Discover Franconia, one of the most underrated wine regions in the world

  • Head north to Franconia

    There's no shortage of idyllic landscapes, picturesque villages, and steins overflowing with German beer in Bavaria. But when you go to the northern part of the state to the Franconia region, you’ll find all of that and more. There are destinations that are as gorgeous as they are culturally significant, architecture ranging from Medieval tradition to the flamboyance of Baroque and Rococo style, and a wine heritage that dates back more than 1,000 years.

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  • Volkach, Germany

    Village vibes in Volkach

    Volkach is a quintessential small village in the heart of the Franconian wine region. In the surrounding area, a new generation of winemakers are taking the old knowledge and techniques of winemaking and applying them to modern technology and design, in a method that's best described as traditionally different.

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Winzer Sommerach

    It takes a village to make great wine

    In the middle of the Main River,which cuts through the region, is the village of Sommerach, also known as "Weininsel" or "Wine Island" by locals. There are around 140 wine-growing families that cultivate about 250 hectares of vineyards. The small vineyards are not large enough to create their own winery, so as a solution, the community came together to develop the Winzer Sommerach, a co-op that helps families make and distribute award-winning small batches of wine. It gives real meaning to the phrase "it takes a village."

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Rotling Wine

    Sip a refreshing glass of Rotling

    The Franconian take on rosé is the Rotling. Rotling is a crisp, fragrant wine that pairs perfectly with the Mediterranean-like spring and summer weather of the region. It ' made by treating red grapes as if they were white.

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • View of Würzburg from Marienberg Fortress

    Experience Würzburg from above

    When you’re standing at Marienberg Fortress, overlooking Würzburg, it's easy to see why this Baroque city is one of the most popular stops along the Romantic Road. The charming city sits along the Main River and is surrounded by Franconian vineyards. Though much of the city was bombed in March of 1945 during World War II, the local community worked tirelessly to return Würzburg to its original splendor, recreating many of its iconic Baroque buildings. 

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Würzburger Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Stroll through the ornate hallways of the Würzburger Residenz

    Most of the Würzburger Residenz was bombed during World War II, but several rooms housing some of the most intricate frescoes and ornate Venetian-style stucco work survived, allowing it to earn its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The Würzburger Residenz became the home of the prince-bishops, who were both politically and religiously powerful in Würzburg and Franconia, in the mid-1700's. The ceilings are painted with heavenly scenes that depict the power of those who live there. It's hard not to look up in awe.

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Würzburger Residenz is the Staatlicher Hofkeller

    Enjoy a glass of Silvaner in the Staatlicher Hoffkeller

    Underneath the Würzburger Residenz is the Staatlicher Hofkeller, which dates back to 1128 making it one of the oldest wineries in the world. It later fell to the Bavarian crown and was known as the "Royal Bavarian Court Cellar." But when the monarchy ended in Bavaria in 1918, the winery became the state winery of Bavaria. Throughout the turmoil, they continued to make wine in the Franconian tradition. The Bocksbeutel, a round-shaped wine bottle, pays homage to wine-making monks who used a similarly shaped bottle centuries ago. 

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Alte Mainbrücke, Würzburg Germany

    Give a toast to the stunning views on Würzburg's Alte Mainbrücke

    On a warm, sunny day, you'll find locals, students and visitors enjoying wine on the Alte Mainbrücke, a historic pedestrian bridge that goes over the Main River. It's a great spot to take in views of Baroque-style houses lining the riverfront and the Marienberg Fortress on the hill overlooking Würzburg.

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Margravial Opera House, Bayreuth

    Take in the beauty of the Margravial Opera House

    When it comes to the arts in Germany, Bayreuth is considered one of the cultural capitals. Its wide, regal streets are lined with Baroque buildings, many of which were brought into existence by Princess Wilhelmine, a Margravine of Bayreuth in the 18th century. Her most beloved building is the Margravial Opera House which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. It has a perfectly preserved interior carved entirely from wood. The entire structure is hand-painted with images depicting the Holy Roman Empire, including a ceiling mural that is absolutely breathtaking. It's difficult to pay attention to an opera when you’re surrounded by such beauty.

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  • Hermitage Bayreuth

    Escape the city by retreating to the Hermitage

    Just outside the city center of Bayreuth is the Hermitage, the summer escape for Princess Wilhelmine, as well as where she retreated to write her memoirs. The Hermitage sits among well-manicured English gardens. Its exterior is decorated with stones and seashells, while visitors to the interior can get lost in lavish decorations and stunning murals.

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  • Richard Wagner's piano

    Experience the life of Richard Wagner

    Aside from Princess Wilhelmine, another contributor to the culture of Bayreuth – and the culture of Germany as a whole – is composer Richard Wagner. Wagner moved to Bayreuth because of the city's prominent standing in the musical world. It was in this city where he established the Festspielhaus, his own opera house created to stage his works. His house is open to visitors who wish to see the rooms in which his music was brought to life.

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  • Maisel & Friends craft beer

    Yes, Germany can make craft beer

    Franconia is famous for its wine, but Germany is famous for its beer. The German Beer Purity Law dictates that only four ingredients can be used to make beer: water, barley, hops and yeast. So when Maisel & Friends brewery in Bayreuth set out to make craft beer, they didn't see the Germany Purity Law as a hindrance, they saw it as an exciting challenge to create delicious craft beer that abides by German tradition. They've created a line of beers with complex flavors like chocolate porters and citrus ales, proving that even with limited ingredients come limitless flavors.

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

  • Nuremberg from above

    Nuremberg: Germany's quintessential medieval city

    If you want to explore Medieval Germany, then Nuremberg is the best place to go. It's currently the largest city in Franconia, but during the Holy Roman Empire, it was the preferred residence of the German kings, making Nuremberg the empire's undeclared capital. One of the best ways to take in the entire city is from the Kaiserburg Castle on the hill, on the northern edge of the Altstadt.

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  • Nuremberg Hauptmarkt

    Walk through history in Nuremberg's Hauptmarkt

    The Nuremberg Hauptmarkt, or main market, was one of the largest points of trade in Europe during medieval times (from around 1050 to 1571) and served as a checkpoint where spices and other goods were inspected for authenticity. To people purchasing goods during this time period, a Nuremberg seal approval meant the products they were buying were of the best quality. The city's name was trusted throughout the Holy Roman Empire as well as the rest of Europe.

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  • Nuremberg Bratwurst

    These brats are protected by EU law

    There are over 1,500 kinds of bratwurst in Germany, but the Nuremberg Bratwurst is one of the few protected by EU law. Because of its cultural and historical importance to the cuisine of Germany and its relation to the Spice Route which flowed through the Nuremberg Market, the Nuremberg Bratwurst are Protected Geographical Indications under EU law. That means these brats need to meet a strict list of qualifications to be considered legitimate. For instance, the bratwurst are only 7-9 cm long, 20-25 grams and should have no more than 35% fat content.

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  • Nuremberg Gingerbread Cookies

    Learn to bake gingerbread the Nuremberg way

    Another food that is a Protected Geographical Indication under EU law is the Nuremberg variety of lebkuchen, or gingerbread cookie. As an important stop along the Spice Route, ingredients such as cloves, fennel, cinnamon and, of course, ginger found their way into Nuremberg cuisine. Visitors can take gingerbread cookie workshops at the Wicklein bakery, where they've been baking these special cookies since 1615.

    Photo courtesy of Kae Lani