When we started planning our first German food and wine tour, the beautiful Ahr valley was a natural choice. In a country best known for its white wines, this area is known for something a little different- its international award-winning pinot noirs. In fact, this is thought to be one of the most northerly red-wine growing regions in the world. The steep slate hillsides that line the banks of the Ahr River are covered in vineyards, ruined castles and forests teeming with game.
This little-visited area comes to life in winter, as the windows of the Konditoreien are filled with steam, snow settles on the forest, and every tiny town has its own Christmas market. Our favourite of these is in Aachen, further west than the Ahr Valley, nestled up against the Belgian border. Once the setting of Charlemagne’s imperial court, today Aachen’s cathedral still houses his treasury, and the town is known for its printen– deliciously spiced gingerbread that isn’t made anywhere else in the world.
Our German food and wine tours are hosted by Anne, London resident, native German speaker, and serious wine expert. She writes on wine (readers of the World of Fine Wine and Decanter may recognise her), judges international wine competitions, and has got in on the hard work at vineyards in Germany, Italy and New Zealand. Anne’s enthusiasm for the food and wine of her native country is infectious, and even a phone call with Anne seems to leave us with rumbling tummies and a mysterious craving for gingerbread. When she’s not writing or travelling she’s usually to be found in the kitchen, her lovely garden, or getting her hands dirty in a vineyard!
Details of our upcoming gourmet tour in Germany.