The Saale-Unstrut region is an insiders' tip among wine lovers, history enthusiasts and medieval architecture fans alike. Castles and palaces, proud towns and cities, picturesque river valleys and unspoilt countryside swathed in idyllic vineyards, steep terraces, centuries-old dry-stone walls and romantic vintner cottages make the charming Saale-Unstrut region the perfect place to enjoy fine wine. Wine making has played a special role in this region for at least 1,000 years. Despite being the most northerly wine-growing region in Europe, it rivals Tuscany with around 1,430 hours of sunshine a year to ripen the grapes. Sustainable cultivation combined with careful, quality-conscious techniques used in the vineyards and cellars produce high-quality wines known for their softly structured, fruity bouquet and crisp character. The wine-growing areas, covering some 680 hectares, are particularly attractive with their patchwork of steep terraces, dry-stone walls, vintner cottages and rows of vines. Thirty grape varieties are grown here. With more than 40 wineries, the Freyburg wine cooperative, the state winery and the Rotkäppchen-Mumm sekt producers, there is plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the wine along the Saale-Unstrut Wine Route. It is easy to spot the many delightful places serving wine by the bouquets and brooms hanging outside.