This year’s annual Stuttgarter Weindorf (Wine Village) will run from Aug. 25 through Sept. 5 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 Stuttgart’s 1,000-year-old wine tradition. Visitors can sample over 300 wines from the middle Neckar region during the 12 days of the fest and enjoy Swabian meals in close to 120 lavishly decorated wine booths.
Music and entertain ment range from traditional fest music to classical jazz and piano performances.
The first Weindorf in Stuttgart was organized by the Pro Stuttgart-Verkehrsverein in 1976.
“The most special thing about our wine village here is that it has the atmosphere of a small village. Every booth owner decorates [a] booth individually, and therefore, creates a warm and cozy atmosphere,” said Fritz Mutter, Pro Stuttgart-Verkehrsverein chairman.
On average, the Weindorf brings in more than one million visitors per year, Mutter added.
Swabians are known for celebrating fests to honor 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 the traditional Trollinger red wine to white Riesling and rose Schiller wines. According to legend, there was more wine than water available during the 14th century in Stuttgart, resulting in Swabia adopting wine as the national drink.
The Weindorf flows from the Schillerplatz, in Stuttgart’s historical center, to the town hall.
In the center of the square, the statue of the famous Swabian poet, Friedrich Schiller, oversees the wine fest. The light-bodied Schiller rose wine is named after him. The Schillerplatz is framed by several historical buildings, including Stuttgart’s old castle, the old chancellery, the prince’s building, and the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church). The cathedral is Stuttgart’s oldest Protestant church and the only monument from the Staufen era, making it the city’s most significant landmark.
Other landmarks in the square are the Fruchtkasten (fruit box), where the annual tribute for grain was paid, and an original winepress from 1578.
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.
Many people refer to Stuttgart’s Weindorf as the most beautiful wine fest in Germany. Mutter explains why: “The wine village is an exquisite place for people to get together. You don’t have to invite your friends; you will meet them automatically at the fest. Here, people can have good conversations while enjoying a cozy and friendly event. It’s all about the Swabian way of life.”