So it’s true that when one thinks of Germany wine is not the first thing that jumps to mind!  But it’s a real shame!  Because Germany has some exceptional wines to offer.  From refreshing mineral-tinged Rieslings, aromatic Spätburgunders (Pinot Noir), and bright sparklings to sweet dessert wines there is plenty to taste.  Now the key, to finding and tasting these delicious German wines is selecting a great tour operator.  And in our opinion, that wine tour operator is BottleStops.

Why use a Wine Tour operator?

In short,  whilst there is plenty available to taste and try it’s not particularly easy to navigate.  Unlike California, South Africa, Australia or Italy which are completely geared toward the wine tourist, Germany is still ‘familiarising’ themselves with the concept.  Even as a German speaker, which we are not, it is difficult to navigate the terrain.

Who is BottleStops?

Behind this thoroughly well-oiled wine tour machine lies Jérôme Hainz.

The story goes that whilst living and working in Asia for many years, Jérôme got tired of the narrative that Germany only had Bratwurst to offer.  As a result, he tasked himself with learning all he could about what his homeland had to offer in food and ultimately wine!  This coupled with his passion for history and geography made the wine industry a perfect melting pot for all his interests to come together.  And so on returning to live in Germany in 2017 BottleStops tours and tastings was born.

In addition to learning about wine BottleStops also gives you gentle immersion in German history and geography.  Explaining how Germany got its start in winemaking.  And how it’s possible that Germany the world’s most northern wine-making region is able to make wine! And it is because of all this that BottleStops wine tours are enriching on so many levels!

Wine tour Frankfurt
Wine tour Frankfurt
Wine Tour Frankfurt

Wine Tour with Bottlestops

So recently we had the absolute pleasure of sipping our way through the German winelands with BottleStops.  And boy did we have fun!!  Jérôme is a natural storyteller with the ability to explain historical and geographical facts in a manner that’s simple and easy to digest!   So not only did we learn a whole bunch about wine and its history but we also learnt about the region and its history too!

Stop 1:  Kloster Eberbach

After being picked up from the station our wine tour began at the historical Kloster Eberbach.  Not only is Kloster Eberbach a feast for the eyes but it also forms the foundation of much of the wine-making industry in Germany.  After exploring the monastery with almost 900 years of history below our feet and above our head we were left under no illusions that wine was/is a prominent feature at the estate.  Next, it was onto the tasting room, bright and airy with plenty of options to taste.   And it was here that we had our first lesson in just how varied Riesling can be.  Not only from producer to producer but within a single producer itself.

Stop 2 with lunch: Vinothek RheinWeinWelt

Next up was a yummy lunch and of course more tastings at Vinothek Rheinweinwelt. For want of a better description, it’s a dispensary of sorts for wines. Now whilst we absolutely love the concept!  Essentially you can taste different wines from over 80 wine makers from all across the wine regions under one roof.  And as amazing as this sounds it can be a little intimidating if you are unfamiliar with German wine.  Another good reason to choose Bottlestops!

So how does it work?   First, pay for the number of tastings you’d like and in exchange you receive tokens to take into a tasting dispensary.  Once armed with your tokens head into the tasting area.  Here you find 7 historic brandy tanks that each house winemakers, their wines and the wine dispensers.  Next, choose the wine you’d like to taste and hold your glass under the dispenser spout before popping your token in.  And voila a perfectly measured 20ml tasting dispensers into your glass!

Stop 3:  Bibo Runge

Our final stop was at Bibo Runge weingut!  And this was the perfect way to end our tour!  Bibo Runge is a relatively new and small local producer in Oestrich-Winkel doing innovative and exciting wine-making!

Best wine tour
Best wine tour
Best wine tour

What are the typical Wine Tours that Bottlestops offer?

Day Tours

Typically BottleStops tours will begin with pick up in Mainz at the main train station.  Of course, pick-up can be arranged in Frankfurt for an additional charge.  From there you are whisked away in the BottleStops van into wine country to explore and taste what the German vines have to offer.  In general the tour 6 hours from start to finish with winery visits and a stop for lunch.  Also, the tours have a nice mix of large historical estates, small newer estates and everything in between to give a diverse view of the German Winelands.

Walking Tours

This is a 1.5-hour wine tasting in Mainz.  Also, these tend to be offered exclusively for small groups in a charming wine boutique in the heart of the old town.  Like with the day tours local wine culture, history and geography of the region are included making it a well-rounded experience.  Furthermore, the wines are paired with typical local snacks.  It’s worth noting that the tasting is offered in a very relaxed manner with no formal seating arranged.

Private Tours

If you have a special occasion or can’t find exactly what you looking for BottleStops is happy to work with you and tailor a tour to your needs.

To summarise a wine tour with BottleStops is more than just a wine tour!  It’s the opportunity to learn, meet new people and get out and about in one of the lesser-known wine regions of the world.  So what are you waiting for book now and sip your way along the Rhine!  Cheers!