One of the adventures that I will treasure the rest of my life is the ‘Wine Tour’ my uni –Short for University- organises for second year hospitality management students. I had the privelege to join this tour twice, as I had to resit my second year at uni. A blessing in disguise as I would like to call it. I was pretty gutted and highly dissappointed in myself that I had to resit that second year mainly because of some personal issues. But the opportunity to come along on this Wine Tour again was the highlight of this resit.
The Wine Tour is a whole week of traveling to several vineyards and wineries across Germany and France. We had to get up around 8 am,- have breakfast,- get in the bus and before we knew it, we had a glass of wine touching our lips again. And it wasn’t even 10 am yet, I felt like such an alcoholic. With the alcohol from yesterday evening still running through my veins. –yea, ofcourse i know you are suppose to spit out the wine at tastings, but come on, what teenager actually does that?-
It is not just about drinking the wine ofcourse, also the whole process of making it. The history of the family and the winery itself. We have visited some of the most gorgeous places and were always very lucky with the weather too. Walking through the wine cellars that were being lit with candles, with this musty smell and cool temperature around 11 degrees. Wine bottles in racks covered with fluffy mold –The mold is a good thing, though. It keeps the temperature in the wine cellars constant throughout the entire year – I find it extremely interesting and almost a bit scary as everything was quite dark and some wine cellars were massive! – I have quite a vivid imagination and was imagining some scary encounters, haha-. Also walking through the vineyards on sunny days where the host educated us about the vines, alongside with a breathtaking view, were the perfect combination of enjoyment.
Inbetween and after the wine tastings we had time to explore, and I love exploring. The villages all had their own characteristics about them, like you were in a totally different world. I really enjoyed their charm, walking through the small narrow streets, browsing little boutiques.
I remember that there was one day that we had to walk to the top of a hill, the same hill you see on the picture above, but this was only a third of its actual size! And it was dreadfull, I cannot remember what shoes I was wearing or what colour they were, but at the end my feet hurt and they were covered in soil. At one point I decided with my group to walk through the vineyard itself instead of using the path. I felt a bit like a rebel doing it, because I think it is not allowed. But karma striked us right away as the soft soil was difficult to walk on –good workout, though-. And once at the top you could go back using the gondola. I actually cannot remember why we had to go up there in the first place. Maybe just for the view?
But there was one place I will never forget and that was Schloss Vollrads, it is a Wine Estate that has been producing wine for about 800 years! A breathtaking castle in the Rheingau, Germany with so much history in it.They make beautiful 100% Riesling wines, which ofcourse; we had the honor to taste and a little tour through the castle itself. Castles always make me so curious; I always want to explore the whole thing, look in every room they have, and discover hidden rooms .. but ofcourse you are not allowed and eventually you only see a tiny part of it. shame, shame …
The garden at Schloss Vollrads have these beautiful blossom trees where I made some great pictures of my friends and teachers and am quite proud of how they turned out –not bad for a smartphone-.
The evenings were always eventful. We could get out of our suits –for most wine tastings we had to wear our suits – have dinner together accompanied with some more wine –Like we didn’t had enough already-. The last accommodation we were staying in had a disco in the cellar. It was quite small,- music was not the best,-just a couple of locals sitting at the bar minding their own business, and all of a sudden a group of teenagers burst in and the whole disco was fully packed with tipsy teenagers having the time of their life.
A great adventure with great people, in great countries with great wine… If I could only turn back time..