Posts from the ‘Europe’ category

Fotoeins Friday: 6 July, 600th year Jan Hus’ burning at stake

My Berlin: Schöneberg

Fotoeins Friday: Stockholm call to summer

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Celebrating Saxon wine tradition at Schloss Wackerbarth

I have a confession.

Red wines and I have rarely gotten along.

With the exception of the Chilean Carménère, reds generally feel I’ve been pouring scarlet poison down my gullet, burning and tearing the esophageal lining on the way down to my stomach, into a slow boil, scalding and churning with fury.

Dear crimson nectar, you’re all hot and alluring dressed in your tannins, but I cannot have you any more. The subsequent days of post-red churning-gut syndrome are over. I’ve left you for the clean, smooth, sharp, sexy blondes in the white, because frankly, I’m having a lot more fun with the whites. I admit I’ll occasionally stray to the familiar Carménère, but I will always bring white wine back home.


As part of the pre-conference activities for the Germany National Tourism Board, I’m traveling with a group of travel industry trade and press on a three-day tour in eastern Sachsen (Saxony) to explore the culture and traditions, including the long tradition of arts and culture in Dresden, fine porcelain in Meissen, and the Sorbian minority in Lausitz (Lusatia).

Winemaking continues to be an important cultural tradition in eastern Germany with history going back over eight centuries in nearby Meissen. Along rolling hills next to the Elbe river, Saxony prizes its primary vineyard and winery at the Sächsisches Staatsweingut (Saxon State Wine-Growing Estate) where production, marketing, and sales take place at Schloss Wackerbarth.

Located in Radebeul about halfway between Dresden and Meissen, Schloss Wackerbarth (Wackerbarth Castle) began as Count Wackerbarth’s place for peace and quiet by 1729. Several owners came and went, along with the launch in 1836 of the neighbouring Niederlössnitz (later “Bussard”) champagne factory using French techniques. For over a century, the Bussard name remained synonymous with Sekt or sparkling wine, until the company’s termination in 1947. German reunification meant funds and resources for renovation and new construction, and Schloss Wackerbarth eventually bought the Bussard trademark rights. White wine and sparkling wine became production mainstays with both modernized efficient tank-fermentation and classic turn-by-hand bottle-fermentation. With their reopening in 2002, the estate’s strong drive continues towards direct reach to the customer – from vineyard to production to gastronomy to immediate purchase – all on the same grounds.

The Schloss Wackerbarth wine-producing estate is Saxony’s oldest and Germany’s 2nd oldest facility producing sparkling wine. White wine makes up over 80% of their total sales; the most popular white is their Riesling which makes up 25% of total sales. Naturally, their next most popular product is their Sekt. Their most popular red is the Spätburgunder (late Burgundy) accounting for 2% of total sales. For now, the Saxon State Wine Estate isn’t worried about sales in other countries; they’re sustaining good customer base and healthy bottom-line with intra- and interstate sales in Germany.


Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Welcome to the realm of the senses …

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Welcome

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Weinkeller/Sandsteingewölbe | wine cellar / sandstone vault

Gasthaus | Restaurant (l); Schloss | Castle (r)

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Late-April a little early, but still pretty

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

To the Belvedere …

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

… for dry sparkling wine (‘Augustus der Starke’, Sekt trocken)

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Biking past the terrace

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Summertime terrace

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

White wine paired with lunch: pan-seared fish, risotto, asparagus

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Wein-Führung von … | guided tour by …

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

… Herr/Mr. Roland F.

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

1st set of separation tanks

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fermentation tanks

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

From barrels to bottles

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

More sampling required

Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

2013 Goldriesling

How to reach Schloss Wackerbarth:

With S-Bahn service from Dresden city (central train station), the S1 train to Meissen is about 30 minutes to stop ‘Radebeul-Zitzschweig’. From the latter, it’s about 1.6 km (1 mi) east to the winery: it’s a short 15- to 20-minute walk, or alternatively, you can take tram 4 “backtracking” towards Dresden for a very short ride to stop ‘Schloss Wackerbarth.’ (Google map for more details). Schloss Wackerbarth is also part of Deutsche Bahn’s “mittenrein reisen” train-and-visit program in Saxony; for discounts, click here (in German) for information.

Other posts:

•   About GTM15 (Germany Travel Mart)
•   The bright side of Dresden
•   Celebrating Saxony’s culture: beer and the Sorbian minority

cmp.ly customI made all of the photos above on 23 April 2015. I’m grateful to Germany Tourism, Tourismusverband Sächsisches Elbland, and Schloss Wackerbarth for supporting and providing the activities as guest to the Sächsisches Staatsweingut. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6R7.

Should I buy a German rail ticket in advance?

A friend, an astronomy colleague, and kind reader from the USA asked:

I was just trying to figure out the German train booking system for a trip I’m taking between Frankfurt am Main and Bonn this July and thought I’d ask you before doing something stupid. Would it be easier/better to buy ahead or should I just want until I’m in country and buy it at the airport.

An excellent question about Deutsche Bahn (DB)

DB ICE (InterCityExpress) at Stuttgart Hbf, by Greg O'Beirne, CC BY 2.5

DB InterCityExpress train, photo by Greg O’Beirne (Wiki, CC BY 2.5)

Buy a ticket before or after arrival?

If you can afford it, I would wait until you’re in country. A big reason is this: if you buy ahead, your ticket is tied to a specific train and time. If for any reason your plane is late arriving in Frankfurt, you may be stuck with buying a new ticket, as an advance ticket with savings will likely have restrictions which you should check if you decide to buy early.

If you decide to buy a ticket upon arrival, you have the benefit of being rushed. At Frankfurt airport, follow the signs to Frankfurt am Main Flughafen Fernbahnhof (Frankfurt airport station for long-distance trains). When you enter the train station, you’ll find automated machines to buy your ticket. The machines allow you to change the language, and subsequent transactions allow cash, European EC cards, and major credit cards. Alternatively, you can enter a staffed DB-Reisezentrum (DB travel centre), which is not the same as a staffed information booth. Buying a ticket over the counter with the help of a member of the DB staff may incur an extra charge of a few Euros.

Have a look at Deutsche Bahn’s USA/English website; enter “Frankfurt Airport” and “Bonn” for departure and arrival stations, respectively, as well as the appropriate date and time.

If you think you’re going to be on the train on 5 or more separate days, you might consider a RailEurope pass. The savings are significant on long-distance trains with distances in excess of about 250 kilometres. I’ve written about how 5- and 10-day RailEurope passes in Germany have saved me money.

Frankfurt am Main Flughafen Fernbahnhof, Airport long-distance train station, by zug55, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Frankfurt am Main Flughafen Fernbahnhof, by zug55 on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

•   Frankfurt airport railway stations: Regionalbahnhof, Fernbahnhof
•   Rail connections from Frankfurt Airport to cities in Germany and beyond, PDF

No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to Deutsche Bahn or RailEurope (cmp.ly/0). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6MP.
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