This year’s annual “Stuttgarter Weindorf,” or wine village, will run from Aug. 29 through Sept. 9 in downtown Stuttgart. The fest opens daily at 11 a.m. and runs until 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until midnight Thursday through Saturday.
The Weindorf focuses on celebrating Baden-Württemberg’s 1,000-year-old wine tradition. Visitors can sample over 500 wines from the Württemberg and Baden regions during the 12 days of the fest. Traditional Swabian meals, such as “Maultaschen” (meat and vegetable-stuffed noodles), “Zwiebelrostbraten” (roast beef with sautéed onions) and “Bubaspitzle” (potato noodles mainly served with sour cabbage), are served in some 120 lavishly decorated wine booths. “The Weindorf can be considered one of the highlights in Stuttgart during the summer event cycle,” said Werner Koch, the Pro Stuttgart Verkehrsverein chairman.
“Visitors to the Weindorf can enjoy ‘schwäbische Gemütlichkeit’ (Swabian way of life) and a cozy atmosphere all throughout the fest,” Koch added. The Weindorf not only attracts locals, but visitors from all over the world, according to Koch.
“Therefore, we are looking forward to welcoming many of our American friends and neighbors to the Weindorf,” Koch said. Swabians are known for celebrating fests to honor their traditions and cultural heritage. Almost everything is tied to history, and so is the wine in Stuttgart. The middle Neckar region has always been known for cultivating fine wines, ranging from Trollinger red to white Riesling to rose Schiller wines. According to legend, there was more wine available than water during the 14th century in Stuttgart, which resulted in Swabia adopting wine as the national drink.
The Weindorf spans from the Marktplatz square, to Kirchstrasse and the Schillerplatz square. Here, the statue of the famous Swabian poet, Friedrich Schiller, oversees the wine fest. Some people say that the light-bodied Schiller rose wine is named after him. The Schillerplatz is framed by several historic buildings, to include Stuttgart’s old castle, the old chancellery, the prince’s building, and the “Stiftskirche,” or collegiate church. The church is Stuttgart’s oldest Protestant church and the only monument dating back to the Staufen era, making it the city’s most significant landmark. Another landmark in the square is the “Fruchtkasten” building. During the Middle Ages, the building was a storage hall for grain and also housed a wine press. Today, the State Museum Württemberg’s musical instrument collection is displayed at the Fruchtkasten. After buying their first glass of wine, visitors can use it to sample wine throughout the fest or keep it as a souvenir; some have their name engraved on the glass. “The Weindorf makes the perfect place for people to get together, talk, laugh, celebrate and enjoy a good time,” Koch said. It’s a “must-go-to event.”