Snip, snip, snip. Rustle, rustle. Snip. Rustle. Snip, snip. That’s the sound of the grape harvest in Germany this time of year, as thousands of hands move through the vines, pushing aside the leaves to find another bunch of grapes. Snip.
Plop drop the grapes into plastic buckets, as the pickers move along the rows of vines and the grapes …
Winzerfest â€“ a chance to celebrate a very fine art…
Every year during summer and autumn, the wine regions of Germany come alive with festivals. Nearly every day, from mid June to mid October, the thousands of wine estates across Germany celebrate winemaking and life in general. There are several regional festivals within each wine growing area where visitors can meet the winemakers and sample the wines and regional cuisine. Seminars, tastings and trips to the vineyards all help to heighten your knowledge of the wines, differences between the areas and the art of winemaking, but the real highlight is the delicious food and the lovely friendly atmosphere.
Many of the wineries organise their own festivals where visitors are invited to join them, eating, drinking, touring the vineyard and cellar and rounding the day off with a delicious meal of regional dishes, not to mention wine! Every estate is different giving variety and individualism to each celebration, some have time-honoured traditions to up keep such as particular walks through the vineyard or toasting a member of the household while in the vineyard and thereâ€™s always lots of dancing.
These events are usually lively and very busy although thereâ€™s always a seat to be found. Its just one of those times when you talk about everything under gray or blue sky (depends on the weather) with the person next to you, even though youâ€™ve only just met! Maybe it has something to do with the food… but then again, maybe its the wine!
Federweisser â€” What Is It?
…a milky-turbid, aerated young wine with a light and sweet taste. After the annual grape harvest, the juices from the grapes are separated and allowed to ferment thus producing the milky still-fermenting grape juice known as “Federweisser” (Feder = feather, Weisser = whiter).
It is sold starting with 4% alcohol and its alcohol concentration increases during the ongoing fermentation to up to 10%. During the process of fermentation, Federweisser bottles must remain open to avoid explosion, therefore they are difficult to transport and this beverage is therefore usually only available in typical vine growing districts.
Not only is it a tasty fall treat, it’s also good for you! Federweisser is enriched with yeast particles, lactic acid bacteria and a high concentration of vitamin B1 and B2 and has a positive effect on intestinal activity.
Visitors to German wine country at this time of year can enjoy this unique specialty, traditionally served with â€œZwiebelkuchen,â€ a delicious onion quiche.
Zwiebelkuchen (Onion Cake)
1 packet yeast, active dry
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup water (warm)
6 slices of Schwarzwalder Schinken (abrahams)
2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 cup sour cream
First mix the yeast, sugar, 1 t salt and 1/2 cup flour. Then blend in shortening and warm water, and beat for 2 minutes. If needed, add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic for about 5 minutes. Then place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover it and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Pat the dough into a lightly greased 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet. Press up the edges to make a slight rim.
Now fry the chopped Schwarzwalder Schinken in a skillet until it is crisp. Remove from skillet and drain on absorbent paper. Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook gently until tender.
Sprinkle onions, Schwarzwalder Schinken, cumin, 1/2 t salt and the pepper over the dough. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Blend the egg yolk and sour cream and pour it over the pre-baked Zwiebelkuchen. Now bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer until golden brown and the sour cream is set.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Hot Tip: Mix some Emmentaler cheese to the egg/ sour cream mix â€” just great for all