There are more than a thousand wine festivals taking place every year in Germany’s wine growing regions, from the largest wine event in the world to local festivals in charming villages along the rivers Rhine, Mosel, Elbe, and Main.
Peak time of Germany's wine festival season is August and September, but many villages and vineyards celebrate the grape throughout spring and summer.
Almond Blossom Festival in March
The small town of Gimmeldingen along the German Wine Road hosts the first wine festival of the year: Between mid-March and April, when almond blossoms paint the countryside in white and pink, the Mandelbluetenfest ("Almond Blossom Festival") kicks off Germany’s wine festival season. Bakeries sell flower-shaped sugar cookies adorned with pink icing, and wine stands offer fruity Reisling and Pinot Noir.
Although this wine festival is officially called Wurstmarkt ("sausage market"), it is famous for its celebration of excellent local wines. Located in Bad Duerkheim in Rhineland Palatinate, Germany's second largest wine growing region, the Wurstmarkt prides itself in being the world's biggest wine festival. This culinary event has been celebrated every September for almost 600 years.
German Grape Harvest Festival
Wine festivals are celebrated in and around Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, which is a stop at the German Wine Road, all throughout summer. One of the best events here is the German Grape Harvest Festival in October, when wine queens from various wine growing regions come together to elect the “German Wine Queen”. A colorful Thanksgiving parade through the cobblestone streets of the old town ends this 100-year old wine festival.
Mainz celebrates the wine season with a Weinmarkt ("wine market"), which takes place in the city’s picturesque parks and rose gardens. Wash down your local fare with light white wines and rosés, then wander the parks and enjoy arts and crafts stands, music, and rides.
Frankfurt Rheingau Festival
In Frankfurt, over 600 wines from vintners of the Rheingau region are poured at the Rheingau Wine Festival every September. Celebrated in the heart of the city, the fair takes place adjacent to the “Fressgasse”, Frankfurt’s pedestrian street, which is famous for its restaurants and cafes. Don’t leave without trying a Riesling, the signature wine of the Rheingau region.
Every August and September, over a million wine aficionados pour into the city of Stuttgart to celebrate the "Stuttgart Wine Village", one of the largest and most charming wine festivals in Germany. At 120 traditionally decorated alcoves, you can try over 250 regional wines, including Trollinger, Riesling, Kerner, and Müller-Thurgau, complementing Swabian delicacies such as Spaetzle and Maultaschen.
All along the river Mosel, you’ll find local wine festivals from April to October; one of the best ones takes place in September in the village of Bernkastel Kues. Highlights of the wine festival include fireworks displays with the Landshut Castle as a backdrop, the crowning of the local Weinkoenigin (Wine Queen), and the traditional parade of vintners through the village.