Our top 10 wine experiences you shouldn’t missKoblenz: Weingut Hans Mader
Located in a beautiful location, high above the Mosel River, you’ll find the Weingut Hans Mader which was founded soon after World War II and is now run by the third generation. This is the place to be for trying excellent Riesling (80% of their produce) while enjoying the views from the terrace at the on-site restaurant.
Wiesbaden: Kloster Eberbach Wine Estate
The wine estate of the Eberbach Monastery, the latter of which was founded in 1136, has made wine history. Through its nearly 900 years of existence, and with 200 hectares of vineyards, the Eberbach estate has become the biggest wine growing company in Germany. During a wine tour your taste buds will revel in the delicate, fruity taste of a noble Riesling in the historical Cabinet Cellar or you’ll enjoy the cool atmosphere of the massive lay brothers' refectory on a hot summer day.
Mainz: Weingut Eva Vollmer
Less than ten years old this vineyard brings a fresh breeze into the centuries old wine industry. Focussing on only a few grape varieties, organic wine growing and harvest by hand, the team around Eva Vollmer, who was named 2010 Gault Millau Germany Wine Guide Discovery of the Year, is winning accolades left and right.
Mainz: Weingut Schneider und Tochter
Also located in Mainz is the Weingut Schneider und Tochter, run in the sixth generation with clearly assigned parts: father Lothar takes care of the agricultural side while daughter Mirjam excels in winemaking. From Silvaner to Pinot Noir or even sparkling wine (called Sekt in German), there is plenty to choose from and make sure to drop in their farm shop, run by mother Maria, to grab some fresh produce loaded with vitamins!
Mainz: The Kupferberg’s Visitors Center
Mainz is the official "Wine Capital of Germany" and so it’s a fitting place for the Kupferberg’s Visitors Centre or the champagne museum as we like to call it. A visit takes you on a journey through 150 years of local sekt-making. The sixty layered sparkling wine cellars on seven floors below the ground are the deepest ones in the world. Also check out the world's largest exhibition of international sekt and champagne glasses from the Venetian 'Cristallo' of the Renaissance to the trendy designs of the present day.
Trier: Vereinigte Hospitien Wine Estate
Here’s your serious brush with history: the origins of the wine cellar in the Vereinigte Hospitien Winery go back to 330 AD! A section of the walls, up to eight metres in height, still stands forming a part of the wine cellars of the modern day wine estate. Up to 90 percent of the grapes grown on the vineyard area are Riesling grapes and there is no better place to taste them then in Germany’s oldest wine cellar.
Würzburg: Staatlicher Hofkeller Wine Estate
Würzburg Residenz, a magnificent 18th century Baroque palace is where wine flows freely during its annual wine festival and where you’ll find something quite remarkable below: wine cellars, almost 15,000 square feet of them, dating back to 1128. Take a tasting tour of the candle-lit cellars, called the Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg, to sample Franconia's signature white wines, Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau, or from their wide selection of fruit liqueurs.
Würzburg: Juliusspital Wine Estate
With a production of over 1 million bottles per year, the vineyards of Juliusspital are the second-biggest wine estate in Germany. Admire richly-carved wine casks on a cellar tasting tour or enjoy local specialties like smoked trout in horseradish sauce or bratwurst cooked in wine stock at its restaurant, which has an outdoor terrace. Juliusspital was – surprise – founded as a hospital for the poor, elderly and sick in 1576 and income from the wine estate continues to fund the hospital which remains open to this day.
Heidelberg: The Great Tun
Deep in the bowels of Heidelberg Castle stands the world’s largest wine barrel. The Heidelberg Tun or Grosses Fass holds over 220,000 litres (58,000 gallons) and measures an impressive six metres (19.6 feet) in height. Originally used to hold taxes (paid in the form of wine), the idea of such a mixture of wines brings on a headache at the very thought! A staircase invites you up so have a quick dance, though back in the days, people were dancing and partying all night long atop the barrel.
Freiburg: Weingut Faber
Freiburg’s oldest wine estate goes back to the year 1914 when Karl-Heinz Faber first built wine barrels and wooden tubs, then founded a distillery which still exists today. While the wine offer is extensive, some eight whites, five reds and five sparkling, it is the brandies we can recommend here. Local fruit like apple, pear, cherry and plum are distilled into outstanding fruit brandies, making you want to come back for more.