We opt for a combined excursion with a cruise through the World Heritage Valley, a walk through the Loreley town of St. Goarshausen and a wine tasting of the extraordinary kind in Rüdesheim. The romantic little town is both the starting and finishing point of our day trip. We set off at 9:15 a.m. at the KD jetty in Rüdesheim on-board the MS Stolzenfels. With its classic construction, the impressive ship is reminiscent of the KD’s “Wappen von Köln”. Our small travel group is in luck and gets places on the open deck. A few cool drinks are quickly ordered and the journey can begin into the heart of the picture-perfect idyll of the UNESCO World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley. Our first stop is the small town of St. Goarshausen at the foot of the legendary Loreley. We await the Loreley valley with great anticipation. But before the imposing rock formation comes into sight, we are captivated by the castles and fortresses on both banks of the Rhine.
More than 30 castles and fortresses are scattered along the approximately 67-kilometre stretch of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley between Rüdesheim and Koblenz. In purely mathematical terms, one of the old walls appears every two kilometres. A brief look over the railing and you could just about count them on your fingers. MS Stolzenfels moors in St. Goarshausen after two hours. We head towards the historic old town. The medieval part is a good 200 metres long and is bordered by two towers. Colloquially, this area is affectionately known as “Gäsegass”. The name calls back to the time when goats (Gäse) were scurrying around everywhere and were welcome fellow creatures. They provided milk and their meat and fur were also appreciated.
Nowadays, no bleating goats roam through the village, but we don’t have to search for long before we see the “Gäs” peeking cheekily around the corner. But it doesn’t make a sound. The monument in the form of a bronze sculpture even has a name − “Kätche”. We secretly stroke the little guy’s head. There’s nothing that says that doing so brings luck, but it can’t hurt. Who knows? After all, we are deep within the land of legends and myths. Not far from the “Kätche” is “Ernst, der Salmfischer”, another bronze sculpture. The life-size depiction of the man with the fish is representative of the salmon fishing trade, which was a typical trade in St. Goarshausen for many centuries. On the Rhine promenade, near the Loreley ferry, we take a look at the bust of Heinrich Heine. As we board the paddle steamer Goethe shortly after 12 o’clock, we still have the melody and the lines “I don’t know what it could mean...” from his world-famous Loreley song in our heads. The sculpture of the Loreley at the end of the pier of the Loreley harbour and the viewing point on the Loreley rock are at the top of the agenda for our next trip to the wine town.
For a more extended tour we recommend an overnight stay in Rüdesheim. Then there will be plenty of time for a visit with a stop at the world-famous Drosselgasse. Dancing permitted! Located centrally in the heart of the wine town, for example, are the wine guesthouse & wine hotel »Breuer‘s Rüdesheimer Schloss«, the »Hotel Lindenwirt«, or the »Hotel zum grünen Kranz«.
On the ship, another document captivates our attention. The menu. After a delicious lunch, we go out onto the open deck. Well rested and in good spirits, we are back on Rüdesheim ground again at around 3:15 p.m. A short walk takes us to the wine house “RheinWeinWelt”. Located in the historic, listed buildings of the former “Asbach Uralt Brennerei”, the spirit of wine remains alive here. We are curious. A special kind of wine tasting awaits. Stored in large, walk-in tanks, wines from almost 80 wineries in the Middle Rhine Valley and the neighbouring regions of Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Moselle are waiting to be tasted. Before it begins, we receive chips like in a casino. But instead of “no more bets, please”, almost everything is possible in the attractively decorated vault. You throw a token into the specially designed dispenser, and it rewards you with a sample. You can roam freely and keep a look out for your favourite wine. You might also fall for something new. It is not speed dating. You can stay until all the chips are gone. Or buy some more and go into extra time.
In a conversation with the managing director of the wine house RheinWeinWelt
RheinWeinWelt has been visited by both individual guests and groups from the very beginning. The special thing about it is that visitors of all ages and from all areas of interest (yes, even those who don’t know much about wine!) have one thing in common: They all find the place extraordinary and feel comfortable here. Our guests appreciate our concept. This motivates us to continue innovatively and with passion.
We have a whole series of events and all dates can be found on our homepage www.rheinweinwelt.de. In cooperation with the cheese refiner Reiner Wechs, we offer our “Cheese & Wine Show”, where the guest makes cheese in copper cauldrons. Another popular event is our “Culinary Duet” – 7-course menus with corresponding wines, presented by the winegrower himself. Our vernissages by the exhibiting artists are also always a highlight.
Are there any new additions? There is no shortage of ideas. This year a new brandy tank will be opened and the local bakery, Bäckerei Dries, will set up the flavour warehouse there – with everything visible to the guests. In line with this, there will be regular baking events with the mobile bakery. There will also be new additions in the area of coffee roasting. We are currently still roasting our coffee externally, but we plan to move this to RheinWeinWelt and put it on display for guests.
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