Plan Your Tour of Germany’s Wineries
Visitors to Germany typically arrive in the summer and early fall months to take advantage of the best weather and the maximum number of tourist activities. When it comes to wine tasting, there are over 1,000 wine festivals held in Germany each year, most between August and October. Nearly every town, small and large, celebrates with one or more festivals that showcase local wines. Taking advantage of the festival season is an excellent way to taste a large variety of wines and experience German culture. To get started planning your German wine tour vacation visit the German National Tourism Board.
Driving the Wine Roads of Germany
When it comes to tourism the Germans have long had an official system of various routes that help sightseers enjoy the country based on their interests. The Romantic Road through southern Germany with its medieval towns, castles and gorgeous scenery is the most popular, but the country’s first tourist route was the historic Wine Road in the Pfalz region. Most of the major winegrowing regions now have well-marked wine trails. Visitors should be aware that laws regarding drinking and driving are strict and a designated driver is highly recommended.
The Mosel Valley wine road runs about 140 miles (224 kilometers) from Koblenz to Trier. Many small towns and vineyards dot the road with numerous opportunities to tour, taste and explore the local wine scene. Most wineries do not require appointments however, not all are open to the public. Local wine shops also offer tastings and tourist advice. And if you want to get out of your car, you can still see the sights and taste wine via bike, hiking or boating on the gently flowing rivers.
A relatively small wine region, the Rheingau’s wine estates are linked by a network of footpaths and bike trails that offer wonderful scenic views from the hills. The small towns in the area have many historic castles, homes and points of interest, as well as excellent wine tasting opportunities. The city of Wiesbaden, called the “Gateway to the Rhine” offers a wide variety of tourist amenities and its parks, gardens and natural hot springs that are popular with visitors.
The gentle rolling hills of Germany’s largest wine region, Rheinhessen are immediately south of the Rheingau region and generally, its best vineyards are located near the Rhine river. The towns of Nackenheim, Nierstein and Oppenheim are some of the best known wine towns in the area.
The Weinstrasse is Germany’s original Wine Road, dating to 1935. Visitors interested in wine and wineries need never leave this road to see all that the Pfalz region has to offer. The region is dotted with quaint small towns like Bad Dorkheim and ample choices for food, wine and sightseeing.
Organized Wine Tours
When it comes to touring the wine regions of Germany, tourists can enjoy a wonderful combination of organized and self-guided tours that will allow you to enjoy the pleasures of wine country without the worry of imbibing while driving. Maybe a leisurely boat cruise to see the castles and the vineyards of the Rhine sounds good. More athletic types will enjoy kayaking down the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer rivers. In nearly every region, winery tours by bicycle are common. Many miles of trails are devoted exclusively to bikes and pedestrians. For links to tourist services visit Come to Germany or for river cruises try Euro River Cruises
Travelers arriving by air will want to land in Frankfurt to explore south and southwestern Germany’s wine regions. With an outstanding network of rail and bus service, public transportation is an ideal way to get around. Those who enjoy the challenges of driving the autobahn may want to rent a car but be prepared to park and walk to enjoy the tiny, narrow streets of medieval villages or the view from the local castle.