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Local white wines will make their appearance at many summer festivals in Germany.

Local white wines will make their appearance at many summer festivals in Germany. (iStock)

With their scary rides, fast-paced games of chance and loud midways, Germany’s famed “volksfests” promise days out packed with sensory stimulation. In contrast to these action-packed outings, the country’s wine fests promise a somewhat different vibe. Most such fests center around quality wines crafted with great care by local vintners, accompanied by regional specialties, and tend to usually (but not always) pack a more laid-back, mellow vibe than their volksfest counterparts. This is not to say all wine festivals are created equally, or lack in aspects such as music one can dance to all night or fun and games for young visitors. Careful planning will ensure you find the fest that’s just right for the company you’ll be keeping on your next day or night out.

For lovers of music across all genres — Wein am Stein, Würzburg: High in the hills overlooking the stately city by the Main, this fest comes with an almost non-stop beat. Crisp white wines— typically Silvaner, Bacchus or Müller-Thurgau, along with Rotlings for lovers of good rosés— are bound to taste particularly fine when sipped in one of Franconia’s most famous vineyards, the Würzburger Stein. Culinary specialties and a light show add to the festive ambiance.

The tail end of this two-week festival running through July 26 still has much to offer. Access to the event is by ticket only, with a handful of options available. While packages for groups of six or more inclusive of seating and beverages have mostly sold out by now, single-entry tickets will be available at the point of entry at a cost of 9 euros. Entry is from 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 3 p.m. on weekends. Those who arrive in good time have the best chance of securing a spot. The music plays until midnight on Friday and Saturday and until 11 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. Online: wein-am-stein.de

For jazz fans — Jazzwoche Oestrich-Winkel and Palatia Jazz: In the latter part of July each year, the cozy vintners’ courtyards of this town in the Rheingau that’s known for its top-notch Rieslings come alive with the sound of jazz in all its variations. In such intimate settings, the sound of swing, soul, blues and other world beats moves listeners in a way not possible at larger, more impersonal venues. Concerts are offered July 22-25 and 27-31. Ticket prices begin at 15 euros and can be booked online in advance. Entry to the evening concerts starts from 6 p.m., and the concerts begin at 8 p.m. On Sundays, entry is from 11 a.m. and the music plays from noon on. Online: jazzclub-rheingau.de

The Palatia Jazz Festival, which usually sprawls across several venues, centers around a single location this year. On four evenings over two weekends, artists will take to the stage at the Weingut Ökonomierat Lind in Rohrbach, a town near Landau on the German Wine Road. This year’s program, which always includes international artists, focuses on Eastern Europe. Musicians from Poland and Ukraine take to the stage, as well as the trio with whom American pianist Gerald Clayton plays. Concert dates are July 22-23 and July 29-30, and each concert is a double bill featuring two groups. Ticket prices range from 25 to 45 euros. Online: palatiajazz.de

For parents in need of a break — Rheingauer Weinwoche: Wiesbaden’s wine fest is held smack-dab in the center of Hesse’s elegant capital city, making it the place to see and be seen. With over 100 winemakers present, organizers bill it as the world’s longest wine bar. Tasty regional fare from local restaurants and caterers, coupled with a variety of musical acts on stage nightly, make a visit during any one of its opening days between Aug. 12-21 a treat. Weary parents can cop a break on weekends, when the local “Evangelische Familien-Bildungsstätte” offers baby-sitting services. Children between the ages of five and 11 can engage in painting, games, arts and crafts or other fun pursuits as their parents enjoy some alone time. Childcare is offered from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 11 and 18 and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 19. On the Saturday dates, the hourly cost is 4 euros per children and an additional 2 euros per hour for each sibling; on Sundays, the service is offered for free. The premises are also available for parents to use for nursing and diaper changing. No advance registration is required for the childcare services. The facility is located on the fourth floor of the building located at Schlossplatz 4. Online: tinyurl.com/2jvaxrv5

Something for everyone — Stuttgarter Weindorf: The Stuttgart Wine Village is known and loved for its stands decorated with particular care and attention to detail; some 30 such “arbors” offer the chance to sample regional wines such as Trollinger, Spätburgunder or Riesling paired Swabian specialities such as the ravioli-like “maultaschen,” the cheesy noodle dish “käsepätzle” or the gnocchi-esque “schupfnudeln.”

The festival, which runs from Aug. 21 through Sept. 4 in 2022, offers elements of interest to a variety of visitors. Sundays (Aug. 21, 28 and Sept. 4) begin at noon with short church services held on the steps of the Town Hall to fitting musical accompaniment. Sundays are also known as family days, with enough clowns, balloons, storytellers, face painters and games to keep the young ones happily occupied as their parents sip and savor. The LGBT community has its day on Aug. 29, when those from the Christopher Street Day Stuttgart organization mix it up with a colorful program. The culinary-curious are sure to enjoy "Öchsle im Keller, Leckereien auf dem Teller,” a tour of the market inclusive of wine tasting and nibbles, offered at 3 p.m. Aug. 19-20, 26-27 and Sept. 2-3. The 2.5 hour tour costs 33 euros per head and must be arranged in advance by writing to info@translang.de. Online: stuttgarter-weindorf.de


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