Rough Draft: Mosel Wine Region, Germany
Due to the COVID quarantine, I am creating rough draft, “off the shelf” travel itineraries for when travel resumes normal operations so we do not waste any time getting out and exploring!
Right about now, I would be putting the finishing touches on our first trip to Germany to celebrate Kevin’s cousin’s birthday at Oktoberfest. Thank you for the reminder, Google, that yes, Oktoberfest in canceled this year.
My plans were to visit Munich over the weekend for the festival and extend either before or after by visit the Mosel wine region – the land of Riesling. While Oktoberfest will have to wait, I thought maybe, just maybe international travel would pickup in the fall and maybe, just maybe we could make it to Mosel wine region.
It was not until I started researching that I realized how visiting this wine region shot up to the top of my list. Not only is this place full of the best Riesling in the world, but it is all full of that small European town magic, real life castles, and sweeping views.
Wine tasting in Mosel wine region seems to be a bit different than other regions. From what I read, wineries do not host formal tastings so it is difficult to arrive at a winery unexpected. That being said, there are many wine bars and shops that showcase the local wine or you can book a formal wine tour to visit the wineries as well. Another avenue is to find wineries that have restaurants or even guest rooms that would permit for a more in depth exploration of a wineries personality.
Getting to Mosel Wine Region is painless. For those flying, Frankfurt is the airport of choice and is only a little over an hour to reach the Moselle River where the wine region is located. If you are coming from Munich, there is a four hour train or one hour flight to transport you to Frankfurt.
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Once you reach Mosel wine region by train or car, there are several options to get around the 100km stretch. You can continue with either the car or the train with pros and cons to each. The car increases flexibility but there are areas where if is challenging to navigate with a car or pay a pretty penny to park it. The train decreases the flexibility and may limit travel to the smaller areas but it does have stops at the major destinations and is a great method for a wine tasting trip. Unique to the area is a hiking trail – Moselsteig long distance trail at 365km with 24 stages and wraps around the wine region complete with panoramic views. Hiking may not be the most efficient way if you are on a time crunch and is also weather dependent but if you have the ability, this is the coolest mode of transportation. There is also the ability to bike the areas as well. Finally, river boats are popular here and while there are ones soley for sightseeing from the boat, there are others that make stops on the river – most as a part of a longer itinerary.
I think for time sake, we would try renting a car but I would have to do a bit more research into seeing if we can make the trains work. Each trip to Italy, we exclusively use the train and it is super easy. If the frequency of trains, the timetable, and the stops make sense, the train would defintiely have the edge over worrying about a car.
What is there to do?
There is so much to explore in this wine region! There are three bigger towns (Koblenz, Cochem, and Trier) and countless small towns in between that should be wandered so this itinerary can mix and match to create different trips over and over again.
- Take a river boat to get a lay of the land and relax
- Castle hop! Visit multiple castle lined up on the hills of the river – some are completely intact and still operational while others are ruins with deep history
- Visit during festival season in the fall
- Try lots and lots of wine
- Hike a portion of Moselsteig Trail at the Calmont Klettersteig Trail for the most iconic view of the Moselle River
- Change things up with traditional overnight accommodation by staying at a winery guest room
What to eat?
The best way to get a sample of local wine is the dine either at the winery’s restaurant or to visit gastropubs, wine bars, etc. Each town touts favorite locations so depending on where you chose to visit with help dictate where you will settle for food.
Based on the above, here is how I would structure a four day itinerary visiting Mosel wine region.
|Day 0||Travel to Germany|
Arrive in Koblenz
|Day 1||Explore Koblenz|
|Day 2||Ehrenburg Castle|
Geierlay Suspension Bridge
Travel to Cochem
Calmont Klettersteig Trail
Overnight stay in a vineyard
|Day 4||Wine Tasting / Village Stops|
Here is a list of some of the wineries (“weingut”) and restaurants I came across while researching that I would incorporate some as stops along the way:
|Weingut Henerichs (Pommern) |
Weingut Klein-Gotz (bruttig-Fankel)Weingut Michael Franzen (Bremm)Weinmanufaktur Christian Schardt (Bullay)Weingut Villa Huesgen (Traben-Trarbach)Weingut Staffelter Hof (Krov)Weingut Selbach Oster (Zeltingen-Rachtig)Franz Friedrich-Kern (Bernkastel-Kues)VDP Weingut SA Prum (Bernkastel-Kues)Weingut Keith (Bernkastel-Kues)Weingut Meierer (Kesten)
|Altes Brauhaus (Koblenz) |
Alte Gutsschanke (Cochem)Zehnthauskeller (Beilstein)Haus Burgblick&Burgschenke (Beilstein)Restaurant Zum Eichamt (Zell)Restaurant Zeltinger Hof (Zeltingen-Rachtig)Restaurant Culinarium R 2.0 (Mulheim)Gasthof Zur Klosterschenke (Brauneberg)
If you have been to the Mosel wine region before, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!