If you follow @PrinthieWines on twitter you will have read that I had a little side trip to Germany in September. The offer from a magazine to partake in a ‘media familiarisation’ trip was unexpected and too good to pass up. It was a whirlwind 7 day discovery adventure – not all about wine I must admit but a lot of fun.
It started in Berlin. What a great city. Hard to imagine it as divided city these days. It is a rapidly evolving city with new people, new buildings, new restaurants, bars, clubs and markets. Frankfurt, on the other hand, lacks that vibrancy and it is hard to shake that euro-business atmosphere. But, just down the road is the Rheingau – one of my favourite and one of the best Riesling regions in the world, so drink up. Stunning vineyards and vistas and bloody delicious wines.
Stuttgart is a car lovers paradise. Unfortunately I’m not a petrol head. Freiberg in the very far south-west corner is simply fantastic. Surrounded by beautiful vineyards in Kaiserstuhl, with France just across the Rhine River (I could see the vineyards of Alsace) and Switzerland to the south (I could see the Alps). The city is a vibrant, beautiful small regional city that is absolutely worth visiting.
The Black Forest is just a short drive or train trip from Freiberg. Stunning mountains, lakes and pastures - this is classic European landscape. And the best way to see it – on a mountain bike, sweating up hillsides and tearing down rocky trails getting glimpses of idyllic valleys and snowcapped peaks.
I was last in Germany 16 years ago. I have always wanted to go back but haven’t really been able to envisage or plan a trip. I was thrilled to get there. I experienced some parts of Germany that I may never have gone to and now that I have been there, I want to go back.