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City of Wine

Stuttgart is the only large German city with a long winegrowing tradition. And the topography is unique as well. Enclosed by green hills, the city lies in a fertile basin carved by the river Neckar with excellent conditions for growing wine. The history of winegrowing in Stuttgart goes back at least to the 3rd century, when the Roman emperors ordered vineyards to be planted in the region. In the 16th century, Stuttgart was one of the largest winegrowing communities in the Holy Roman Empire. In order to access the steep terraces, a system of steps and paths was built in the 19th century. More than 400 of these “Stäffele” are still in existence today. Climbing them all would require walking about 20 kilometres of steps.

Today there are 33 winegrowing cooperatives and 609 vineyards in the Stuttgart area. Most of the vines grown in the Württemberg wine region are red grape varieties like Dornfelder, Lemberger, Spätburgunder and, most commonly, Trollinger. Trollinger is as inextricably linked to the region as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are to Stuttgart. The large, late-ripening grapes are made into a fruity, light red wine that is often consumed very young and may be served slightly chilled. When it comes to white wines, Riesling leads the field. Other varieties include Kerner, Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau. In addition, Sauvignon blanc is gaining in popularity and importance among the local winegrowers. And if you’re looking for something truly special, a number of heritage varieties are grown here too, such as Muskattrollinger, Muskateller and Gewürztraminer, as well as modern varieties like Acolon.

The city of Stuttgart owns 17.5 hectares of municipal vineyards spread over six different locations. The well-signposted Stuttgart Wine Trail invites you to discover the wonderful slopes and many idyllic spots. Walking through the vineyards, you’ll discover scenic lookouts and lots of interesting attractions. And if you get hungry along the way, a typical feature of the wine region of Stuttgart are its Besenwirtschaften (“broom taverns”), temporary wine taverns that only open for twelve weeks of the year. The name comes from the broom that is hung at the door to show they are open for business. Only the winegrower’s own wine may be sold, usually served in traditional fashion in handled glasses that are typical of the region.