I woke up this morning thinking that Bill and I would be tasting beer today in Gärtringen, hence our decision to eat burgers there this afternoon. As it turned out the beer tasting was to include food, which we knew we couldn’t enjoy after a very good lunch at Buffalo Grill and Bar. Fortunately, my German friend Susanne told me about a wine tasting going on in Weil der Stadt. This event, which happens every year, is a celebration of a “sisterhood” between the Alsatian town of Riquewihr and Weil der Stadt. Although Bill and I have been to Riquewihr, we had not been to Weil der Stadt/Merklingen prior to today.
As it turned out, we were the only Americans there during our visit. The festival opened at 2:00pm and will run until midnight tonight. Six vintners from Riquewihr are there to sell their wines. You can enjoy a tasting, have a full glass or two, or simply enjoy a bite to eat. We heard that later this evening, there will also be live music. The festival will also be going on tomorrow from 11:00am until 5:00pm. Fortunately, I believe the beer tasting is also going on tomorrow. We’ll probably go there tomorrow for some suds.
They had the flags out…
The doors opened promptly at 2:00pm, so we were left with a little time to kill.
We were among the first people to arrive, so I took a few shots of the inside of the festival. Six tables are set up and each vintner has several different types of wines for sale. You can get your pinot blanc, riesling, or pinot noir, along with muscat, gerwurztraminer, and cremant. We ended up tasting a whole lot of wine… and left with 23 bottles of wine. Prices are great!
A tasting glass will cost 2 euros for a pfand. Turn it in and you get your euros back.
If you want to eat, there is food provided by a local restaurant. We were still full from lunch, so we didn’t eat. I saw a lot of people enjoying lunch there. One group was even celebrating a birthday.
The stage is set for later. I have a feeling things will get busy tonight.
As we were tasting wine, a lady approached with a camera. She was from the local newspaper. She did take several pictures of me, so I won’t be surprised if I show up in a paper somewhere. People seemed surprised to see us there and wanted to know how we knew about the wine festival. I told them about my German friend who is in the know. They seemed surprised that we’d drive out there just to enjoy some French vino. I say it was well worth the trip, especially since we couldn’t make it to Strasbourg for the big festival.
I have a feeling we won’t need wine for awhile…
This was a really fun event. Parking is free and plentiful, the toilets are clean and free, and I surprised myself by understanding a lot of what was being said. The lady at the last table we hit happened to speak English very well and she was very interested in what we are doing here. I’m sure I said more than I should have… but we did leave her table with seven bottles of wine and a business card, so I’m sure that’s all that matters.
There’s still plenty of time to visit the tasting today if you are inclined… and tomorrow, there will also be wine flowing. If you like Alsatian wines, I highly recommend a visit!