In many of Germany’s wine regions, vineyards double as giant playgrounds, a sprawling, atmospheric backdrop for wine festivals, hikes and culinary experiences. One of the season’s first opportunities to get out and enjoy wine culture comes Sunday, April 10. Oppenheim, a small city on the Rhine between Mainz and Worms, hosts the spring edition of its Schlemmerwanderung, a culinary hike through the vineyards.

The pace is slow, the slopes aren’t too steep and the stops are frequent along the hike’s 4-mile course. Ten stands along the route serve some of the region’s best wines, from elegant Rieslings to aromatic Grauburgunders. The culinary offerings include grilled steak and game, pasta dishes and tempting cakes. Kids can enjoy a jumpy castle, a stuffed wild animal display, hay bales and castle ruins. The route is suitable for baby strollers.

The price of a festival glass — 2.50 euros ($2.85) — covers the cost of entry. Oppenheim is easily reached by rail; the train ride from Wiesbaden takes less than 40 minutes, with one connection at Mainz’s Roemisches Theater train station. Learn more at

Can’t make the Oppenheim event? Here are some other culinary hikes this spring from

Kirchheim an der Weinstrasse: Weinwanderwochenende “Rund um den Steinacker,” April 23-24;

Langenlonsheim: Lagenwanderung, April 23-24;

Boppard: Mittelrheinischer Weinfrühling, April 23;

Heppenheim: Bergstraesser Weinlagenwanderung, May 1;

Iphofen: Schwandertag, May 1;

Randersacker: Weinbergswanderung an Christi Himmelfahrt, May 5;

Eibelstadt: Weinbergswanderung am Pfingstmontag, May 16;

Neuweier: Tag der offenen Tür und Weinwandertag in Neuweier, May 29.

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