Bernkastel Kues – Germany’s Napa Valley

The one place I still haven’t written about from the most recent trip to Germany is our visit to Bernkastel-Kues. To make matters worse, we’ve been there twice now over a one year period and I still haven’t posted anything about it. So here it is, the wine country like no other…in Germany.

Located on the banks of the Mossel river, Bernkastel-Kues is a tourist town with great architecture, but even better wine. The city is surrounded by vineyards growing on the slopes just beyond it and wine flows like water in every wine shop within the city.

I wasn’t at all familiar with German wine until I tasted the local Dornfelder, and if it was up to me I’d drink no other wine ever again. Unfortunately there are no German wines sold in Polish supermarkets, none at all, and my new found love for the German red has been put on hold until our next trip. Side note rant; why is it that Polish supermarkets have cheap wine from such corners of the earth like Australia, Chile, or Argentina, but don’t have a single bottle from the country they share a border with? End of rant.

We wondered through the city from wine shop to wine shop looking for that one that spoke to us, until we found one simply due to the pouring rain outside and our need to stay dry. Somehow we hit the jackpot. The shop was completely empty and the visibly buzzed older gentleman inside was extremely happy to see us. He started treating us to every single wine he had to offer, each time having a swig himself before he poured us a glass. And it was this easy feeling, that non-pushy way he enjoyed the wine while telling us about it that made us feel at ease and comfortable picking a few bottles to bring back home. The best part? Price per bottle. What we bought were the winners of the local wine tasting competition for that year, the cream of the crop of the entire region, for $10 dollars a bottle. There’s a person inside me crying right now screaming “why isn’t this sold here?”

Situated above the city are the ruins of the Landshut Castle. It’s just a short hike away from the town, but the castle offers great views and a delicious coffee…served by a Polish waitress. Yeah, there I was trying to order in German until the lady tells me in my mother tongue to “just order in Polish”. The view from the castle is phenomenal.

While having our drinks we were treated to a fly by courtesy of the U.S. Army and two C-130 Hercules cargo planes. It’s not every day you get to look down upon a plane in flight as they maneuver from bank to bank along the river. Too bad I didn’t get my camera out in time and these are all I managed to get.

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