Pink is the colour of spring – or at least it is along the German Wine Route, where the almond trees are now starting to blossom. The winter gloom is replaced by a sea of rose-coloured blossom that creates a wonderful contrast against the verdant vineyard slopes. The Pfälzer Mandelfrühling, or 'Palatinate almond spring', also takes place during this special time. Castles, palaces and many other buildings are lit up with pink illuminations, and from 1 March to 15 April 2012 there are myriad festivals and events celebrating the spring blossom. Of course, wine also plays an important part. The first wine festivals of the year are about to get under way and mark the start of the 2012 wine season in the Palatinate winegrowing region.