The 30th annual Würzburger Weindorf has been running this past week and a half from May 25 – June 5, 2016. The popular wine festival is held in the middle of the city’s Marktplatz (main square). More than 100 different local Franconian wines are served at each of the timbered stands scattered across the square. Around each stand are rows of benches and tables where you can sit down and enjoy a glass or two of wine and some local or international cuisine.
We checked out this year’s Würzburger Weindorf yesterday evening. I had been to this particular wine festival once before in May 2008, the first time I came to Germany to visit S. I was looking forward to going back to see if it was the same as I remembered from all those years ago. It was!
The predicted evening thunderstorms threatened to keep us from attending but luckily we missed the worst of the rain and managed to stay dry during our couple of hours at the festival. We did a loop of the market square to see what was on offer – there were at least 20 stands or so serving red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines from all over Franconia (the region in Bavaria where Würzburg is located). While I do like to sample different regional wines, there was one drink in particular that I wanted to try again: Bowle!
Bowle is a type of fruit-spiked wine punch commonly served at festivals and parties. There are all kinds of Bowle recipes but most consist of chilled white wine mixed with juice, lemonade or sparkling wine (Sekt). Other spirits like rum can be added to the punch or red wine can be used instead of white wine. Popular fruits used to flavour the Bowle include strawberries, pineapple or watermelon.
We spotted a few different types of Bowle at the festival. I tried Erdbeerbowle (strawberry punch) since it’s the one I had enjoyed back in 2008 and S tried Pfirsichbowle (peach punch). Both were delicious! My favourite part was using the little wooden fork served with the mug of punch to munch on the strawberry chunks once I’d finished my drink.
On the Saturday evening, every table and bench was full, so we just ordered some food and drinks from the stands and enjoyed them sitting on a step on the side of the square. S found a piece of pizza for himself and I had some fish and chips served in faux newspaper wrappings. There were lots of kinds of food available – I saw traditional Franconian dumplings, bratwurst, pizza, fries, steaks, pretzels, goulash in a bread bowl, and more.
Today is the last day of the event but I’d love to go again in the future. As with all festivals, I would advise going on a weekday afternoon if possible to avoid the largest crowds. If you’re with a group, I’d suggest making a reservation for a table since they do get filled up quickly. Otherwise, visit when the weather is nice, sip some tasty wines and enjoy the relaxed ambiance in the Marktplatz.
Here are the dates for the Würzburger Weindorf in the next few years – mark your calendars!
31st Würzburger Weindorf – Wed, May 24 to Mon, June 5, 2017
32nd Würzburger Weindorf – Wed, May 25 to Mon, June 3, 2018
33rd Würzburger Weindorf – Wed, May 29 to Mon, June 10, 2019
For more information about the Würzburger Weindorf, visit their website (in German).
Have you ever been to the Würzburger Weindorf? What other German wine festivals can you recommend?