What brings people, couples, friends, towns together to rejoice with great enthusiasm? Love? Freedom? World Peace? No. The answer is: Wine Fests.
Every year in the middle of August, the Rheingau Wine Week is held in Wiesbaden for 10 glorious days! Located around the historic town hall, there are an impressive 120 booths of Rheingau Wineries to tantalize your taste buds. You will not leave thirsty!
This year the festival celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Hovering above the fest there was a beautiful wine glass made out of gold balloons and with a ‘40’ balloon hanging from it.
The special aspects of the Rheingau Wine Week that makes it stand out from others in the area is the size of the festival and the picturesque Wiesbaden city Schlossplatz surroundings.
Every year the fest attracts over 400,000 guests and goes through 250,000 bottles of wine!
This fest is perfect for ‘stall hopping’. There are more than 1,000 different wines and sparkling wines at the 100+ different stalls. So using my public school math, you could sample a glass of wine at each stall if you have 10 drinks each day at the fest for 10 days. Not sure how your liver will feel after that, but it is a possible task!
If you don’t have a taste for wine, the beer lovers can visit the Ratskeller stand which is the only beer stand at the fest!
While drinking you are surrounded by beautiful tall architecture in the middle of the Parliament, the Town Hall and the Market Church. All gorgeous, inspiring, facebook-selfie-posting-worthy buildings.
If you are new to wine fests in Germany, you may be surprised at the higher price when paying for your glass of wine. There is a deposit added to your drink (called a Pfand) and you will get the deposit back when you return the glass to them. If you go up for a drink with only the exact euro that is listed for the wine, then wait in line, you may be caught off guard when you don’t have enough money. Some people like to keep the glasses as a souvenir, however I am not sure how the wineries feel about this. At this winefest you can purchase your own *new* glass that is special to the Rheingau Wine Festival each year. On the glass there is always a nice design with the theme of commemorating the state capital.
There are several food stands and the selection is in keeping with the overall vibe of Wiesbaden: rich and quality. Popular dishes there are local favorites like Spundekäs cheese dip with pretzels and Flammkuchen which is similar to a thin pizza.
To really get into the Rheingau Wine Week spirit you must try one of the beautiful and delicious fruit and wine platters! Everything on the plate compliments the flavor of the Riesling wine.
Out of all the other wine fests in the area, this is the fest to really party at night time. While others may be a bit sleepy and refined, this fest is a perfect place to literally dance in the streets. You can dance in the street or on your fest table to 1 of the 50 different music groups playing on 3 different stages.
I love the motto of this fest and it is pretty much the motto of my existence. So every August I encourage you to go to the Rheingau Wine Week to: “Discover well-known and new, taste and enjoy”.
Here is another motto: I Only Drink Wine on Days Ending in “Y”
About the author: Gemma is a mom, a veteran and an Army civilian living in Wiesbaden, Germany. With New Jersey roots, she is enjoying her extended European vacation.
Featured Image Photo Credit: © Gemma
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