Visiting the vineyards and the wineries around Stuttgart
Stuttgart, surrounded by greenery, is a lively and modern capital where past and present coexist harmoniously. Capital of Baden-Württemberg, it is the ideal destination for those who want to spend a few days only thinking about good food and fine wines: yes, I’m not kidding, even if Stuttgart is in Germany and of course we associate this country with beer, the city is linked to the world of wine and even today wine is one of the reasons why this city is worth visiting. In this guide, I give you some useful information to visit the vineyards and the wineries around Stuttgart, on an ideal tour that will make you discover a different side of this part of Germany. In the Stuttgart area today, above all, Trollinger, Riesling, Kerner, Silvaner, and Müller-Thurgau are produced.
The vineyards around Stuttgart
Stuttgart is surrounded by hills and, if you look at it from above, you can easily identify the various wine-growing areas that cover the region. It is a network of over 17.5 hectares that can be visited, all or in part, independently and also with organized tours.
The proximity of the vineyards to the city and the particular conformation of the city itself, means that you can easily walk to the wineries and the vineyards areas; if you buy a StuttCard Plus you can take advantage of all public transport, jump on the first local train and find yourself in the middle of the vineyards in 15 minutes.
You just need to go down to Uhlbach, one of the wine districts (which is still part of the city of Stuttgart) to start your adventure in the so-called Tuscany of German: in Uhlbach you can visit the Museum of Viniculture that will allow you to understand something more in relation to the Stuttgart wine production and where you can also taste locally produced wine.
From Uhlbach-Stuttgart, in about 15-20 minutes you can climb the Württemberg hill to visit the Grabkapelle, the chapel commissioned by King William I as a tribute to his dead wife. From here your eyes will not know where to look: the view is simply idyllic with the Neckar Valley which opens in all its beauty between terraced vineyards and wide green spaces that extend to the center of Stuttgart, which from here you can almost touch with your hand.
With a glass of wine in your hand, this is the ideal way to end the tour before going back down. From here you can walk down through the vines and enjoy the view to get to the first available metro station or get off and pick up one of the many buses or trams that will take you downtown.
For a total immersion into the atmosphere, you can follow the Stuttgart Wine Trail, the Stuttgarter Wanderweg, a circular route that touches all areas of the wine and can be done in a few hours; or you can decide to climb the hills that flank Stuttgart using the Stäffele, the steps that lead from the lower part to the hilly part of the city, right in the middle of the vineyards.
Wine celebrations in Stuttgart
Stuttgart’s passion for wine is celebrated every year during the Weindorf, the festival that is held every year at the end of summer and is considered to be the Oktoberfest. For over 10 days, Schillerplatz, Kirchstrasse and Marktplatz are dressed with banquets and wooden stands where you can taste the different local wines with the culinary specialties of the area including the famous Maultaschen.
If the Weindorf is the most official wine festival ever, another interesting and fun event of the city’s love for wine is the Besenwirtschaften: these are real family-run inns that open their doors every year for about 12 weeks. To understand when the inns are open, just see if on the door is hanging a broom: if the broom is hanging you can enter, try the homemade wine and accompanied by specialties of the Swabian cuisine.
In Stuttgart to taste the German sparkling wine
About 20 minutes by local train from Stuttgart is Esslingen, a medieval and Renaissance town that has not lost its typical characteristics and is famous for producing the oldest sparkling wine in Germany. In 1826, Kessler experimented with the traditional method developed in the French Champagne region and still today the production of sparkling wine, brut and extra brut is active. The Kessler winery can be visited and the tour includes final tasting.
When to visit the vineyards around Stuttgart?
In general, as for all winegrowing areas, even for that of Stuttgart the same rules of common sense apply: spring and autumn are the best seasons for the visit. In spring the green hills, the favorable climate and the sun going down very late make this region truly incredible for a day trip. In autumn the landscape changes color, assuming the shades of red and orange: autumn is also the harvesting month, so a trip to these lands during this period will also allow you to watch the grape harvest.
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[This Guide is the result of a trip project with Baden-Württemberg. All the pictures have been taken, as usual, by Giuseppe].