Sunshine, food and distinctive wine combine for a good time.
By Don Heimburger • Photographs Courtesy Don Heimburger
The dark, mist- and cloud-covered mountains of the Black Forest rise up before me as my eastbound train approaches Strasbourg and the Rhine River. I’m heading for the Rebland area of Germany—well-known for its lush, sun-drenched countryside—to sample the lifestyle, the food and the wines of this famous region. On this trip I want to discover the “sun terrace” around Baden-Baden that produces some of Germany’s best and most delicious wines.
Shielded by the Odenwald hills and the Black Forest on one side and the Vosges mountains on the other, this region enjoys the sunniest and warmest climate in Germany, with temperatures that are almost Mediterranean. The vineyards are contained on about 800 acres in total, with small plots here and there the norm. Residents will even plant a few rows of grapevines around their houses if there is room.
Known for its Rieslings, this section of Germany is perfect for nurturing vineyards, with the right kind of soil, the right kind of moisture from the rising foothills, and the right kind of direct sunlight on the vines. For decades thousands of visitors have been coming to this area to relax and to sample good local dishes complemented with excellent local wines.