Riesling wines.www.bernkastel.de

September 2 -12, 2011    Vintners’ Festival, Bingen in Rhinehessen near Frankfurt
There is something special about the wine in Bingen. Here the so-called ice wine was invented in the suburb of Dromersheim. It is no coincidence that the festival lasts 11 days, because so much time is needed to taste all of the wines on offer. www.bingen.de

September 24 – October 3, 2011     Red Wine Festival, Ingelheim, close to Mainz and Frankfurt
There is virtually no other wine festival in the Rhine Hessen region which takes place in such an attractive setting, surrounded by vineyards, as the Ingelheim Red Wine Festival. Every year on the last weekend in September this popular wine festival is opened with the ceremonial crowning of the Red Wine Queen. www.ingelheim.de

For more information contact German National Tourist Office New York (USA) -Mail office-usa@germany.travel. Victoria Larson, PR Manager Tel: (212) 661 7200 ext. 223 Email: victoria.larson@germany.travel

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