How could we possibly compile a list of our top ten alternative festivals without paying homage to the noble grape? In truth, the wondrous wine celebrations, both large and small, that are held in various Inntravel holiday destinations across Europe – particularly during the grape harvest – could form a ‘top 50’ all of their own, but there are a few worth mentioning here:
• The Federweißer-Fest
in the delightful wine-producing village of Traben-Trarbach in Germany’s Moselle Valley
launches the area’s ’new wine’ in a typically fun and boisterous manner.
• A similar commemoration – although a little later, due to the grape-ripening topography – occurs in the northern Italian region of South Tyrol
, where Törggelen
festivities mean that ‘new wine’, speck
, dumplings and chestnuts are the order of the day.
• The impossibly pretty village of Bergheim in Alsace is the perfect venue for the summertime Fête du Gewurztraminer
, celebrating the region’s most characteristic and complex varietal. Our hotel, the welcoming Cour du Balli, is owned by a pre-eminent producer and is a great place to stay.
• Finally, I ought to mention the Swiss Fête des Vignerons
, billed as a ‘once in a generation’ festival which takes place in the elegant lakeside town of Vevey. Our Great Swiss Lakes
journey begins in nearby Montreux and features a walk in the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyards.