The oldest wine route in the world, the German Wine Route extends through the sprawling wine growing region of the Palatinate between the Palatinate Forest and the Rhine Rift. It was established in 1935 following a record harvest and with the idea that it would help to boost wine sales in the connected villages.
The beginning of the 85-kilometer-long route is marked by the grand sandstone German Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach. The route heads north through the towns of Bad Bergzabern, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Deidesheim and Grünstadt before ending at the House of the German Wine Route in Bockenheim an der Weinstraße.
Sample the region’s renowned riesling, pinot grigio and dornfelder in the numer-ous wine bars and tasting rooms that dot the route, together with alfresco arbors and side-of-the-road stops that add to the German Wine Route’s appeal. Unlike most of Germany’s wine regions that use 25 cl glasses, the Palatinate wine region is famed for its 5 cl glasses that are known as “Dubbegla”s because of their dim-pled design.
In addition to its vineyards, this warm, sun-drenched region is renowned for the cultivation of figs, lemons and kiwi fruit. Almond trees ignite the landscape in pink and white during the spring, with the season marked by the Mandelblüten-fest (Almond Blossom Festival).
If you’re visiting the region and want to experience the German Wine Route at its most celebratory, coincide your stay with the annual Wurstmarkt wine festival. It takes place in front of the Dürkheim Barrel (Dürkheimer Weinfass), the largest barrel in the world, each September and is followed closely by the German Wine Harvesting Festival in October.