Regionale Weine, regionale Küche, regionale Orginale¹
Today marks the first day of the Rheingauer Schlemmerwochen, the Rheingau region’s annual celebration of the start of the wine season. From now till Sunday, May 3rd, there’ll be all sorts of events taking place at over 100 restaurants and winemakers across Hessen’s world famous wine country, from Florsheim am Main to Lorch am Rhein.
Schlemmerwochen translates rather awkwardly into English (Schlemmer is glutton or gourmand; Wochen are weeks), but all you really need to know is that over the next 10 days, this part of Germany will be firmly focused on not just its renowned Riesling but also its seasonal regional culinary specialties – so in addition to excellent wine, you can probably expect the odd spear of Spargel.
For those who like wine and Sekt (German champagne), now’s the time to enjoy the first taste of last year’s vintage; there’ll be tastings plus vineyard and cellar tours to take part in; and I’m sure there’ll be a glass or two on offer at the art exhibitions and musical events scheduled throughout the region. And for those who love their food, there’ll be something for everyone, from posh dinners at upmarket restaurants to rustic lunches at local taverns – or simply an afternoon spent lounging in a winery courtyard.
The five biggest towns in the Rheingau region are Eltville, famed for its excellent wine and Sekt and stunning rose gardens; Oestrich-Winkel², Hessen’s largest wine town and home to one of my favourite Riesling producers, Peter Jakob Kühn; the lovely but touristy Rüdesheim with its beautiful old town; Geisenheim², known for its 700 year old Linden tree; and Lorch, which offers some fascinating medieval buildings including a witch tower. There are events planned in and around all of them – have a look at the official flyer² for listings – but each town is lovely enough to simply wander around in whilst soaking up the warm Spring sunshine.
Further information on events and locations for the Rheingauer Schlemmerwochen are available from the Rheingau-Taunus Culture und Tourism Board (site mainly in German, with limited information in English).
¹ The Rheingauer Schlemmerwochen tagline is “regional food, regional wine, regional originals”
² Site in German.
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