The German Wine Road is the oldest of Germany’s wine routes and is located in the Rhineland-Palatinate region. Established in 1935 due to record wine harvests the villages came together to boost wine sales and the title “an der Weinstrasse” was added to village names which were on this route. The German wine road is the oldest wine route in the world.The route begins in Schweigen-Rechtenbach on the French border with the imposing ceremonial gatehouse named the German Wine Gate, or Deutsches Weintor, and ends in Bockenheim an der Weinstrasse.
The route is marked by a yellow sign with a stylized bunch of ten grapes and the name of the route.The wine growing region of Palatinate is the second largest in Germany and stretches across 23.400 acres of land. The climate is the warmest in Germany with over 1800 hours of sunshine per year which also allows the cultivation of crops such as figs, lemons and kiwis, also flowers such as the Oleander, alongside the acres of vines. Sheltered by the forest, and at the foot of the Haardt Mountains, this is one of Germany’s most beautiful landscapes. In spring the area becomes a sea of pink as the almond blossom flowers at the begining of March. The months of March and April have been set aside as “Almond months”, it is the time that winter frosts are over and the first of the wine festivals can begin, the grey of winter is washed away by the pink almond flowers which decorate everything in the region and visitors come to see the beauty of the almond blossom from all over.
The German Wine Route stretches through the undulating area that lies between the Palatinate Forest, Pfalzer Wald, and the Upper Rhine valley.Highest peak is Kalmit (673 m).The forest is a designated Nature Park and together with the northern part of the adjacent Vosges Mountains in France it forms the UNESCO Biosphere reserve Palatinate Forest- Vosges du Nord. The Biosphere reserve is one of the biggest forests in Europe.There are many sweet chestnut trees growing on the lower slopes of the forest, they are not native to the area but as they thrive in this mild climate have become a wild tree here.
The region now produces many seasonal dishes made from the sweet chestnuts and can be found in the restaurants and bakeries.The German Wine Route is the oldest scenic route in the country and the landscape is enchanting whatever time of the year you visit. In early autumn wine festivals take place virtually every weekend in one of the villages along the route.Driving along the well sign- posted wine road will take you past picturesque vineyards, beautiful villages, top-class hotels and gourmet restaurants, but the high-light of your trip will be tasting the different types of wines produced by the numerous vineyards which are scattered throughout the region.
The route also has plenty to offer to lovers of fine foods and for those who love to have fun in the great outdoors, there are wine festivals, wine tasting in small vineyards, the celebrated “Wurstmarkt” in Bad Dürkheim, traditional Palatinate dishes to enjoy, see the world’s largest wine barrel in Bad Dürkheim, relax in one of the areas many spas, explore castles and ancient ruins, hiking, trekking and cycling for the more energetic or just sit and watch the world go by with a glass of wine at a tavern in one of the many beautiful villages on route, some of which are more than 1,000 years old. The German Wine road is just so much more than just another holiday destination, it is a piece of living history and a place that will draw you back time after time.