Spoiler alert: This event is (so far) only available in German language. But that might change over time!
Wine hikes in winter…?
I don’t know how you feel about winter, but once the xmas glow is over, the cold and grey months can become quite dull, at least for me. That’s why I’m always planning some of fun stuff to do, especially in January. That’s how I came across the web page “Weinerlebnis Stuttgart” (Wine experience Stuttgart), which already sounded good to me! The page, founded last year by Karin Nehls, mainly offers… wine hikes. I’ve actually discovered wine hikes as a new hobby when I moved to Stuttgart, because it’s one of the fun things to do here. But usually those wine hikes take place in May or July, with the sun out, your shorts on and a glass of cool white wine in your hand! (Click here, to see where) But in this case, “Weinerlebnis Stuttgart” offered a little tour named “Winterglühen” (Winter glowing) through the vineyards, at the beginning of January with some Glühwein (mulled wine) and chili instead. I was totally curious, so I booked the tour, right away.
The history of traditional wine growing and its Stäffele
The guided tour happened to take place in the very outskirts of Stuttgart, between Rohracker and Wangen, starting at the foot of the vineyards. In winter time, we’ve found out, the tour is actually more of a nice short walk than a real hike (due to the weather condition) where Karin stops every now and then, to tell the group about traditional winegrowing in the region. There we’ve also learned that she is a graphic designer and married to one of the owners of the young KSK vintage vinery, who grow their wines exactly there. The terraces of the vineyards are so steep, that they can’t be worked on with machines. That’s why the KSK vintage vinery grows their wine like a hundred years ago by manual work. This is clearly where the word “vintage” comes into play. “Why on earth are they doing this?” one might think. Well, simply because vineyards are closing off and being sold left and right and they want to keep the old tradition. And this production is also much more eco-friendly, by the way.
The vineyards are crossed by lots of paths and trails (the so called “Stäffele”, you might have heard about them) and some of them are up to 800 years old. Each one of them has a different behind it, so it seems. The steep, small paths were used for transportation and to manage the vineyards. Also to get to church, if you weren’t lucky enough to have your own in the village. I’ve already felt sorry for those guys, after the first quite steep 500 meters, haha!
Finally, Glühwein, chili and chimney!
After three more stops and 45 minutes later, we’ve arrived at a small weekend house, located aside of the vineyards. And there, the relaxed part of the evening began! Once the oven was heated and and the candles were lit , we were trying to warm ourselves up in the cozy atmosphere, Karin created. She then offered us some really nice chili (con and sin) carne as well as the promised mulled wine – and although we didn’t walk terribly far before, we really felt we deserved it :-), of course! The ones that were even more thirsty (us, for example) could have a refill for 3 € or some bottles from the KSK wine selection. All in all it was a very nice way to spend a sunny winter day with a nice bunch of people, some food, some wine and a little bit of knowledge about traditional wine growing and culture in this region.
Info and booking
wines and vinery:
25€ per person, including a guided walk, plus one portion of chili and 1 mulled wine per person (you can buy more wine, if you like)
Kids friendly: 8€ for kids up to 16 years