Bernkastel celebrates its popular Middle Mosel wine festival this weekend

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Bernkastel, a famous holiday site, celebrates its traditional wine festival of the middle Mosel Aug. 30 - Sept. 2.

More than 20 wine growing towns will participate in the fest, the largest of its kind along the Mosel.

When visitors arrive in Bernkastel, the center of the Mosel wine industry, they can experience the delicious Riesling wines at one of the town's old wine cellars or enjoy the Mosel hospitality and entertainment offered in hotels, wine taverns, first-class restaurants or traditional coffee houses.

The adventurous can follow a cobblestone path behind the statue in the square, through vineyards and traveling endlessly up. Take your time, snap lots of pictures and take a break to enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Mosel, with the largest continuously-linked vineyard slopes in Germany.

The Bernkastel festival officially starts Friday, Aug 30, 3:30 p.m., with the opening of the amusement ride park, the handcraft market and the wine street. A limited number of free rides will be available at this time.

The current wine queen, "Mosella" Nina I, will be present and greeted by the city mayor, Wolfgang Port.

"Mosella wine queen, Nina I will be welcomed in the main market square at 8:30 p.m. An entertainment program will also kick off in the market square, featuring dancing performances and various music presentations on stage to include fanfares, percussion and trumpet performances.

Activities will continue Saturday with the opening of the handicraft market at 11 a.m.

Music by various local bands and fanfares, to include performances by the Dutch, Belgium and French, will occur in the main market square and throughout the city.

The highlight of the middle Mosel wine festival will be a giant fireworks display from the Burg Landshut Castle and the Mosel shore, from 9 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31 is known as the biggest pyrotechnic spectacle on the Mosel. Built during the 13th century, the castle ruins lie atop a vine-clad hillside.

Music by the Ghost Riders and other bands will occur within the town until midnight.

More music by European groups, wine tasting and fun is scheduled for Sunday. Performances will start at the town's Moselland hall, and continue all day throughout town.

Another highlight of the Bernkastel fest is a colorful folk parade Sunday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m., featuring close to 100 floats, fanfares and bands parading through the city. This an excellent opportunity for photographers to indulge. A variety of music will occur in the market square until late in the evening.

The 45-minute drive from Spangdahlem to Bernkastel along the Mosel River is a delightful scenic route which takes travelers through valleys and around hills. With its medieval architecture, Bernkastel-Kues is a favorite holiday site for Mosel travelers and wine connoisseurs.

Safety tips: It will be extremely crowded during the weekend, especially Saturday evening, prior and after the fire works display, and Sunday afternoon, prior and after the parade -- so get there early to find convenient parking. People may have to walk a mile or two to get to the activities from a designated parking lot. It is not advised to bring small children to this event, which includes alcohol consumption and a lot of wine tasting. Alcohol controls will be enforced throughout the weekend around Bernkastel and elsewhere. To be safe and stay out of trouble, festival visitors must arrange for transportation after consuming alcohol--do not drink and drive.