Monday, January 26, 2015

The Freinsheim Rotweinwanderung

On Saturday, a group of us boarded the train and headed out to the Freinsheim Rotweinwanderung, or red wine hike. It began on Friday night with a torchlit hike through the vineyards just outside of town and continued until Sunday.

From the train station, it was about a 15 minute walk through town to the vineyards. Various restaurants and wine makers set up along the path and offered regional wines and food. At the beginning, there were covered, long wagons where people could enjoy wine with friends. One wagon was rocking as the jolly inhabitants were singing and (presumably) dancing as much as is possible in such tight confines.

The wagons on the right offer a respite from the snow and a place to eat.
The event began at 11:30 a.m. and lasted until 6:00 p.m. By the time we arrived just before 3, people were in high spirits and quite merry, despite the chill in the air and the sleety snow falling. Our group perused the various food offerings, sampling the Flammkuchen (delicious) and hearty soups such as potato and pumpkin. We also saw Reibekuchen/Kartoffelpuffer/latkes, plenty of wurst, and of course, the regional specialty and Helmut Kohl's favorite thing to foist upon unsuspecting foreign visitors, Saumagen.

The hike took us up the vineyard hill where we found more stands. We availed ourselves of the Glühwein, a hot, mulled wine that was perfect to take away the chill. 6:00 came too soon for us as we reluctantly headed back to the train station.

The Rotweinwanderung is a wonderful way to experience the specialties of the Pfalz and to live like the Germans do. In other words, it means enjoying the outdoors, even though it might be snowy and cold. Dress warmly*, bring some friends, ride the train, and drink some wine. It's all part of the good life!

*If you really want to fit in with the Germans, wear Jack Wolfskin clothing ;)

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