How is it even possible to fit yet another wine route into Germany? I don’t know how they do it, but aren’t you glad they did?
The Baden Wine Route (Badische Weinstrasse in German) isn’t very long, going some 200km (124mi) through the Baden part of Baden-Württemberg.
What? You didn’t know that Baden-Württemberg used to be two, no, three different areas known as Baden, Württemberg, and Hohenzollern?
Geography, politics, and history aren’t what’s on the menu here, though, it’s wine. So, let’s get started sucking down the vino. I mean, sampling the vino.
Start of the Baden Wine Route
The Baden Wine Route is divided into six sections that lead us through five gorgeous wine growing regions of the Baden wine: the Ortenau, the Kaiserstuhl, the Tuniberg, the Breisgau, and the Margraves’ Land.
Baden Wine Route — Section 1 — Ortenau
Baden-Baden – Sinzheim – Varnhalt – Steinbach – Neuweier – Eisental – Altschweier – Bühl – Bühlertal – Neusatz – Ottersweier – Lauf – Sasbach (Ortenau) – Achern – Obersasbach – Sasbachwalden – Kappelrodeck – Waldulm – Ringelbach – Oberkirch – Butschbach – Durbach – Rammersweier – Zell-Weierbach – Offenburg – Fessenbach – Ortenberg – Ohlsbach – Reichenbach – Gengenbach – Berghaupten – Zunsweier – Hofweier – Niederschopfheim – Diersburg – Oberschopfheim – Hohberg – Friesenheim – Heiligenzell – Lahr – Kippenheim – Mahlberg – Altdorf – Ettenheim – Ringsheim
The Baden Wine Route starts in Baden-Baden, a spa town of the Romans. In addition to the City Museum, the Roman Baths, the spas and casino, and the Summer Festival in June, there are a number of wine estates like the Gut Nägelsforst that serve not only a Chardonnay but wine jams too. Hmm, put that on some toast & you’ll be half-lit by the time you’re done. ;-)
You can pick up the Black Forest Spa Route and the Fantastic Road here, but you’re hunting down everything wine — so don’t leave me yet.
I guess I better whisk you off to Offenburg before you do. It really is all about the wine in Offenburg with a Wine Festival and Wine Hiking Days every September, and a Wine Show in May. Monks knew a lot about wine, so in their honor go visit the Franciscan Monastery.
Free guided City Tours of Offenburg are offered every year from March to October, which is a great way to see the former Jewish ritual baths. You’re more than welcome to see the former Royal Palace — but please behave yourself since it’s now a police station. ;-)
If you didn’t get arrested in Offenburg then it’s time to head to Lahr. While Lahr might be a wine town with its own Wine Festival in May, there’s a 3-week flower exhibition held every year in the Fall. During other times of the year you can take a guided City Tour, which would include a visit to the museum located in the former castle’s Storchenturm, the Wine Label Museum, and lots of timber-framed houses.
Baden Wine Route — Section 2 — Breisgau
Herbolzheim – Tutschfelden – Broggingen – Bleichheim – Wagenstadt – Kenzingen – Hecklingen – Malterdingen – Heimbach – Köndringen – Teningen – Mundingen – Emmendingen – Windenreute – Kollmarsreute – Sexau – Waldkirch – Buchholz – Glottertal – Denzlingen – Freiburg
Section 2 ends in Freiburg, a town as widely known for its asparagus as well as its wine (and for being the sunniest German town). I suppose this is why they’ve combined them at the annual Spargel & Wein Fest every May. In June, there is another festival, this time dedicated to just wine.
In between trying white and red wines, how about visiting Freiburg’s Contemporary Art Museum, its Early History Museum, its City History Museum, and its Cathedral with a tower that stands 116-meters high. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It gets better… Freiburg’s medieval history can be seen at its Schwabentor, Martinstor, and Breisachertor.
Off we go to the Kaiserstuhl, or Emperor’s Chair.
Baden Wine Route — Section 3 — Kaiserstuhl
Breisach – Ihringen – Wasenweiler – Bötzingen – Eichstetten – Bahlingen – Riegel – Endingen – Königschaffhausen – Leiselheim – Sasbach (Kaiserstuhl) – Jechtingen – Bischoffingen – Burkheim – Niederrotweil – Vogtsburg – Oberrotweil – Oberbergen – Schelingen
Breisach is one of the smallest towns on the Baden Wine Route yet is big on its wine roots. Romans started the grapes growing here in the volcanic soil, and today Breisach has wine shops, wine houses, wine co-ops, and lots and lots of chances for taste testing. Try the Burgundy and Pinot Noir, they’re pretty popular here in Breisach.
Just leave yourself some time to visit the town’s Museum of History (with exhibits dating back to the Stone Age), and the St. Stephen Cathedral.
Baden Wine Route — Section 4 — Tuniberg
Merdingen – Wasenweiler – Gottenheim – Waltershofen – Opfingen – Tiengen – Munzingen – Oberrimsingen – Gündlingen – Merdingen
Merdingen isn’t all that big either, just barely 2,600 residents, but has some of the biggest vineyards. Less people, more room for the grapes I guess. ;-)
Anyway, Merdingen not only has quiet country lanes that criss-cross the vineyards, but also those framework houses that everyone loves so much and an wonderful Baroque Church.
We’re now heading through the classy Margraves’ Land, Germany’s Tuscany. Note that there are two branches in this section — the Eastern Route (first) and the Main Route (last).
Baden Wine Route — Section 5 — Margraves’ Land East Route
Freiburg – St. Georgen – Ebringen – Pfaffenweiler – Kirchhofen – Ehrenkirchen – Staufen – Ballrechtingen-Dottingen – Sulzburg – Britzingen – Müllheim – Vögisheim – Feldberg – Obereggenen – Niedereggenen – Liel – Riedlingen – Holzen – Efringen-Kirchen
It’ll be easy to forget history (and just about everything else) when you’ve gotten to Müllheim in the Margraves’ Land. The warm climate (which is really agreeable with the Pinot grapes, BTW) and Wine Market in April make for a really good time.
Of course, so does the City Festival in July, as does the Regional History Museum, Agricultural Museum, and Textile History Museum.
Baden Wine Route — Section 6 — Margraves’ Land Main Route
Freiburg – St. Georgen – Schallstadt – Bad Krozingen – Heitersheim – Müllheim – Auggen – Schliengen – Bad Bellingen – Bamlach – Rheinweiler – Kleinkems – Istein – Efringen-Kirchen – Eimeldingen – Binzen – Lörrach – Ötlingen – Haltingen – Weil am Rhein
Would you believe there are some 12 wineries in the town of Schliengen, a place that doesn’t even have 5,400 residents? You’ll also find vintner co-ops, lots of wine tastings, and the Schloss Bürgeln that has the most fantastic views that overlook the vineyards.
Wow, I don’t even want to see the Wasserschloss Entenstein or the 17th century Lorettokapelle. Hmm, that’s saying a lot, isn’t it?
Lörrach is a warm, sunny place. And close to Switzerland. Not only will you find wineries, but also breweries. Beer and wine — this place I like.
But, I’ve got to say they have more than that… Lörrach has its own castle (Burg Rötteln), a sculpture path, hiking and biking trails, and the Museum am Burghof.
I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of the Baden Wine Route…
Weil am Rhein is charming with all its festivals, parks (including a waterpark), and its many vineyards. One of the best things about Weil am Rhein is just sitting back while sailing on the Rhine. With a glass of wine, of course! Would I suggest it any other way?
Baden Wine Route Web Site
Here’s the official Web site of the Baden Wine Route.