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An A to Z of wine-growing regions
The Saale-Unstrut wine region, view of Steinmeister in Naumburg

The Saale-Unstrut wine region: charming and beautiful

The Saale-Unstrut quality wine region is characterised by unspoilt countryside swathed in vineyards, steep terraces, centuries-old dry-stone walls and romantic vineyard huts. The beauty of the river valleys and the landscape of terraced vineyards evokes an enchanting mediterranean charm. With its pleasant climate, specific soil type and yield regulations, and the experienced hands of its winegrowers, the region produces distinctive wines of the highest quality.

Regional characteristics

Area under vine and grape varieties

Soil types

Climate

Growers and cooperatives

Character

Highlights from the wine region

The river Saale flows out of the Fichtelgebirge mountains towards the Elbe, lined with castles perched on hilltops, tranquil villages and bustling towns. The 403 km Saale Cycle Route offers fabulous cycling with plenty to see.

The Saale meanders for many miles through a mountainous region of forests, gorges and reservoirs, with a number of steep climbs. But the rewards for your exertion are great: stately residences, castles and ruins sit in splendour on the hills and slopes above the river valley. But there is much more than just fortifications and noble residences to discover on this classic route. Other highlights include the dripstone caves near Saalfeld, salt production plants and the university town of Jena. The Saale- Unstrut vineyards around Naumburg produce high-quality wines that are worth setting down your bike for. The Saale continues through meadows and riverside woods before flowing into the Elbe at Barby.

Terrain: hilly in parts with some challenging climbs. The paths are mainly asphalt or crushed brick/stone; short sections are unsurfaced or cobbled. Mostly free of cars.

Scenery: the middle and upper reaches of the Saale river are dominated by mountains. The route flatten outs from Saalfeld to the Elbe confluence, but hillsides, woods and vineyards remain a feature.

It's not just the sekt that sparkles in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany's castle region. The Saale-Unstrut Wine Route, which is approximately 60 km long and is Germany's northern-most wine route, runs from Nebra through Bad Sulza and invites visitors to discover a wealth of high-quality wine destinations and wonderful countryside.

The Saale-Unstrut region is an insiders' tip for wine lovers, history enthusiasts and medieval architecture fans alike. Proud palaces and fairytale castles, enchanting towns and cities, picturesque countryside swathed in idyllic vineyards, steep terraces, centuries-old dry-stone walls and romantic winemaker's cottages make the charming Saale-Unstrut region the perfect place to enjoy fine wine.

A classic tour you will want to take again and again

For more than 1000 years, wine has had a very specific role here in Europe's northern-most wine-growing region. The sunshine in this region rivals that of Tuscany, with around 1,430 hours of sunshine a year helping to ripen the grapes. Sustainable cultivation, combined with the careful, quality-conscious techniques of the vineyards and cellars, produce high-quality wines known for their softly structured, fruity bouquet and crisp character.

An exceptional performance

The patchwork of steep terraces, dry-stone walls, winemaker's cottages and rows of vines make this 700 hectare wine-growing region particularly attractive and all in all, 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.

Saale-Unstrut – a name that's as good as a promise

It is easy to spot the many delightful places serving wine by the bouquets and brooms hanging outside. It doesn't matter whether you want to discover the route on foot, by bicycle, by boat or by car. Anything is possible.

Four-star Berghotel zum Edelacker incorporating the Edelacker restaurant opened in 1996 and offers traditional hospitality combined with modern luxury. Staying in a fabulous location high above the wine town of Freyburg an der Unstrut, the hotel's guests enjoy excellent food, first-class service and undisturbed sleep – total relaxation for body and mind!
This cyclist-friendly hotel is not only a must for fans of cycle tours, it will also appeal to those who enjoys wine and the outdoors. Rooms are modern and welcoming (bath, WC, seating area, flat-screen TV). Seasonal fare and fresh wines are available in the restaurant or on the terrace. After a day's cycling, you can wind down in the hotel's friendly wine cellar.
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