This Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour day-trips from Dresden to Meissen.
Our train winds along the Elbe river. We pass vineyards, which cling desperately to steep terraces fanning South-facing hills.
This is the rarely heard of Saxony (Saxe) wine region: one of the EU’s smallest, Germany’s driest, and packed with 3,000 growers that hardly export their goldriesling, a rare clone of riesling.
But since it is still early, a long walk takes us into the town of Meissen. We run right into Albrechtsburg; Meissen Castle
Narrow cobbled streets pull us up hills and we even find an urban, historic vineyard:
We tumble into a lower, slightly less picturesque, more industrial part of town and find the Meissen factory. An audio guide tours us through the extremely tidy facility.
However, hunger stops us. We eat our bread and cheese pack lunch on the curb outside. Fueled we return to the collection and then nearly buy the whole gift shop. But instead of burdening our bags with breakable finery, I suggest we dine at their cafe. Drinking latte from a $270 coffee cup just tastes better.
The sun fades outside and we end up in town square at the hilltop, Christmas market swinging, church bells ringing, and children performing Christmas skits on stage.
Meissen feels cozy, tight knit, almost pastoral in its small town charm. Christmas markets feel more like a community event than in all the big cities we visited previously.
But before we leave Meissen and Dresden, we need to try a wine from here.
Schloss Wackerbarth was one of those south-facing wineries our train passed, northwest of Dresden. It is one of the oldest continuously run wineries in Europe dating back to 1622. This is their entry riesling, named after the heavily restored Frauenkirche in Dresden.
Schloss Wackerbarth, Riesling QbA, Sachsen, Radebeul, Germany 2011. €15
Appearance: Wackerbarth looks a clear, pale lemon.
Aromas: smell clean, youthful and powerfully of lime, white flowers, and wet slate.
Palate: feels off dry, with medium plus acidity, mild alcohol 11.5%, a medium body, and prickly texture that yet features a soft core.
Flavors: taste strongly of kiwi, white peach, and pear, all tightened by the slate mineral finish that lasts a medium plus length.
Conclusions: Wackerbarth Riesling is very good (4 of 5). I probably won’t get to try many wines from Saxony ever again. However, this example is stellar and astoundingly refreshing. Thank you, Meissen.
Next Monday: Christmas in Berlin.
Great post! Made me rethink some of my wine travels in Europe – moreover – I love drinking out of ridiculously expensive tea cups. Fabulous and very German pretty. Cheers!
It’s nice to remember what things can be.
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