A mild climate, steep vineyards and lovely winemakers – for more than 1200 years wine characterizes the relaxed way of life in Franconia. We took a short break in the hills along the river Main and walked along amazings trails to surprisingly modern wine bars, fantastic restaurants with view and a new Skywalk.
My highlights in Franconia:
♥ Hiking trail along the Main
♥ Wine tasting at the Georg Zang estate in Sommerach
♥ Regional food at the restaurant Vogelsburg genießen
Bocksbeutel stands for quality
Who does not have one or another typical Bocksbeutel in the wine cellar? The bulbous bottle is world famous and is regarded as the distinctive mark of a classic Franconian wine – no matter whether it is a Sylvaner, Müller-Thurgau or Bacchus. Only very special vineyard wines and selected varieties are allowed to be bottled in the green Bocksbeutel bottle, so that is a guarantee of quality.
Of course, the region has much more to offer than the traditional Franconian wine because young winemakers noew serve uncomplicated, fruity wines for every day, and the seal “Big Franks’ stands for the highest quality level of Sylvaner, Riesling and burgundy – and of course the fine, sweet wines.
Hiking along the “Mainschleife”
A good third of Franconian vineyards are located at the sunny slopes of the Main loop at Volkach in the heart of Franconia. Right here we enjoyed a hiking tour and found interesting wine paths, panoramic trails through the vineyards and amazing wineries.
By the way: Almost every weekend there is a wine event in one of the quaint wine villages – not only for grape harvest in autumn but also even now! We checked out the the wine tour, which was organized by the wine cooperative in Sommerach that already exists since 1901 and now processes the grapes from more than 100 families to the highest quality wines. In addition to the tasting of fresh Secco and classic Franconian wines we also had a view at the historical cellars, stroll along the vineyards and learned about the secret behind the name of the sunny vineyard Katzenkopf (head of a cat).
Our excursion tip: Wine walk high above the Mainschleife
In bright sunshine we walk from the market square of the historic city in Volkach across the main bridge directly to the vineyards that rise steeply above the Main and the broad floodplain. The trail offers panoramic views over the so called wine island, which is framed by the old Main and the channel. Here you will find the popular wine villages Nordheim and Sommerach.
Enjoy lunch at the castle Vogelsburg
After a few kilometers we reach the castle Vogelsburg , part of the famous winery called Juliusspital. The restaurant serves excellent Franconian cuisine. Completely new is the “Skywalk”, which does not have a glass bottom but however offers a panoramic view over the vineyards and the river Main and is now one of the most photographed places in Franconia. .
Detour to the winery of Horst Sauer
After lunch we climb steep stairs down to the vineyards of Escherndorf, a small wine village right at the Main. The place is one the hottest locations in Franconia and it is called the Escher Lump. From this hill the outstanding wines of Horst Sauer came from. In the village we stopped at the modern tasting rooms and try Sylvaner, Riesling and Müller-Thurgau. My personal favorite – especially on hot days – is the easy and uncomplicated Roting “Just light red” of the award-winning winemaker.
From Escherndorf we took the ferry across the Main to Nordheim and visited the vineyards of Waldemar Braun. The family has made their dream of owning an winery come true in 1985 and since then, the cultivate their vineyards on the wine island with passion. We taste the modern Franconian wines and a special feature, the Vagabond, the Franconian answer to the Port wine. With a detour to the vine path we walk back to Volkach – always along Silvaner and Domina in the vineyards.
Be sure to visit the estate of Georg Zang
On our way home we made a detour to Sommerach. For years, we regularly visit the winery Winzer Georg Zang and taste his young and classic wines. Today he leads us even in his inner sanctum and shows us the wine cellar of his estate. This year’s favorite is the “understatement” – a powerful Silvaner!
Details about the wine region Franconia
The wine area Franconia between Bamberg and Aschaffenburg covers over 6,000 hectares, the vineyards are planted to 80 percent with white varieties. The most widely planted grape is the Müller-Thurgau, however, the Silvaner is considered as the classic “franconia grape”, which grows here since the mid of the 17th century. Besides Riesling, Bacchus and White Burgundy also red grapes such as the Blue Pinot Noir or the Domina are cultivated. Rising popularity enjoys the Franconian Rotling, which is not a grape variety, but a refreshing type of wine that is pressed from red and white grapes.
Find more information, brochures and maps at www.fraenkisches-weinland.de