Abundant wine festivals will pour in across the Continent in coming weeks.

Abundant wine festivals will pour in across the Continent in coming weeks. (iStock)

From droughts to deluges, there’s always something unexpected winemakers are forced to contend with. But by now, the grapes have had their days in the sun, and harvest time looms across Europe. To celebrate another year of plenty, make way to one of the abundant wine festivals to be staged over the next several weekends.


Baden: From Sept. 2-3 and Sept. 9-10, the Wienerwald thermal spa region turns into a massive wine bar. The place to be in this convivial area just south of Vienna is along the so-called Water Pipe Hiking Trail, a vineyard-studded, 10-mile stretch running between the towns of Mödling and Bad Vöslau. Here, some 80 winegrowers will be serving wine, pear cider and the new wine locally referred to as “storm” alongside the culinary specialties of the region. The “pleasure mile” will be set up between noon and 7:30 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. Entry is free. Online:

Czech Republic

Prague: The Vinohrady Wine Festival focuses wines from the regions of Moravia and Bohemia, as well as some vintages from abroad. Visitors can also enjoy burčák, the new, still-fermenting wine, alongside cheese, sausage and raclette. Musical performances and a children’s program enliven the proceedings. The festival takes place from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 8-9 at the Jiřího z Poděbrad Square. Online:

Znojmo: The handsome hill town of Znojmo in South Moravia sets the stage for a festival taking visitors back in time. Knights on horseback, staged battles, military encampment, jesters and fair maidens create the appropriate Middle Ages appeal for guests as they stroll from one historical wine stand to the next. Culinary treats, concerts and open-air theater round out the program that’s set to unfold Sept. 8-10. A festivity highlight are the parades featuring King John of Bohemia; these take place from 8 p.m. Friday and from 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Znojmo Wine Festival is a ticketed event and prices vary by the day; admission to Saturday’s program costs 600 Czech Koruna (about $27). Children up to the age of 15 enter for free. Online:

Mělník: This historic town perched high above the confluence of the Elbe and Vltava rivers hosts its annual homage to wine Sept. 15-17. Winemakers from throughout the Czech Republic and beyond serve up their best vintages as a varied program of entertainment takes place across four stages. Reenactors in period costume and musicians playing instruments from centuries back lend the festival its medieval flair. Culinary specialties and craft stalls round out the offerings. Mělník’s 14th-century chateau and ossuary give visitors yet another good reason to make time for this festival. Single-day entry tickets go for 250 Czech Koruna. Online:


Chablis: The Chablis Wine Festival takes place in the stunning Burgundy growing region Oct. 21-22. Considered a major event in the world of wine, visitors come from around the world to discover Chablis by means of a program made up of tastings, seminars, themed dinners, auctions and other related activities. Food stands serving local specialties, a concert and a parade are sure to make the 75th edition of this fest as successful as all its predecessors. Festival hours are 12:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 21 and 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 22. Entry is free, but to taste the wine, a special tasting glass must be obtained at a cost of 6 euros. Online:


Russin: This town just outside Geneva is set to hold its annual Fête des Vendanges, or grape harvest festival, Sept. 15-17. In addition to sampling the region’s best drops and culinary treats, visitors can look forward to a family friendly program with plenty of activities for children. The Marche du Terroir offers visitors the opportunity to sample the fruit and veg of the region as they stroll through town. The grand parade set for 2 p.m. Sept. 17 is another program highlight. Online:

Neuchâtel: as the last weekend of September rolls around, all the stops are pulled out to celebrate the harvest in grand style, and from Sept. 22-24, things will be no different. The first night, always a Friday, is celebrated by means of a massive parade featuring Guggenmusik, lively brass and drum music associated with carnival. Saturday afternoon’s parade is made up of children in costume, whereas Sunday’s procession features a sea of flower-bedecked floats, many showcasing the implements traditionally used to cultivate grapes. A bracelet granting entrance to the festival costs 10 or 20 Swiss Francs, depending on date of attendance. Those under the age of 12 enter free. Online:

Döttingen: This largely agricultural town of some 4000 residents sat at the confluence of the Surb and Aare rivers plays host to the largest wine festival in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. From Sept. 29-Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary edition of this fest will bring its brand of fun to the municipality found just a few miles across the German border. Amongst the program highlights are a competition between street artists and a wonderfully diverse selection of musical groups on stage on Saturday, along with a winegrower’s parade on Sunday. At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, there will be an attempt to set a world record for the most people standing in a row and toasting one another. Online:

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