Wine, Walking, Wandering
I cannot think of a better way to spend a trip in Bernkastel-Kues, Germany than to take a scenic walk through the vineyards and taste the local wines. This beautiful area is packed with things to do. It is well worth a visit! On my trip, my friend, Jen and I found ourselves immersed in beautiful fields of wine grapes as we took a hike toward Zeltingen-Rachtig.
We started our walk through the town of Bernkastel-Kues along the empty cobble streets. Jen was leading the walk and I was, of course, focused on taking beautiful photos. (In other words, I was not paying enough attention to give you a full route map! I can tell you that we definitely walked over 5 miles!) We were on a mission to get to the Kloster Machern brewery as early as possible. The first boat to take us back to Bernkastel-Kues from the brewery was scheduled to leave the dock at 10:35 am. We had initially hoped to get a drink at the brewery; however, due to some time constraints we knew that it would not be open yet. Our consolation prize was drinking wine on the boat!
What kind of Wine Comes from Bernkastel-Kues?
When in Rome you must do as the Romans do; well, the same goes for Germany! Germany has a wonderful wine country. There was a winery along every turn of Bernkastel-Kues. It was very fitting for me to be in this country and sipping on the local wines since Reisling is my favorite wine! I will not tell you that I am a very educated wine drinker, but I know that Germany is world renown for it’s Riesling. The Mosel River which is a tributary to the Rhine River has some of the best soil for growing these spectacular grapes! From my understanding, the soil has better drainage but also retains more heat than other soil types. This in combination with the seasonally cold weather plays an important role in the taste of the wines from this area.
If you are interested in learning more about Riesling from the Mosel Area I found a great post from Wine Folly, which details more about the wines from the Mosel Valley area.
Wine and Cruise on the Mosel River
To get the full experience I highly recommend taking the boat ride back to Bernkastel-Kues. There are two boat companies that dock at Zeltingen and the fare is very affordable. It was less than 10 euros for the one way pass. Thirsty from our hike we ordered a bottle of Riesling. In our dehydrated minds we thought for sure a 45 minute boat ride would be plenty of time for a bottle between the two of us. Our mind was made up to get a bottle since we did not have the option for a glass available. We obviously had to try the local Riesling while we were in the Riesling growing district! It may not have been one of our best choices of the day, but it left us plenty of time to sober up and explore the shops in Bernkastel-Kues!
More about Bernkastel-Kues
All of the shops in town were unique and quaint! My one recommendation is clear your schedule! There is so much to do. You will not be bored for a second. Additionally, it is good to keep in mind that in Germany the waitstaff at the restaurants are not going to rush you out. We sat and ate lunch at Hotel Doctor Weinstube for probably two hours. I ordered the “Portion Pfifferlinge á la créme” and it was delicious! I cannot tell you for sure what it was except that it seemed like a mushroom dumpling in cream sauce.
There is also a castle (well….castle ruins) that overlooks Bernkastel-Kues! To get to the castle you have to drive out of town and take a turn up a winding cliff. The Landshut Castle sits high above the town overlooking the Mosel River and all of wine country. There is plenty of parking and it is free to walk around and tour. There is a quiet restaurant and souvenir shop that are located within the ruins. It is a very easy place to get some quick, beautiful views if you are not up for a hike along the Mosel River!
If you would like to hear more about my Germany trip you can click here to start from the beginning.
- Where are some of your favorite places to hike?
- What are some of your favorite stops in Bernkastel-Kues?
- What other villages or towns in Germany do you recommend exploring?