Wine in Stuttgart
Mention wine in Stuttgart and you're talking in superlatives: local vintners are regularly awarded prizes for their wines.
As far back as the 3rd century AD, Roman emperors had vineyards planted all over the country. By the 16th century Stuttgart was already one of the largest wine-growing communities in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
The main wines grown in the Stuttgart Region today are the red varieties Lemberger, Spätburgunder and Trollinger. Trollinger is as inextricably linked to the region as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are to Stuttgart. This fruity, light red wine matures late and can also be enjoyed when it is still young, nicely chilled. Originally this vine with its large grapes came from the South Tyrol and Trentino, where it goes under the name of Vernatsch. Nevertheless it would seem likely that the name "Trollinger" is a corruption of "Tirolinger“. As far as white wines are concerned, Riesling leads the field and is made into outstanding wines by local vintners. Other varieties include Kerner, Silvaner and Müller Thurgau. In addition, Sauvignon blanc is gaining in popularity with wine drinkers, and therefore also in importance with wine growers.
The state capital of Stuttgart is the only German city to own 17.5 hectares of municipal vineyards, spread over six different locations. Vineyards can even be found in the centre of town. In order to be able to access the steep terraces, vintners in the second half of the 19th century built flights of steps and paths. More than 400 of these "Stäffele", or steps, are still in existence today. Climbing them all would involve negotiating a total 20 km of steps.
There are many wine festivals held throughout the year, such as the Fellbach Autumn Festival or the "Stuttgart Wine Village", one of Germany's biggest and best wine festivals. Every late summer/autumn (for the exact date check events) more than 500 different wines from Baden and Württemberg are served in the 120 arbours set up around the Old Palace. To go with them, chefs serve Swabian specialities such as "Kässpätzle" (cheesy noodles), "Maultaschen" (filled pasta) or potato noodles with sauerkraut.
A typical feature of the wine region of Stuttgart is its "Besenwirtschaften", or "Broom Taverns": temporary wine taverns that are only open for twelve weeks of the year. The name derives from the broom that hangs at the door to show they are open for business.
Only the wine grower's own wines may be served. It is usually served in traditional fashion, not in a long-stemmed glass, but in the glasses with a handle that are typical of the region.
One of the finest views of Stuttgart's vineyards and the idyllic Neckar valley can be enjoyed from the historic hill known as the Württemberg. In the 11th century this was the site of the castle of the founders of the House of Württemberg. In 1820, following the premature death of his beloved consort, the Grand Princess Katharina of Russia, King Wilhelm I erected a burial chapel here. At the foot of the Württemberg in Stuttgart-Uhlbach Stuttgart's Museum of Viniculture invites visitors to discover two thousand years of wine-growing history in a tour that involves all the senses. A complete
cooper's workshop, numerous pieces of equipment, certificates, maps and other documents will be on display here as from May 2012 in the newly renovated museum. A "Viertele" (quarter litre) of wine in the museum's Vinothek is the perfect way to round off the tour.
One of the nicest parts of Baden-Württemberg's capital and its surroundings can be seen on the Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH's Viniculture Tour. Knowledgeable guides provide a charming, witty and informative running commentary on all aspects of wine growing on this tour through the vineyards, which is available from May to October. On a visit to
two wine-growing estates, participants will learn interesting facts about modern wine production, its economic and ecological aspects and the care of the vines. The tour is rounded off by a Swabian supper with the group.