Oh yeah, time to hit up the German wine again — this time in the town of Nackenheim in wonderful Rhenish Hesse; which, coincidentally is part of the Collective Municipality of Bodenheim.
I know, that doesn’t really matter too much — get to the good stuff, right? ;-)
The good stuff of Nackenheim is much more than just its sprawling vineyards. This is a town with Stone Age beginnings, where Hallstatt Culture thrived, the Romans fiercely defended, and the Franks buried their dead; a seriously long history, no?
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Nackenheim is also the hometown of German writer, Carl Zuckmayer; a handsome fellow so extremely anti-Nazi his works were banned during the years of the Third Reich, and forced to flee his homeland. To honor its famous resident a bust of him is found at the Village Administration Center.
Here’s a great opportunity to discuss his various works over a glass of wine at one of the local wineries, like the Weingut Gunderloch, which has been around since 1890 — that’s more than a 100 years of wine making goodness.
You better wait to do that if you’re going to visit the Baroque St. Gereon Church. Much older than this early 18th century church are the ruins of Burg Schwabsburg, a proper medieval castle from the 13th century that was destroyed some 400 years later during the Thirty Years’ War; it’s 22 meter high tower makes for a wonderful lookout to see those fantastic vineyards and orchards though.
Another great way to see the Rhenish Hesse countryside is to travel along the RheinTerassenWeg, a 60 km bicycle route running between Mainz and Worms along the Rhine. Just don’t go too far, you’ll want to see the Local History Museum that’s full of exhibits on everything from the Neolithic period, to the works of Mr. Zuckmayer, and even gravestones from the 17th and 18th centuries.
What’s great about Nackenheim is its ability to mix history with great parties. The town hosts a wonderful Wine Festival every July, plus its own Corpus Christi Parish Festival, another Kirchweihfest in September, a Christmas Market on the second Sunday of Advent, and honors its nature conservation area islands with an Island Festival. Consider these more chances to sample the wines of the region.
Ain’t that reason enough to stay for a while? ;-)