Germany lies thick with vineyards.
They are within sight of Bonn, Beethoven's city and Germany's former capital; they remember Roman footsteps near the amphitheatre at Trier and hear Mercedes-Benz engines hum at Stuttgart. Vineyards at Heidelberg, Worms and Würzburg, near the spa at Baden-Baden and on the alpine around Lake Konstanz.
German wine festivals are as diverse as the products they celebrate and some date back 500 years. They take place in the courtyards of ancient castles, on village squares, on vineyard slopes and on city streets all celebrate the harvest of the grapes whose products will be enjoyed throughout the world.
Germany's approximately 1,250 wine festivals range in size and scope, from small counters serving two varieties to large street festivals featuring hundreds of booths and thousands of vintages. Some last for a single evening, while others involve weekends over two months.
The entertainment is as varied as the populations and the cities in which the festivals take place, with everything from rock and roll to Bavarian oom-pah. Naturally, there are parades featuring proud lord mayors and comely wine queens. The spirit is further enhanced by displays of antique wine-growing and processing equipment and colorful floral arrangements.
The food is, as always, plentiful. Regional favorites are featured and cheese, pretzels, cookies, confections, sausages and all the specialties prized by Germans and non-Germans alike play a very important role in the celebrations.