Bernkastel Wine Region
Vivid Centre of the Moselle Valley
Mosel Riesling and picturesque wine villages with their beautiful half-timbered houses made the Bernkastel Wine Region famous. Here is truly the vivid centre of the Moselle Valley. The region's town of Bernkastel-Kues — the international town of vine and wine — is its most successful ambassador around the world. The wine and local cuisine alone makes a holiday here worthwhile.
The Bernkastel Wine Region is located in the Moselle-Saar holiday region, approximately 29 km to the west of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).
The Moselle-Saar is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. Of the Rhine's tributaries, the Moselle is considered the loveliest. Idyllic wine villages perched on steep, vine-clad slopes, and romantic little towns with a medieval feel, such as Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues, lend the Moselle valley its unique character. Trier, over 2,000 years old, is the oldest town in Germany and its stone relics dating back to Roman times have now been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. Come and discover for yourself the jovial hospitality of local Moselle people — and don't forget to treat yourself to a delicious glass of that famous local Riesling. ... read more about the Moselle-Saar holiday region
Broad meadows and fields, a wood, a curve in the road and then a captivating view: The deeply carved Moselle Valley is majestically spread out before you with seemingly endless vineyards on its steep slopes and thick belts of forest along the heights of Germany's Eifel and Hunsrück region. Whether plateau or river landscape, old cities or villages, the Bernkastel wine-growing and holiday region is always good for a surprising view. Everyone can discover this region for himself. Whether you seek nature or the high life or wish to discover old cultural treasures or enjoy the sun or get to know friendly people and/or the wine.
Goethe was of the opinion that an intelligent person could obtain the best education while travelling. You can test the truth of this statement by visiting the Bernkastel Wine Region. Where else can you idly stroll, as it were, through the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance into the Baroque period to then find yourself back in a land of half-timbered houses. Is there anywhere else where you can simultaneously acquaint yourself with 2,000 years of wine-growing tradition, follow the footsteps of the Moselle's most famous son, Nikolaus Cusanus, marvel at the world's most valuable private library in the St. Nikolaus Hospital, take home a musical experience of international standing from the Moselfestwochen (Moselle Festival Week) or undertake an in-depth journey into the dialect landscape during the Moselle Franconian Dialect Days. In any case, we recommend that you not forget to bring your camera along.
3.1 Sea of Grapes
The Bernkastel Wine Region is a cluster of famous vineyards, a hilly region with undulating slopes all carpeted in vines. Hills stretching out down the river valley, a sea of grapes, villages strung out along the river banks like romantic little islands, pretty alleyways, wine taverns and a great sense of joie de vivre. Moselle slate, Riesling and famous Moselle figures, such as the philosopher Nicholas of Cusa, are also defining influences. Culture buffs, gourmets and wine lovers are all perfectly catered for.
3.2 Wine-Tasting & Straußwirtschaften
The best place for visitors to sample wine is directly at the producer. In addition to wine, many vintners also offer regional specialities, often in old wine cellars, winepress houses or quaint courtyards. Enjoy the distinctive personal atmosphere of the Straußwirtschaften (seasonal wine rooms). Or watch for the label ‘Haus der Besten Schoppen’ (best glass of wine). Wineries and restaurants with this label offer a selection of exceptional wines of the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer region. This highly qualified distinction has been awarded to an increasing number of catering firms in the Moselle region. Simply sample the different wines to decide which wine you prefer with the different menus.
3.3 Holidays on a Vineyard Guesthouse
Many vintners' houses in the Bernkastel Wine Region offer unique holiday accommodation. After a tour of the vineyards and a wine tasting session, the guest can lie back blissfully in a featherbed. Wine tasting in the cellar in the evening, a champagne breakfast in bed in the morning — including the magnificent view of the vineyards — is a must for everyone looking for a very special holiday.
Where there is wine, festivals are never far away. The wine villages of the Bernkastel Wine Region invite you to visit one of the many events, always against a historical backdrop. The locals here know how to celebrate. With a glass full of joie de vivre at one of the wine and street festivals, inviting you to taste further delicious specialties.
- It is truly the ‘International Town of Vine and Wine’. You can see and experience a lot in Bernkastel-Kues. It is particularly famous for its unique Market square and the many well preserved half-timbered houses. Bernkastel-Kues is the centre of the Middle Moselle. Its unmistakeable identity arises out of the multiplicity of its attractions: its culture, its history, the high quality of its wines and variety of festivals. ... read more in the Bernkastel-Kues Travel Guide
- The well-known wine village of Wehlen is now a part of the municipality of Bernkastel-Kues. The place is probably of Celtic origin and in medieval documents it is mentioned under the names of Wenelon, Walen, Wellen, the first documentary evidence appearing in 873 A.D. The all important topic here is the wine from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyards which has made this village world famous among wine experts. It is not surprising then that these wines which grow on the steep slate slopes around Wehlen enthuse the hearts of all those who love wine.
- Curiosity upon curiosity ... starting with the church tower topped with the Moselle's one and only onion dome and by no means ending with this, the only non-denominational church for miles around. No less curious is the fact that the Merovingian King Childebert and Prince Charles have at least one thing in common: their taste for Brauneberger wine. A taste shared, by the way, by numerous other VIPS from Napoleon to Thomas Jefferson. It's no wonder that, for the sake of simplicity, the town was named after its most famous vineyard.
- Bridges are built in Burgen ... and in more ways than one. Not only has Burgen, thanks to the River Frohn which flows right through the middle of the village, far more bridges than any other town in the region, but it also constitutes a bridge to the 2000-year history to which the name Burgen still bears witness. Over the years, the erstwhile Roman bastion of Burgus has become today's Burgen which, because somewhat off the beaten track, has managed to retain all the charm of a pastoral idyll.
- ‘In the beginning ... God created Heaven and Earth’ — or so it says in the Bible. The order in which creation is supposed to have taken place makes the inhabitants of Erden (the German word for Earth) particularly proud. But even if Erden isn't quite the oldest village in the world, it is at least one of the most famous. And why? Because of its world-famous vineyards, of course. And where better to taste this wine than in the restorative peace of an enclosed, historical village with quiet nooks and crannies, narrow lanes and splendid half-timbered buildings.
- Heaven on earth ... can be experienced in Graach in a number of ways: Perhaps by a walk through one of the Moselle's most famous vineyards, the so-called ‘Graacher Himmelreich’ (Graach Heaven), or by savouring the wine itself and, of course, by admiring the panoramic view of the Moselle from Zeltingen-Schäferei, some 300 m up. All of which, reinforced by the typical, idyllic atmosphere of an ancient wine-making village coupled with an attractive selection of restaurants, promises a truly heavenly holiday.
- An old haunt of the Emperor. The inhabitants of Lieser are proud of their tradition, whether it be the 2000 years of viticulture that have made the town famous throughout the world or the Thurn und Taxis staging post — the only one of its kind in the Moselle region from 1516 till 1728 — or the fact that at the turn of the century, Lieser or, to be more precise, Lieser's fairytale castle and seat of the Minister of State, the Baron of Schorlemer-Lieser, was among the German Emperor's favourite haunts. The typical Moselle romance of this idyllic wine-making town and its wide range of restaurants ensure that you will feel just at home here as did once the Emperor himself.
- In former time, the Celts and Romans settled here and knew to appreciate the special beauty of the landscape. Today, Lösnich has become one of the insider tips for tourists. You should spend your vacation here, if you want to come to know the Moselle wine and river! A warm welcome will await you everywhere: in the hotels and inns as well as in cosy wine pubs and private guest-houses. The central location, the numerous possibilities to relax and gather new impressions make this little wine village to a vacation destination of increasing popularity.
- ‘20 passengers, 41 crew members and 48 bottles of Mühlheimer Sonnenlay on board’ ... reported the airship LZ 127 ’Graf Zeppelin’ on August 15th, 1929. It was on this, its virgin flight, an absolute sensation throughout the world which set new standards for international transportation, that Mülheimer wine became the favourite of all the Zeppelin voyages that were to follow and which gave it the nickname ‘King of the Air’. You too can confirm this recommendation, and not only by visiting the ‘Mühlheimer Market’ — the only wine festival in this region to be held in mid-week.
- Lights! Sound! Music! Shhh! We're shooting a film. New tales of the Zerfass family, new episodes of the popular television soap opera, ‘Moselbrück’. And believe it or not, this series has proved successful not only in Germany, but also in Austria and — gasp — even in France! The main set, as always, is the idyllic town of Ürzig. Content: High spirits and general satisfaction countered by competitiveness, generation conflicts and family quarrels. In short, an insight into the everyday life of a vintner. And once you're here, you'll quickly realize why the television producers selected Ürzig and its charming surrounding for this series.
- Pleasure for a prince is to be found in the Moselle's most beautiful tributary valley: The conquering of the former seat of the Counts of Veldenz, a crucial point in history of a very special kind. With influential contacts to German kings and emperors and even to the Swedish monarchy. With the largest of all the Moselle's 12th century castles and the oldest town charter in the entire region. No wonder that here, where for centuries princes congregated, visitors to the Moselle still linger. To say nothing of the splendidly peaceful surroundings and lovely townscape, winner of several prizes.
- Calm and without haste the river Moselle engraves its magnificent countryside. Wintrich is a cordial and friendly place, modern but also romantic, and the ideal place to enjoy both, wine and vacation. Lots of activities and festivals around the wine arranged in the midst of the half-timbered houses, create a pleasant and inviting atmosphere. Comfortable hotels and guest houses and cosy wine tasting rooms offer the best conditions for the whole family to spend an ideal vacation at Wintrich. Together with your children you will relax in doing easy biking tours, along the Moselle river. On extra biking trails you will enjoy the extraordinary landscape. One of the major events taking place at Wintrich is the Passion play, performed here since 100 years in five-years-turns. The touching performance of the Christ's Passion is renowned far across the borders.
- It may surprise you to hear it, but Zeltingen-Rachtig really is the Moselle region's capital when it comes to operetta. The medieval marketplace provides a natural stage and it goes without saying that the performers, singers, dancers and musicians are locals. In other words, the entire wine making town works on productions of the ‘Zeltinger Himmelreich’. You will encounter the tradition behind this wine wherever you go in the picturesque town of Zeltingen-Rachtig, whether it be during a stroll among the vine-growing estates, a saunter down romantic lanes or a hike through the vineyards. And your own enjoyment of the wine, in a little wine bar perhaps or a cosy pub, a comfortable restaurant or hotel, will make you feel truly at home — only much happier. It doesn't matter whether you are there to rest and relax or to enjoy sports and games. The wide range of leisure activities and events that Zeltingen-Rachting has to offer will be soon make you forget all your other cares and enable you to enjoy your holiday to the full.
- Gornhausen has 260 residents. This small village is the right place to relax. It is surrounded by the Hunsrück woodlands and its location offers a very healthy climate all year round. Gornhausen is characterized by its typical Hunsrück village charm, its mountainous country side and beautiful meadows among the timber forest. Ramblers, mountain bikers and cyclists will enjoy the opportunities Gornhausen offers.
- A typical Hunsrück village with half-timbered houses and the famous slate roofs. Kleinich offers many opportunities to ramblers and biker to discover the charm of the Hunsrück. An extensive network of hiking trails through meadows and woodlands make your excursion an unforgettable experience. The ideal place for nature enthusiasts and those interested in picturesque villages.
- This village is also know as the ‘Gateway of the Hunsrück to the Moselle’. Picturesquely situated in the Hunsrück woodlands above the Moselle valley, it is the ideal location for holidaymakers all year round. Located above the two Moselle towns of Bernkastel-Kues and Traben-Trarbach (only 8 km away) make it perfect for a family vacation. A romantic landscape, woodlands and meadows make Longkamp a paradise for ramblers. An extensive network of hiking trails offers you a great opportunity to explore the beautiful heights of the Hunsrück and the picturesque river landscape of the Moselle.
There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.
Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has no direct railway or bus connection to Bernkastel-Kues. However, the buses from the airport will take you to railway stations where you can connect with Deutsche Bahn trains or local transport links.