Bernkastel Wine Festival

Wine, Food and Fireworks Extravaganza…! One of my favorite seasons in Georgia has always been fall. I love fall, ya’ll!! Living in Germany is a lot like the deep South during the fall, especially the Festivals. Festivals everywhere….Pig Fests, Pumpkin Fests, Beer Fests, Wine Fests…every village it seems has some sort of festival. Actually, they are all pretty much the same but just with a different story. A carnival for the kids, lots of food and, yes, vino and beer for the adults. Our favorite festival for the past three years has been the Wine Fest in Bernkastel, aka Weinfest der Mittelmosel.

Bernkastel-Kues

photo 1 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller

Bernkastel-Kues is a well-known wine region on the Middle Moselle River. Honestly, I believe it’s a glimpse into Heaven. The village is built around the river, which is cool enough, but you would have to actually see the mountains with their vineyards to really understand what I mean.

Festival

photo 2 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller

So this festival is celebrating the harvest of these lovely grapes. You get a great sampling of all of the local wines, lots of German dancing and even some oompah bands!

photo 3 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller

We choose to attend on Saturday because this is the day that ends with a seriously dramatic fireworks display over the river, just below the castle (Burg Landshut).

photo 3A Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller

We have found that you need to arrive early in the mid-afternoon to reserve a spot near the river. This year, we decided to book a room at the local Mosel Park Hotel so that we didn’t have to deal with the traffic at the end of the night. We arrived at the hotel around 4 p.m., checked in and grabbed a taxi to the festival. By 4:30 p.m., we had a front row seat and created our own private picnic with a locally grown Reisling Spatlese, Champignons covered in cream sauce, Pommes and a variety of salami and cheese.

photo 4} Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller
The area on the river becomes very crowded as the end of day nears and the grass space fills up quickly. Although this is a German festival, we heard almost as much English as we did German. Obviously, it is a great family night for the surrounding American military community.

photo 5} Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller

Fireworks

You will want to have a seat before the fireworks begin around 9-9:30 p.m. Literally, all of the lights are turned off. Last year, my friend Linda and I decided to take a quick jaunt to the ladies room just before 9 p.m. Unfortunately, the line was longer than we realized and we were actually inside when the fireworks began. It is not fun to be inside when this particular fiesta begins. It is scary loud and DARK.

photo 9 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller
This year was a bit of a challenge because it began to rain just before dark. Being the optimists, we did not bring an umbrella so we had to use my jacket as a cover for the 20-minute rainstorm.

photo 6 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival

In exchange for this bravery, I was rewarded a Nutella Crepe. Not a bad exchange if I do say so myself!

photo 7 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival

There is no way to ever capture the magnitude of this fireworks display. It is like a 4th of July celebration in the States. Except…on steroids.

photo 8 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival© Cheryl Koller

Mark this one for your calendar for next September as it is a must see! You can find more information on their website.

How to Get There

photo 10 Cheryl Bernkastel Wine Festival | Military in Germany

Bernkastel is an easy one hour or so drive from Ramstein. It’s an hour and 20 minutes northwest of Kaiserslautern, 1 hours and 25 minutes west of Wiesbaden and 3 hours and 10 minutes northwest of Stuttgart.

Author’s Profile: Cheryl Koller is a native of Georgia. She is a DOD spouse, mom of 4 daughters (2 adults, 2 teens), thrill-seeker, avid traveler, and lover of food and wine. She is a self-proclaimed Freedom-Preneur and Blogger currently living in Ramstein with her family.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Cheryl Koller

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