Swabian Wine Culture

CONTRIBUTED BY LY TAN

Winegrapes

 

Wine Varieties

The main wines grown in the Württemberg or Swabia Region are the red varieties Lemberger and Trollinger. The region is one of the few places where these varieties are grown and it is the biggest producer of red wine in Germany.

Cultivation

Most of the vineyards are situated on slopes or steep hillsides making them more difficult to cultivate. This means that cultivation and harvest requires mainly handcraft, from pruning in winter, to the harvest of wine grapes in autumn. Each individual grape goes through the scrutiny of the harvesters. Using machines to manage these vineyards is only possible to a very limited extent. The grapes on these vines enjoy more sunshine and the stony subsoil stores the warmth from the sun until late at night. Thus, these steep slopes result in good quality wine.

Apart from the exquisite wine produced here, the terraced vineyards on the steep sides of the valleys along the river Neckar is arguably one of Germany’s most beautiful landscapes.

vineyards

Location

Vineyards can be found in many areas in this region. In fact you can find vineyards in the center of the state capital of Stuttgart, around smaller cities such as Bietigheim and Besigheim and in quaint villages such as Hessigheim and Mundelsheim.

Wine Festivals

There are endless wine festivals in the Swabia region throughout the year, such as the “Stuttgart Wine Village”, which is one of Germany’s biggest and best wine festivals.

If crowd-pushing is not your forte, then I will recommend a drive or a bicycle ride to the countryside to attend wine festivals of a smaller and more intimate scale.

ox

My personal favourite is the Kaesbergfest in Mundelsheim. Held on the beautiful “Kaesberg”, one can enjoy a climb up the steps between the vineyards and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the river Neckar. Visitors get to savor not only wine cultivated in Mundelsheim, but also delicious ox spit roast. The feat of roasting an entire ox on a spit is a real attraction!

Information on this festival as well as other small wine festivals can be found here:

http://www.mundelsheimerwein.de/Container/37/147/Veranstaltungen

For more information, check the official Stuttgart tourism website for a comprehensive list of wine related events:

http://www.stuttgart-tourist.de/wein

http://www.stuttgart-tourist.de/veranstaltungen-tickets

 

Red Wine

Broom Taverns

A typical feature of the wine region is its “Besenwirtschaften” or “Broom Taverns” which are temporary wine taverns that are only open for a short period of time each year. The name derives from the broom that hangs at the door to show they are open for business. Only the wine grower’s own wine may be served in a “Besenwirtschaft”. Wine is usually served in traditional flat-bottomed glasses with a handle that is typical of the region rather than a long-stemmed glass. Traditional local dishes are usually available on the menu.

 

Check this website to find out which “Besenwirtschaft” is open for business:

http://www.besenkalender.de/besenkalender/index.php

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