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Germany's Bernkastel-Kues Wine Festival: "Weinfest der Mittelmosel"

Around the beginning of September, Bernkastel-Kues hosts their annual wine festival called Weinfest der Mittelmosel. This picturesque German town is only about an hour away from the Ramstein/KMC Area and should be on everyone's list of places to visit! The wine festival is 5 days long, has over 20 wine stands, various forms of entertainment and several events. It's a favorite for many a wine lover in this area.

The first year for me unfortunately didn't truly count due to poor planning on my part. I ended up at the wine festival early on opening day with only a few hours to spare. I observed them setting up, had a glass of wine, and promptly had to leave. This year I made much better plans!

The main festival in 2023 was set up along route 53 (otherwise named Gestade) that intersects the city's scenic bridge named: Brücke Bernkastel-Kues. If you need a landmark to find the area, I would use the Mosel Grill's address: Gestade 9, 54470 Bernkastel-Kues, Germany. If you are planning on taking a day trip, I would also suggest going early before traffic and parking become a pain. The only way I have ever driven into this area is by going right by the heart of it all. I usually cross the bridge and park across the river in one of the parking garages provided. Parking near the festival at the various parking lots on the map is essentially impossible during the festival itself. I wouldn't even try. You may be thinking, well then, I'll just take the train! Unfortunately, there is no train that takes you directly into Bernkastel-Kues. I've always driven. Thankfully, there is an entire section of their website dedicated solely to parking and bus shuttle services that they offer. I'd check it out when making plans!

You'll find various food and wine vendors lining the street. There is also a fairground and craft market on the opposite bank of the river. If you are bringing children, this would be a great place to stop if they are in need of a break. The amusement park opens at 2pm on Friday and on the last day of the fair (Tuesday) they have family day which offers discounted entrance fees.

When visiting Bernkastel-Kues be sure to look up! The hills surrounding the area are filled with lush green sloping vineyards adding to its charm and beauty (spring-fall). The region focuses mainly on the Riesling grape. The valley's makeup of mostly flint and slate produces a variety of earthy, spicy, and rich wines. I thought this blog post was very informative about the area and its wine culture if you are looking for a more in-depth description. I'm no sommelier.

Be sure to add a visit to Burg Landshut to your plans. These castle ruins overlook the valley and offers stunning views of the city and Moselle River. You can even pause to have a bite to eat at their restaurant located inside the castle or a glass of wine on the terrace. Highly recommend.

Note: You can access this castle by hiking up a steep trail (use your GPS walking feature) or there is a narrow road that you can drive up with a small parking lot at the top. A third option is to take the Burg Landshut Express (yellow shuttle bus). I wouldn't recommend trying to drive up there during the festival itself. Might not be the best idea. If you decide to take the hiking route, ensure you are ready for the uphill climb!

Another option for a scenic view is to take the trail up to Schützenhaus. This restaurant offers outdoor dining and beautiful views as well. Their reviews aren't bad either. I rather enjoyed their fish and chips.

Note: I have tried to drive to this restaurant a couple of times, and I have personally been unable to figure out a route for this. There were a couple of roadblocks in my way and I have given up every time. I usually walk up the steep trail. Have to burn those calories so I can eat all the yummy food and cancel out all that wine!

Don't forget to visit the famous advent calendar square! Here you can see what it looks like during their Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) in December of 2022. They count down the days by opening a numbered window which is accompanied by a special Christmas performance.

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Thank you for your support.

Happy adventures!

- Allie

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