Stuttgart Wine Festival (yes, there really is more than beer in Germany!)

by Brea

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With the end of summer around the corner and Oktoberfest on the horizon, what do we do while we wait for the huge tents and liters of beer and the infamous pee wall?!

Luckily the Germans thought about this for me and for about 10 days at the end of August and early September we are blessed with the Wine Festival, in our area the Stuttgarter Weindorf.

All over Germany there are these Wine Festivals, ours being nowhere near the largest in the country but still fairly large boasting over 500 wines from the region. So even though I’m four weeks post op from my foot surgery, I couldn’t resist a wine festival that was only 20 minutes away from my home.

I ended up making it only twice. I tried to go on days that had a smaller crowd. The thought of someone accidentally stepping on my recently operated on foot and thus causing immense amounts of pain and another possible surgery wasn’t exactly worth going into a crowd. I did go dancing with my boot on a few weeks ago, but that is a whole different story!

Anyway, back to the wine festival…so fun, and overall a great festival. Like the Stuttgart Summer Festival, the crowd is a little bit different than that of, say, Oktoberfest. Drinks and overall prices were also higher, but oh man the wine was so good! There were so many to sample, it was really hard to decide!

Region Stuttgart has some information in general about the wine in Stuttgart….

“Mention wine in Stuttgart and you’re talking in superlatives: local vintners are regularly awarded prizes for their wines.

As far back as the 3rd century AD, Roman emperors had vineyards planted all over the country. By the 16th century Stuttgart was already one of the largest wine-growing communities in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
The main wines grown in the Stuttgart Region today are the red varieties Lemberger, Spätburgunder and Trollinger. Trollinger is as inextricably linked to the region as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are to Stuttgart. This fruity, light red wine matures late and can also be enjoyed when it is still young, nicely chilled. Originally this vine with its large grapes came from the South Tyrol and Trentino, where it goes under the name of Vernatsch. Nevertheless it would seem likely that the name “Trollinger” is a corruption of “Tirolinger“. As far as white wines are concerned, Riesling leads the field and is made into outstanding wines by local vintners. Other varieties include Kerner, Silvaner and Müller Thurgau. In addition, Sauvignon blanc is gaining in popularity with wine drinkers, and therefore also in importance with wine growers.

The state capital of Stuttgart is the only German city to own 17.5 hectares of municipal vineyards, spread over six different locations. Vineyards can even be found in the centre of town. In order to be able to access the steep terraces, vintners in the second half of the 19th century built flights of steps and paths. More than 400 of these “Stäffele”, or steps, are still in existence today. Climbing them all would involve negotiating a total 20 km of steps.
There are many wine festivals held throughout the year, such as the Fellbach Autumn Festival or the “Stuttgart Wine Village”, one of Germany’s biggest and best wine festivals. Every late summer/autumn (for the exact date check events) more than 500 different wines from Baden and Württemberg are served in the 120 arbours set up around the Old Palace. To go with them, chefs serve Swabian specialities such as “Kässpätzle” (cheesy noodles), “Maultaschen” (filled pasta) or potato noodles with sauerkraut.”


Check out their website to view the full article

Tips and Tricks:

  • If you make it to the festival go during the day or on a Sunday afternoon. It gets packed at night, even on weeknights!

  • Bring some water since in Germany and most of Europe you have to pay for water (and it’s not cheap either).

  • Have change on hand for the restrooms (toilette). There is generally an attendant charging 50 cents or possibly 1 Euro to use the facilities.

 It gets crowded at this festival It gets crowded at this festival

 Typical of what you see at many stands at festivals Typical of what you see at many stands at festivals

 That's a lot of wine! That’s a lot of wine!

 Overlooking downtown Stuttgart, not the fest but nearby on a Thursday night Overlooking downtown Stuttgart, not the fest but nearby on a Thursday night

Have you ever been to a wine festival? What was your experience like?

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