The 18th-century Mistake That Led To A New Wine: Cruising Through The History Of The Rhine

Posted: Aug 29, 2019

Our freewheeling descent from Schloss Vollrads was sweeter than the late-harvest Riesling, for which the fairy-tale castle and Germany’s Rheingau region is famous.

The ascent by bicycle turned out to be much steeper than it had first appeared when we spotted the 13th century winery’s onion-dome towers glinting in the distance. But the short arduous climb was well worth it. Panoramic eye-candy views of pin-neat vineyards greeted us all around.

Satiated with scenic views – it was a little early for a tipple – we cycled on. Johannisburg Castle, our next stop, was where late-harvest Riesling wine (Spätlese) was accidentally discovered in 1775. According to our guide, a courier sent to the schloss owner, the prince-abbot of Fulda, seeking permission for the harvest to begin was delayed by several weeks. By the time he returned, the grapes were rotten. They were harvested and vinified anyway and a new sweeter style of wine was born.

Back in the saddle, we rode past decorative home wineries, the Benedictine Abbey of St Hildegard, sleepy white-washed towns, and along the banks of the Rhine. There we saw the remains of the Hindenburg railway bridge destroyed by the Germans during World War Two to stop advancing Allied troops.

The reward for climbing each vineyard? A large glass of Reisling, of course.
I arrived back at the AmaKristina, exhilarated from the 15-mile ride, which was a highlight of my first river cruise.

By Kathryn Liston
August 28, 2019
Source and complete article: The Telepgraph

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