Hessische Bergstraße - Wine and Stone Adventure Trail
A very special experience of art, knowledge and nature, is a hike on the "Wine and Stone Adventure Trail" in Heppenheim on the Hessische Bergstrasse, inaugurated in April 2007. The almost seven kilometer long circuit offers a unique wealth of illustrated information on the subject of wine at 70 stations along the route.
The concept of the adventure trail in the middle of the UNESCO Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald is very lateral. The focus is not only on wine and grape varieties, but also on the many related questions of regional geology and history, climate, flora, fauna and lifestyle. This is all conveyed in a very entertaining way, making this combination of relaxation and specialized knowledge unique amongst German wine hiking trails.
Also unique are the fantastic panoramic views of five different German wine-growing regions along the circuit, something not possible elsewhere. The trail is lined with peach and almond trees, leading through several vineyards, with benches available at the most beautiful viewpoints, inviting us to pause and take it all in.
Variety is guaranteed - while we can look over the shoulders of winemakers at work one moment, a few meters away we are faced with interesting questions that we have probably never asked ourselves before: What are Blauer Wildbacher and Gelber Orléans and what have they got to do with Agenda 21? Why does volcanic ash come into the wine? What does our breathing have to do with the fermentation of wine and photosynthesis? Why is viticulture used to conserve rare animal and plant species? How did our grape varieties come about and where do they originally come from? All of these and many other questions are answered along the way, conversationally as it were, "in passing".
Which also turns the adventure trail into a great educational path, on which you can explore the diverse secrets of wine and nature with your children. For this purpose, the Bergsträßer Winzer e.G. have created an entertaining questionnaire that can be completed during the hike. At the end of the tour, the answered questionnaire can then be exchanged for a small surprise.
And if we would like to then do some seated training after our long educational hike, we can do so in the “Vino-Kino”, where the special features and specialties of Hessian viticulture flicker across the screen in an amusing form. Also of interest in this context are the monthly ("W" seminars for beginners), guided tours and wine tastings on selected topics, or the "Geo & Pleasure" hikes, which are offered under the guidance of Geopark rangers.
The ultimate finish to this unforgettable, original hiking day is to settle in to one of the numerous wine bars on the Hessische Bergstrasse, where we can enjoy the wines of the region with culinary specialties.
Hours walking time
Wine and Stone Adventure Trail
Heppenheim Winzerbrunnen (Winegrower's Fountain)
Logo of the Unesco Geopark (green circle with curved lines on the inside), or coat of arms of the Winegrowers of Bergsträße
Interesting circuit with lots of information boards about wine and geology. Also suitable for walkers
Parking at the Winzerbrunnen, both start and finish
Waldspirale - Hundertwasser-Siedlung
Starkenburg - Sternwarte
Fossilienfunde UNESCO Weltnaturerbe
Altstadt mit Schloss
In the small wine-growing region on the Hessische Bergstrasse there are only a handful of Straußwirtschaft ( seasonal wine taverns) - for example in Reinheim, Rossdorf, Bensheim and several winegrowers in Groß-Umstadt.
A look at the local newspaper is helpful here as dates and opening times are usually announced in advertisements there. The Straußwirtschaft of the Vinum Autmundis wine cooperative in Odenwald in Groß-Umstadt is well known and there you can also find information about other Straußwirtschaft.