The regulations have relaxed and dining out in Germany is possible once again. The big question is of course, where to go. Well, in pleasing timing, wineries all over Germany’s thirteen wine regions are opening up their on-site restaurants (Gutausschänke) and pop-ups (Strausswirtschaften, known regionally by various other names). Lunch or dinner outside in a leafy courtyard accompanied by a glass of the winery’s own wine is not only a corona-safe way to meet friends, it’s also incomparably pleasant. The recommendations below are personal ones for some of my favourite German wineries where you can eat outdoors, and they’re some of the places I’m most looking forward to getting back to as and when I can.
At the time of writing, all of the details below are correct and most eating establishments require one or more of the following: reservations, same day negative tests or tests not more than 24 hours old, proof of complete vaccination, proof of having had covid, and the wearing of medical grade (OP or FFP2) masks when moving around the venue. Please check individual websites/social media channels for specific details.
You can also prepare for your visit by downloading Luca, an app used to provide data for contact tracing and risk contact notification. (Note that you might want to read up on it first, however, since German experts have previously criticised the app’s security.)
Quick links so you don’t have to scroll:
Bio Weingut Hamm (Rheingau): organic winery with a very pretty inner courtyard
Weingut Keßler (Rheingau): leafy garden with a small play area and a lively outside bar
Schloss Vollrads (Rheingau): casual seating in a historic courtyard with an excellent food stand
Weingut Kruger-Rumpf (Nahe): listed manor house with flower-filled outside dining space
Weingut J. Koegler (Rheingau): vine-covered patio with a small separate play area
Bio Weingut Hamm, Oestrich Winkel (Rheingau)
This family-run VDP winery has been certified organic and biodynamic since 1990 and is now in the 4th-generation hands of Aurelia Hamm. At the winery restaurant, her mother Christine prepares homemade delicacies using quality seasonal, regional ingredients including game from the nearby Taunus mountains and fish from the Wisper river. Enjoy a slice of her freshly-baked walnut and raisin spelt bread with sesame cream as you browse the list of Hamm Rieslings and Spätburgunders (pinot noirs), then sit back and enjoy the ambience in an exceptionally pretty inner courtyard complete with trailing kiwi plants.
Website: www.hamm-wein.de (German only)
Address: Hauptstraße 60, 65375 Oestrich-Winkel
Friday and Saturday from 6pm, Sundays and holidays from 12pm
During the summer holidays (check website/Instagram for details): Wednesdays and Thursday from 6pm
Reservations and up to date test results required. (See Instagram announcement for full details in German.)
Weingut Keßler, Wiesbaden-Martinsthal (Rheingau)
Surrounded by the peaceful vineyards of Wiesbaden-Martinsthal, the stylish modern restaurant at the 250-year-old, family-run Weingut Keßler leads onto a very pretty, secluded patio area outside. A number of the tables are sectioned off by vines, which was wonderful previously for a sense of privacy and is perfect of course now for distancing from other diners. The menu comprises regional and German specialties – the thinly-sliced roast beef with Frankfurter Grüne Soße and fried potatoes is very good – as well as other dishes including pastas and salads made with seasonal ingredients. Toast the start to your meal with a glass of one of Keßler’s very good sparkling wines.
Reopening 1 June 2021
Website: www.weingut-kessler.de (German only)
Address: Weingut Keßler GbR, Heimatstrasse 18, 65344 Eltville-Martinsthal
Tuesday-Saturday from 4pm-11pm. Warm food served until 10pm.
Check their website for detailed corona requirements.
By telephone only, Tuesday-Saturday from 15:30, on 06123 712 35
Schloss Vollrads, Oestrich-Winkel (Rheingau)
One of the oldest wineries in not just Germany but also the world, VDP estate Schloss Vollrads has been producing Riesling (and Riesling only) for over 800 years. High end regional and international cuisine is offered in their manor house restaurant, the terrace of which is already open for dining. For a more relaxed visit, take a seat at one of the tables on their patio, surrounded by historic buildings (and a neatly manicured garden complete with carp pond), and order one of their Flammkuchen from the courtyard food stand. Enjoy with a glass of one of their internationally-acclaimed wines.
Schloss Vollrads are planning to reopen their courtyard for eating and drinking on 3 June 2021.
Website: www.schlossvollrads.com (in German and English)
Address: Vollradser Allee, 65375 Oestrich-Winkel
Phone: +49 (0)6723 66 0
Opening times, requirements and reservations:
Please check the website’s restaurant page for details.
Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Münster-Sarmsheim (Nahe)
Weingut Kruger-Rumpf was founded in 1708. Today, the VDP estate, located at the intersection of four of Germany’s wine regions, grows vines in both the Nahe and neighbouring Rheinhessen and produces a range of very highly-praised wines. The listed manor house, built in 1830, is home to a seasonal wine tavern with both charming dining rooms and a flower-filled courtyard for soaking up the sun. The menu offers refined regional specialties based around local, seasonal ingredients; when it comes to choosing wine, Kruger-Rumpf was the first in the region to plant Chardonnay vines, and with great success, so it’s an excellent opportunity to try one of those.
Monday to Friday, 5pm-10pm
Saturday 12pm-2pm and 5pm-10pm
Winery website: Weingut Kruger-Rumpf (German and English)
Wine tavern website: Weinstube Kruger-Rumpf (German only)
Address: Weinstube Kruger-Rumpf, Rheinstr. 47, 55424 Münster-Sarmsheim
Weingut J. Koegler, Eltville (Rheingau)
Part of the pleasure of visiting Weingut J. Koegler is wander through charming Eltville’s charming cobbled lanes to get there. The rest comes from sitting in their gorgeous garden surrounded by lovely old buildings – the complex was built in 1420 – and sharing a bottle of wine and a bite to eat. The main restaurant currently remains closed, but the wine stand in their courtyard is now open: keep an eye on their Instagram feed for news of upcoming food stands and hopefully at some point, musical events. Those eating and drinking with kids will be pleased to hear there’s a small play area with a sand pit against the back wall.
11am-8pm, Happy Hour from 4pm-6pm
See recent Instagram post (and/or check for more recent ones).