Vineyards & Wineries in Stuttgart
Germany is famous for beer, but if you look at the hills surrounding Stuttgart, it’s easy to understand why the region has invested in wine production. Grapes have been planted on its hills since Roman times and local vinters are frequently honored with awards. Stuttgart has more than 17.5 hectares of vineyards, most of which are within easy reach of the city center by public transportation. Whether you want to plan an independent visit, attend a tasting event, or join an organized tour, you’re sure to enjoy a quality winery experience.
Check out this short video and read on for plenty of information about exploring Stuttgart’s vineyards and wineries.
Region and Varieties
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg, but Baden and Württemberg are considered as two separate wine regions. They are the third and fourth largest wine regions in Germany, respectively. Wine-making cooperatives are very common in both.
Baden focuses on grapes of the Pinot variety, with more than half of its vineyard area planted with Spätburgunder (Pinot noir), Grauburgunder (Pinot gris) and Weißburgunder (Pinot blanc). Baden is also known for the white variety Gutedel (Chasselas), since it is practically the only region in Germany to grow it. Other white varieties like Müller Thurgau and Riesling are also important in the region.
Württemberg has a long tradition of growing the Trollinger grape variety. They make a light, fruity red wine, which can be enjoyed young. Württemberg also produces the classic, higher-quality Lemberger, a strong, dark red wine that ages well. Additional red grape varieties include Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot. Württemberg’s main white varieties are Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, but Kerner and Müller Thurgau are also planted here.
The Museum of Viticulture
The Weinbaumuseum is located in the historic “Alte Kelter” building in the wine-growing village Stuttgart-Uhlbach, It is an excellent place to get started on your journey to discover Stuttgart’s vineyards and wineries. Through paintings, photographs, and videos you will learn about every step of the wine-making process: from building terraces to support the vineyards to planting to harvesting to pressing to aging and, of course, the culture of drinking wine.
In the beautiful glass-walled “Vinothek” within the museum you can sample a large variety of the areas’ wine. The selection of wine from more than 20 of the region’s top winemakers changes regularly, so there’s always something new to try. You can also enjoy small dishes from the kitchen and purchase wine to take home. On most Fridays a special wine tasting is offered which includes three kinds of wine and a snack.
The city of Stuttgart has marked several “Weinwanderwege” to guide you in your exploration of the many grape-growing areas around the city. You can find maps and descriptions here.
Perhaps the most interesting path is the one from Obertürkheim to Uhlbach, Rotenberg and Untertürkheim. It takes you up steep-sided vineyard slopes with beautiful views. Along the way you can visit the Museum of Viniculture in Uhlbach, the Sepulchral Chapel in Rotenberg, and several restaurants serving Swabian specialties.
The best time of year to wander the vineyards is either in spring or autumn. In spring the hills are covered in green, and new vine tendrils reach to curl around the wires strung up and down the hills. In autumn the leaves turn to red and gold and the vines are heavy with grapes, so you can also witness the harvesting.
Guided tours are also a great way to explore Stuttgart’s vineyards and wineries.
Many wineries host their own guided tours. Get insider information about their cultivation practices, ecological awareness, and vintages. Tickets also include a tasting of two or more wines.
Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH offers a private “Weinwanderung” that include a knowledgeable guide, a walk from Obertürkheim to Untertürkheim through various vineyards, a visit to the Sepulchral Chapel, and a tour of the Museum of Viticulture. Wine tasting and a Swabian meal are also possibilities on the tour. Tours are available in German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian. See their website for detailed pricing information.
Germany’s oldest sparkling wine cellar is located in Esslingen am Neckar, just 20 minutes from Stuttgart. Kessler has been producing sparkling wine or “Sekt” since 1826. Once on the executive board of Veuve Clicquot, the Kessler founder was well-versed in winemaking techniques of the Champagne region. So it’s no surprise they offer high quality! The Kessler brand was even designated the official “Sekt” for state receptions of the German government by then-chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1956.
You can visit the Kessler winery and its impressive cellars. They offer three types of tours in various languages, although tours for individuals are offered only in German. Tours include a tasting of three wines. See their website for details.
“Broom Taverns” are a homey way to discover local Swabian wines. These temporary taverns are operated by Wengertern, Swabian winemakers. They receive temporary licenses to open their homes up to 12 weeks a year for up to 40 people at a time in order to sell homemade wine and food. It’s a unique opportunity to try local wine with people from the community and taste specialties like maultaschen.
You can find them by keeping an eye out for a broom hanging on a door. Flyers and signs will also point you to Besenwirtschaften. Or you can take a modern approach and search for a convenient spot on Besentermine.de.
The Stuttgart Wine Village, or “Weindorf,” is a very popular festival. Every year more than a million visitors attend this popup village in Stuttgart’s Marktplatz and Schlossplatz. For 12 days around the end of August and beginning of September, you can sample wines from more than 125 different vineyards in addition to a variety of regional culinary specialties.
The Fellbach Fall Wine Fair or “Fellbacher Herbst” is an excellent opportunity to discover local wines, particularly wines that are unlikely to be known outside the region. You can also sample wines from Fellbach’s sister towns in France, Italy, and Hungary. The weekend fair is also a festive occasion featuring a parade with a different annual theme and a fireworks display.