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Under the Radar

Under-the-Radar Destinations

When we talk about The Road Less Traveled, we really mean it. Every travel company has its own imprint and style. Ours is a little different.  If you want to veer off the well-trodden tourist circuit and drill down below the stereotypes, you’ll be happy with what’s on our menu…

We promise: We’ll never take you to Mad King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle (beautiful, but it’s basically a late 19th- century remake).  We won’t be visiting the Oktoberfest (plenty of fun, but everybody goes there and it’s just too crowded).  And, though we’ll include a stop in Brussels, we’ll concentrate on the beautiful smaller towns and villages of Flanders that many people miss.

We gravitate toward the back-roads, hidden corners and quiet spots as well as the pulsing new finds, edgy and unusual venues and under-the-radar stops.

Our safaris will let you experience less discovered Europe – places like northern Bavaria and hidden hot spots in eastern Bavaria, Flanders (in Belgium), eastern France, Saxony and the Ore Mountain region, Baden and the Palatinate in western Germany, eastern Bohemia and northern Moravia (in addition to Prague!) in today’s Czech Republic.

We’ll visit an outstanding winemaker in a town nobody’s ever heard of and help you comb the hot new shopping circuit in Europe’s Attic.

We’ll bypass the most most-visited truffle area and instead focus on the lesser-known region where most of France’s truffles come from.

We’ll plan all-day shopping at an antique market where Americans never venture.

We’ll track down the fun new wine bar and the up-and-coming vintner, the old mill filled with antique and vintage treasures, the city that still has its medieval town wall and the castle where you can spend the night.

 Expect the unexpected and get ready to experience a side of Europe you’ve never seen before!

Authentic Travel

The Journey is as important as the Destination…

 … And the authentic experiences you’ll have along the way with Treasures of Europe will define your trip!  

If someone referred you to us, or if you’ve gone to the effort to find us on your own, we suspect you’re the type of person who wants an authentic travel experience instead of a canned one.

If so, our approach offers you the ingredients that matter most: Experiences, Encounters and Personal Connections.  We’re known for going incredible lengths to find the right ingredients for our trips to Europe.  They’re unique to our brand of travel…

… We’ll ravish our rolodex and spend days tracking down a special antiques dealer on a farmstead in the lowlands of southeastern Bohemia, or a private collector in remote Saxony.

… We’ll finagle a special after-hours get-together with an up-and-coming garage winemaker or a private tasting with a vintner whose family has been making wine for three centuries.

… We’ll plot our route very carefully to make sure you don’t miss Europe’s best flea market, and we’ll get you up early to shop one of the choicest antiques markets on the continent, which is held only once a year.

… We’ll go beyond the usual stable of guides and engage an expert local art historian for an insider’s look at the architecture and history of Prague.

… We’ll broaden the itinerary with a side trip to scope out medieval Jewish Speyer, to take in a Bach Cantata, meet a human rights activist, or engage a local monk to tell us about monastery life.

… We’ll ferret out one of Black Forest’s best traditional home cooks and set up a private visit so you can see her garden, hear her secrets and enjoy a locavore feast on her farm.

…We’ll track down the butcher who was voted “Bratwurst King of Franconia” and set up a private tasting.

These are just a few of the kinds of authentic experiences you’ll have on the road with us.  You won’t just be “seeing Europe,” you’ll be living it. You’ll connect with the culture, history, art and present-day life of the region.  You’ll have vibrant, genuine encounters with real people.  And you’ll experience the spirit, tastes, smells and textures of that make Europe so fascinating, and a travel experience like ours so invigorating.

Provence Truffle Tour – Eight Days of Delight on the Truffle Trail

In Search of Black Gold in Southern France

February 20-17, 2014

Hunt, harvest and savor the Black Gold of Provence — A Terroir Tour timed for the peak of Truffle Season

Provence during Truffle Season is like Provence no other time of year. The pace is slower. Tourist season is still months away. Winter is on the way out and with Spring inching its way around the corner, there’s a wonderful expectant feeling in the air. Artisanal and native products abound, and there is plenty of time to experience the joys of the table in this region that takes its food very seriously. No where is the watchful waiting more intense than in Provence’s Truffle Country.

Join a small band of culinary adventurers in late February for a celebration of all things truffle! Be forewarned: You’re signing up for eight days of culinary porn of the most unrepentant, self-indulgent variety. You’ll yield to the taste, lore and mystery of the aristocratic black tuber. You’ll learn where it grows, how to find it, how to cook with it and you’ll experience how it can elevate even the simplest of meals with paroxysms of subtlety and flavor that leave you on the edge of your chair.

Seven nights, eight days. Our 2014 Truffle Immersion Tour is absolutely unique. It’s the only expedition of its kind offered in the U.S.

We’ll be exporing the Truffle Trail in Upper Provence, in the Département of Vaucluse, with stops in Tricastin, Grignan and the Enclave des Papes, which includes Avignon. We’ve engaged a local Rabassier (truffle guide) to initiate us into the secrets of the truffle hunt. The guide is key, but his dog is the star of the show as he darts among the oak trees and ferrets out the black gold. We get the truffles. The dog is rewarded with a chunk of sausage.

After the hunt, we’ll adjourn to the farmhouse kitchen for a truffle repast in front of a blazing fire. Other features of the tour include: A hands-on, how-to cooking lesson built around the truffle, followed by a shared meal; Visit to a small-town truffle market; A private tasting of Rhône and Tricastin wines; traditional Provencal bourgeois meal at a local farm (herberge ferme); All-day antiques shopping at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the largest antiques center outside of Paris; And a close-up look at Avignon, one of France’s most striking medieval jewels.

The truffle is proof that there is a God and that she loves us. Our truffle tour will make a believer of you.

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Germany’s Pinot Trail

Eight nights, nine days, seminar and Pinot tasting with David Schildknecht, private driver, hand-picked hotels — estate visits, private tastings, food moments and cultural highlights included.

Enchanted Christmas Markets Tour

Enchanted Christmas Markets Tour

December 1-9, 2013

Experience the magic of Christmas with all your senses on this special fully-guided tour…

Includes the breathtaking Lichtelfest (Festival of Lights) and folk choral groups in the Saxon Highlands, shopping at the Dresden Striezelmarkt and other choice Christmas markets, private tour of historic creches, traditional family-based craft workshops on Germany’s Toy Route, glimpse of a remarkable private collection of Christmas antiques and toys, an insider’s look at a Christmas Stollen bakery, behind-the-scenes visit to a glassblower’s cottage, Dresden’s spectacular Frauenkirche and the Imperial Cathedral in Bamberg, a chance to see the famed Green Vault, concert in the Kreuzkirche and other special music of the season, plus many other surprises…

Join this marvelous Christmas getaway to the imperial cities of Bamberg and Dresden plus Lauscha, Seiffen, Schneeberg, the Ore Mountains and the back roads of secret Saxony. Reserve Now!

A Christmas Adventure Like No Other

Enjoy the splendors of traditional Christmas markets in Dresden, Schneeberg, Seiffen and the UNESCO world heritage city Bamberg in northern Bavaria.

  • · Shop for traditional Christmas decorations, toys, collectibles and antiques, linens, folk art and other treasures
  • · Meet local toymakers and get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of their craft and traditions.
  • · Visit a family of glassblowers at home and look over their shoulder as they make and decorate historical glass Kugel ornaments.
  • · Meet one of Germany’s top authorities on Christmas antiques from the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountain region), visit his workshop and see his collection.
  • · Visit the Imperial Cathedral and crypt where Kaiser Heinrich II is buried; tour Dresden and other cities and see the world famous Frauenkirche.
  • · Sample the beauties of historical nativity scenes on a special guided crèche tour led by a local specialist.
  • · Scour Christmas markets, shops and specialty stores for one-of-a-kind decorations, Christmas collectibles and traditional crafts.
  • · Enjoy the music of the season
  • · Sample gourmet treats of the season — roast goose, Christmas Stollen cake, authentic gingerbread, hot-mulled wine, Christmas beers and other specialties…

What Sets Our Tours Apart?

The small-group difference Our tour will help you explore and experience the delights of Christmastime in Germany with the kind of depth that is impossible in a conventional sightseeing tour. We design our trips especially for small groups and we’re experienced at what we do.

With only 10-20 guests, we can include the kinds of encounters, extras and special touches that make a trip truly memorable. We are able to move flexibly and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

Insider access We’ll show you the highlights and help you explore the nooks and crannies that you would never find if you were traveling on your own or in a large tour group.

You won’t just see the showrooms – you’ll visit the actual workshops, meet the artisans and hear them explain their work. You won’t just visit the big cities. You’ll see the nooks-and-crannies too.

You’ll delve into history and local culture, enjoy spontaneous encounters with people along the way and see a huge and varied selection of Christmas collectibles and hand-made treasures.

We have years experience importing antiques and traditional Christmas crafts and decorations, and have a network of fascinating sources and unusual venues.

Competence, insight and excellent service every step of the way Your tour is fully escorted from beginning to end. Unlike many other tour companies, we create, operate and lead our

own trips. This means that we are not a “pass through” — we don’t farm the tour out to a local travel agency, which may or may not have your best interests at heart. Philadelphia-based company owner and tour director Tom Conrad is bilingual, with family connections and extensive business and travel experience in Germany and other parts of Europe. Having one tour director rather than a succession of individual stringers insures continuity, quality and excellent service throughout the trip.

Travel Now and Save

Join us in celebrating the rebound of the dollar! The greenback has bounced back over the past few months. It’s a great time to travel in Europe – your dollar will go far. You’ll also enjoy low shoulder season airfares.


Central and northern Franconia (northern Bavaria), Saxony, the Dresden area, the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountain region), Central Thuringia.


Bamberg, Lauscha, Steinach, Rodewisch, Seiffen, Olbernhau, Dresden, Schneeberg and others.

Itinerary — Overview

Day 1 Frankfurt, Bamberg

Day 2 Bamberg

Day 3 Steinach, Neustadt, Plauen area

Day 4 Rodewisch, Schneeberg, Olbernhau

Day 5 Seiffen, Olbernhau

Day 6 Dresden

Day 7 Dresden

Day 8 Dresden, Frankurt area

Day 9 Return from Frankfurt

Itinerary — Description

The tour begins and end in Frankfurt. Round-trip air to Frankfurt is available at a discount rate through Heart of Europe Tours. You are also free to make your own reservations.

On the first day, we will pick you up at the airport and start the tour, driving eastward through northern Bavaria to Bamberg, one of Germany’s great Medieval jewels. After checking in at our hotel (a historical inn in the old town), we will visit the Bamberg Christmas market and local shops.

For the following day, we’ve planned a private guided tour of the old town under the leadership of a local art historian. It will include a visit to the imperial Cathedral and a special crèche tour. There will also be an option to visit a local brewery.

On the third day of the trip, we’ll veer off the beaten track into northern Franconia and the tip of Thuringia to travel along Germany’s Toy Route and visit family-owned companies that produce composition crèche figures Christmas and Halloween decorations (Steinach and Neustadt bei Coburg). We will wend our way to the remote village of Lauscha, home of the traditional blown glass Christmas tree ornaments and visit a local glassblowing family.

The next day after a stop near Chemnitz to see Eckhard Holler, a top authority on wooden toys and ornaments, we will visit a private dealer in antique linens and have an opportunity to buy from her. The following day’s highlight is the Festival of Lights (Lichtelfest) in the remote town of Schneeberg, which includes traditional instrumental music and folk choral groups.

The following day, we will visit nearby Seiffen, home of traditional wooden toys and hand-crafted ornaments. The day will include a tour of the local museum and visits to the workshops of families in the area who have been manufacturing traditional ornaments and toys for decades. There will be time for Kaffee und Kuchen at a local café.

From the Ore Mountain region, we will travel northward to Dresden, which boasts Germany’s oldest Christmas market and the best Stollen

(Christmas cake) in the country. We will enjoy a visit to the Christmas market and tour. There will also be optional visits to the Green Vault and other cultural attractions, including the Museum of Decorative Arts and Crafts, and do other shopping. A special treat in Dresden is the historical Christmas market in the castle mews.

After returning to the Frankfurt area, on the last day, we’ll enjoy a final breakfast together and make our way to the airport for the return flight home.

What Will I See on the Christmas Trail?

Christmas in Germany is a feast for all the senses. Our carefully thought-out itinerary gives you access and a whole range of treasures – the best in folk

You’ll see blown glass ornaments, linens, antiques, hand-carved wooden toys and Christmas figures, Belsnickels, paper mache crèche figures, hand-made Christmas trees, feather trees, Christmas pyramids, smokers, nutcrackers, prune figures, Noah’s arks,

Glassware, crystal, straw ornaments, pottery, Christmas stars, Schwibbögen, incense, traditional candles, Christmas tree candle holders, Meissen and Dresden figures, pewter, dishware, traditional Bunzlau/ Silesian pottery, special Plauen lace, textiles, housewares, wind-up toys, toys soldiers, tree toppers and much, much more.


$2,999 double occupancy, including airport transfers, guide, hotels and ground transportation.


Reservations at discounted rates are available through us. You are also free to use your favorite agent or book online.


We feature distinctive, comfortable, hand-picked hotels, including family-owned inns. Our accommodations provide the best combination of service, value, comfort and quality. All rooms include private bath. Many have internet access.

Balance, Pace and Flexibility

We strive for an optimal blend of activity and down-time, focus and relaxation. We’ll help you keep a pace that works best for you.

Do you want to cut your visit to the Christmas market short and adjourn to a café to people-watch? That’s fine. Would you prefer to skip the morning tour and linger over breakfast? Want to take a pass on the evening concert? That’s OK. It won’t always be possible to opt out, but we’ll do our best to accommodate you whenever possible.

What’s Included

  • · 8 nights/9 days
  • · Orientation materials and pre-trip planning help
  • · Airport transfers on the first and last day of the tour
  • · Welcome dinner
  • · Full itinerary, including visits, workshops, Christmas markets and guided tours as described above
  • · Delectable Christmas decorations, collectibles, crafts, toys, folk items, art and other treasures
  • · Hotel accommodations for 8 nights
  • · Breakfast each day at the hotel
  • · Ground travel in a comfortable minibus throughout the trip; private driver
  • · Services of your tour director, help with translations and technical support during the Local taxes, parking, road-use fees, national taxes

Hotel accommodations are based on double occupancy. Single rooms are available for a modest supplement. Would you like to share a double room with someone else? Let us know if you’re interested and we will try to find a simpatico fellow traveler.

Gourmet Delights

Savoring the pleasures of the table is one of the best ways to experience local culture. At the markets, you’ll enjoy hot mulled wine, spiced cider, Christmas cookies, cakes and chestnuts.

Regional specialties include game, trout and carp. Soljanka is a favorite soup in eastern Germany. Germany has hundreds of kinds of bread, so try as many as you can and wait until you get home to diet. Franconian and Thuringian Bratwurst (fried sausage) is a special treat. Schnitzel and chanterelles are other favorites. Light fare, including cheese, salads, light soups and egg dishes abound. Enjoy Franconian wines and the beer. Christmas specialties include Stollen, goose, Baumkuchen, Springerle cookies, Eierschecke and gingerbread.

No Better Way to Get in the Christmas Spirit…

Authentic Encounters An extensive itinerary with workshop visits, meetings with artisan families and excursions to local markets…

Wonderful Learning Opportunities On-the-spot presentations by art historians, guides and local specialists. You’ll enjoy hearing them talk about their area of specialty and have a chance to ask questions…

Great Opportunities for Collectors See an immense variety of Christmas collectibles, toys and related items – putz figures, ephemera, crèche scenes, tree ornaments, Santa figures, candy containers and about anything else you can imagine…

Excellent Christmas Shopping and Great Bargains One-stop shopping for Christmas gifts and new items – great handcrafts, decorations, glass, pottery, clothing, delicacies and other treasures…

Distinctive Accommodations Comfortable inns and hotels that will make the trip fun and memorable…

Flexible Itinerary and Individual Choices The tour offers an optimal mix of group activities and time on your own to explore, rest, ‘people watch’ or see other cultural or historical attractions…

About Us…

Heart of Europe Tours offers customized, value-priced boutique tours and antiquing expeditions for small groups and individuals. Our guests include adventurers looking for a different kind of travel experience, lifelong learners, collectors, art and antique buffs and bargain-hunters from across North America, Australia, the U.K. and around the world.

Our expeditions provide unfiltered access and personal touches. You’ll not only see the highlights, you’ll also explore the nooks and crannies most outsiders rarely see. We have been featured in Country Living magazine, Australian House & Garden, the trade press, USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Heart of Europe Tours “offers guided shopping forays to Europe for adventurous antiquers who prefer to explore the roads less traveled,” as Country Living noted in November 2007.

The company’s owner was dubbed the “Antiques Road Pro” by The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2006.

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Germany’s Pinot Trail – Discovering and Celebrating Germany’s Reds

Red Wine Road Tour 2013

August 25 – September 1, 2013

The German Wine Country Tour For Pinot Lovers – Limited Availability. Reserve Now…

 Revolution in Red German Rieslings have gone cult. German Pinots aren’t far behind. Stay ahead of the curve and join a small group of wine enthusiasts on a tasting tour this August to savor the bounty and beauty of Germany’s great Pinots (Spätburgunder) and other reds.

Expertly planned and fully-escorted, our winery tour is the very first of its kind. It is is offered in cooperation with the German Wine Institute and the VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates), the country’s elite association of upper-tier winemakers. Eight nights, nine days, seminar and Pinot tasting with David Schildknecht, private driver, hand-picked hotels — estate visits, private tastings, food moments and cultural highlights included. Join us!

The insider’s wine tour package Wine is about enjoyment and discovery. You’ll be swirling, sniffing and tasting your way through one of Europe’s truly outstanding but still unknown wine regions, the German Pinot Trail, as you travel through Franken, the Rhine area, the Black Forest, Baden and the Pfalz. Sample Germany’s expressive Pinots and other reds right where they’re made. Uncover the delights of Germany’s hidden slopes and cellars and experience Germany’s culinary explosion.

Not your mother’s wine. Not your mother’s kind of wine tour. We’ve retooled the traditional genteel white-glove wine tour and morphed it into a hands-on wine safari geared to the interests and passions of Generation Wine, that group of adventurous wine lovers who transcend age and can be from 19 to 90. Generation Wine likes hands-on. They know quality. They love the taste and the experience of wine. They love wine in context. They love wine with food. They connect with people over wine and love to engage.

There are no holds barred on the Pinot Trail. Compare notes with your friends and fellow travelers on the road. Hang with some of continent’s most expert winemakers. Hike their hills, squat in their cellars, hear their stories, pick their brains, meet their families and see what makes them tick.

Traditionalists whose families have been making wine for centuries… Accomplished growers who are at the top of their game… Undiscovered garagistes who are turning out great wines in small batches… Up-and-coming vintners who are about to hit stride — You’ll meet them all.

You’ll taste the best of the top-tier VDP Pinot Noirs as well as other break-out Pinots, other reds and specialties. You’ll meet Germany’s new artisanal freestylers who are energizing the world of wine. Estate visits include Friedrich Becker, Rudolf Fürst, the Thörle Family, Ziereisen, Möbitz, plus many, many more. And where wine is, food can’t be far behind. German wine is very food-friendly. You’ll enjoy locavore delights, native farm cooking and soulful nose-to-tail eating along the way.

An added bonus We’re headlining our German Red Wine Road Tour 2013 with a seminar and private Pinot tasting led by the leading German wine critic in the United States David Schildknecht, acclaimed for his insightful, in-depth reviews for The Wine Advocate, published by Robert Parker and read around the globe.

Fall Antiques Extravaganza

Join Us for this Exciting European Antique Tour in September. Space is limited

September 25-October 4, 2013

Shop for Bargains in Europe’s Attic — From “Baroque to Box Lots.” Experience the imperial cities of Prague, Leipzig and Bamberg plus glorious northern Bavaria, deepest Saxony and remotest Bohemia on a one-of-kind antiques and design tour. Europe’s best markets, under-the-radar shops and wholesalers! Space is limited — Book Now.

Furniture, decor and design objects, vintage, small antiques, art, collectibles estate finds and much more. Whether you’re a dealer, designer or trend scout… Whether antiques are your business, your passion or your pastime… There’s no better time to shop than now. And there’s no better place to do it than Central Europe, where the selection is immense and the antiques are more affordable than in France, Italy, Belgium and the U.K.

Featured in Country Living, Australian House and Garden and USA Today…

Think Safari! You’ll be part of a small group of simpatico, like-minded adventurers on a brisk, fun bargain hunt through the nooks-and-crannies of hidden Central Europe. We’ll be shopping for antiques, vintage, art, design objects and other treasures way off the beaten path, where few Americans venture. Twenty years after the fall of the wall, this region is emerging as the continent’s hottest new antiques and design circuit.

You’ll travel with an experienced dealer, enjoy a flexible itinerary and great shopping at the choicest markets, shops, galleries, private dealers, farmsteads and warehouses. Save as the dollar gains on the euro.

You’ll visit two UNESCO World Heritage cities, experience ancient towns and villages and see unforgettable countryside You’ll sample great historical and cultural treasures along the way, stay in local inns and hotels, and taste distinctive regional food, luscious wines and wonderful beers.

Group container shipping is available on a shared-cost basis. Want to buy a lot? We can also arrange a solo container just for you.

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Enchanted Christmas Markets Tour

Our Premium Christmas Tour — The trip of a lifetime

December 1-9, 2013

Experience the magic and mystery of the season, do your shopping and get back in time to celebrate Christmas at home!

A bustling market square bathed in the soft light of Christmas… Gingerbread and hot mulled wine waft from market stalls… Silent snow falls on pitched rooftops… Vibrant Christmas decorations tempt with their sparkle and charm… Traditional musicians spread cheer as they amble through the square… These are some of the indescribable sights, sounds and smells of Christmastime in Germany.

There’s no better place to celebrate all things Christmas than right in the heart of Germany. Our Christmas tour is designed to give you a real insider’s look at this wondrous season, including the traditions, handcrafts, art, music and food that make Christmas in Germany utterly unique and absolutely unforgettable.

There are Christmas markets all over the Europe, but we focus on northern Bavaria and eastern Germany for this tour because this region is the “most German” part of the country, and it’s the best place to experience the authentic traditions of the Christmas season. We’ll be experiencing majestic cities that will take your breath away and fascinating villages in remote areas of Saxony and Thuringia, with wondrous scenery along the way.

Visit the shop of a woodworker who collects and restores folk art and get a close-up look at his antique miniatures and historic Christmas figures. Meet a family of toymakers and learn about the decorations and Christmas treasures their family has been crafting for two centuries. Trace the history of nativity scenes from the last two hundred years on a private tour of hand-made Christmas creches. Visit a Stollen bakery and see what goes in to making this luscious traditional Christmas cake.

Highlights include the UNESCO heritage city Bamberg and the imperial city of Dresden, the “Venice of the North“ whose Christmas market dates back to 1434 Our journey also includes hidden towns and villages that are not on most tour itineraries, including stops on Germany’s Toy Route and remote hill towns in Saxony and Thuringia where artisans are still crafting remarkable folk toys, decorations, art and fine collectibles. We’ll see the glassblowing village Lauscha and visit Seiffen in the fairytale Erzgebirge region. Our Christmas tour is fully guided and includes all ground transportation – from the moment you step off the plane to the minute we bring you back to the airport.

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The Wines and Vineyards of Franconia

Our Fall Wine Getaway — October 11-18, 2013

A Celebration of Franken, Its Vineyards, Its Wines and Its Winemakers – The Glories of Bavaria’s Wine Country and It’s Cultural Hotspots in the the Fall

Go Deep! is what the Zen Masters tell us to do, it’s a Janet Jackson song, and it’s what the coach yells to the long receiver on the football field. Go Deep! also applies to wine, so we’ll be devoting an entire trip to it this fall on our Wines and Vineyards of Franconia Tour. If the idea of digging in and focusing deeply, richly and singlemindedly on the wines and winemaking of one individual region appeals to you, this wine tour is for you!

Meet the growers and vintners, see the estates and experience winemaking from from the inside out. Party at the Iphöfer Fall Wine Festival and experience the quiet delights of some of the choicest seasonal wine taverns in the region. Get up close and personal with the grapes and help out a local family with the harvest at the vineyard of a Franconian estate in the Würzburg area. It’s incredible fun! We’ll pick first and pour later. After a day among the vines, we’ll celebrate the harvest in the evening with local vintages and food from the region.

Franconians have been making wine since Roman times. A lot of the local winemaking is still centered along the Main River, which snakes its way through this sliver of northern Bavaria, providing a home to one Medieval wine village after another in a beautiful mash-up of vines, slopes and ancient estates.

We’ll access a whole range of types and styles on the Franconian Wine Trail, including whites, reds and rosés. The wines of Franconia are dry by nature and tradition. You’ll experience luscious bone-dry and mid-range Rieslings, poised Silvaners, vivid Pinot Noirs and Pinot Grigios and rosés – we’ll also sample the traditional Müller-Thurgau, a regional speciality that fell from grace and is being revived by a coalition of young vintners called Frank und Frei (Frank and Free). The tour includes top-level VDP estates, cottage producers, under-the-radar growers and NextGen winemakers who are setting the bar high, particularly in the Riesling and Pinot department. Headliners include Hans Wirsching, whose family has been making wine since 1630, the Juliusspital Estate, Rudolf Fürst, Horst Sauer, Artur Steinmann, Wolfgang Kühn and the 575-year-old Schloss Sommerhausen Estate, plus many others.

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