The Wine Road, Germany
Germany's Wine Road is the oldest wine route in the country. It was established back in 1935 and takes travellers through a memorable journey in the Palatinate region of the state of Rhineland-Palentinate. The route is market by yellow signs with a bunch of ten grapes along with the name of the route. This makes it really easy for drivers to stay on track while enjoying the amazing panoramic views. The total distance of this scenic drive is 85km which means that it can easily be enjoyed over a day or two. Alternatively, if you wish to really make a holiday out of it, you could spend extra time enjoying all the sights in this area. Either way, the most comfortable and convenient way of travelling is by motorhome, campervan or RV rental.
Top sights along this route
The road takes you from Schweigen-Rechtenbach near Mannheim to Bockenheim on the outskirts of Frankfurt am Main with ample places to stop in between. The drive takes you through the second-largest wine growing area in the country so you can expect to see vast vineyards and you may lose count of all the wineries here!
The Wine Gate is located on the French border and it marks the starting point of the route. Built in 1936, this sandstone structure is both visually appealing and holds historic value.
Near Leinsweiler you will notice how the landscape opens up to reveal lush green vineyards surrounded by hills. The view is amazing and worth stopping to photograph.
The Winzergasse (Wine Alley) in Gleiszellen-Gleishorbach is another must even if you don't fancy yourself a wine connoisseur. The quaint, traditional architecture and views are superb throughout the year.
Depending on when you visit, you might even be in the area in time to enjoy the glorious colours of the Almond trees in bloom near Gimmeldingen. They are usually in bloom during March and their amazing shades of pink make for a memorable sight!
If you fancy a stop at a castle on the way, make sure that you add Hambach Castle to your itinerary. The castle was built sometime during the 11th century and stands where another castle once stood before. Over the years that followed, some modifications were made and portions were added. Over time, due to various conflicts, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt in 1844.
Between the months of March and October each year, this route hosts several wine festivals. It is during this time that the area receives most of its visitors. Not only are the festivals great fun but the weather is also pleasant and the days longer than during the winter.
In September, the largest wine festival is held in Wurstmarkt, Bad Dürkheim. It is famous for being hosted in front of the largest wine barrel in the world – the Giant Cask (Riesenfass). This festival dates back to 1477, although it was held under a different name, and today attracts over 600,000 visitors!
In Neustadt an der Weinstraße, the German Wine Queen is chosing in October during the German Wine Harvesting Festival, or Deutsches Weinlesefest. In July, it's time for Stadtmauerfest in Freinsheim and the Almost Blossom Festival in Gimmeldingen takes place in March based on when the trees begin to bloom.
These are just some of the most popular festivals that occur in this area. There are so many more to choose from if you wish to visit during a different time of year.