Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eltville, Germany - Rheingau Region

We spent a lovely and leisurely Saturday in Eltville along the Rhein River - part of the Rheingau Region which is a very popular wine growing region of Germany - mostly Rieslings along with some other whites and a couple reds.  Some very tasty wines, I might add.

Eltville itself is a very charming little town right on the Rhein river.  A very picturesque place as well with all the tiny cobblestone streets, half timber buildings and sleepy cafes...perfect place for a relaxing afternoon.  As I develop my "cruise director" strengths I hope to stumble across pleasant places like this one often.  I have a tendency to pick a place and travel there with little in the way of an itinerary - instead leaving the time between meals open for discovering and experiencing a place.

We found a quaint tiny hidden away restaurant - or at least the backside garden of a larger restaurant from the main street - and plopped ourselves down for lunch and refreshments.  You can not visit the Rheingau without trying the wine nor visit during Pfifferlinge (Chanterelles) mushroom season and not enjoy some classic German dish with pfifferlinge-rahm (cream) sauce.  Therefore, I indulged in the homemade Knödel with Pfifferlinge Rahm-Soße dish with a nice glass of crisp white wine.  Delicious!

Next we ventured to the much talked about and advertised Kloster Eberbach about 6km from Eltville.  The parking lot was nearly full - a very popular place - then as we were buying our tickets to enter the monastery I saw the poster for The Name of the Rose the 1986 film starring Sean Connery then I remembered a friend telling me that they had filmed the movie in a monastery in the Rhein area.  No wonder it is so busy and there is a hotel on the grounds as well.

Kloster Eberback turned out to be pretty amazing and beautiful and huge.  The Cisterian architecture is impressive and dates back to the 12th and 14th century.  At the end we bought a couple bottles of the monastery wine after tasting.

The wine cellar, pictured to the left was a very cool space with candles lit over the barrels.  Unfortunately, you can not walk around too much (this picture was taken through the gate!).

Of course, as the sun was going down and we began our trip back home, I had to stop and snap a picture of the vines.  A perfect little day trip coming to an end as we speed down the autobahn back to Frankfurt.