Oestrich-Winkel is a Hessian town where wine reigns supreme. Even the town’s landmark is an old 18th century crane used to load the wine onto ships.
The annual Reingau Music Festival might not be part of the wine culture, but it is held in a former winery. It’s the Lenchenfest that’s a big part of viticulture, its Oestrich-Winkel’s wine festival.
It is more than likely that you’ll find some great bottles of the good stuff to take home at the town’s Christmas Market or its Dippenmarkt with “fun fair.”
OK, Oestrich-Winkel isn’t all wine, there’s music, too. And during the town’s Jazz Week, it’s a great time to do both. There are also many musical concerts held at the church of St. Aegidius.
The basilica of St. Aegidius is a true piece of Oestrich-Winkel’s history, built back around the year 1130. Yes, that makes the church almost 900 years old.
Other little delights can be found around Oestrich-Winkel and her two other hamlets. In Hallgarten there are some great timber framed buildings and an early 15th century Madonna statue. A “sister” statue sits in the famous Louvre Museum in Paris.
Usually where you find a bunch of half-timbered buildings there’s a castle lurking nearby. In Oestrich-Winkel Schloss Vollrads is that castle. It also helps keep the wine culture alive and well as it has been growing grapes since 1211, while the Burg itself was built over ancient Roman ruins.
Besides being filled with amazing artwork (and gold leather wallpaper) the Schloss has a small restaurant that’s open from Easter to the end of October. Here’s a great opportunity to have some delicious regional specialties and a locally bottled Riesling!
Don’t worry if you want to imbibe a little. Oestrich-Winkel has quite a few guesthouses (including wine estates) that offer cozy accommodation but wine tastings, as well.
See, it’s true; wine does reign in this part of Hesse. Care to join me for a drink? :-)