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Experience the Main River: Earthly Pleasures of Wine, Beer, and Apple Cider

Franconian wine, great beer, brats, and apple cider are indelibly linked to this area.

No matter whether it’s white or red, wine is the pride and joy of Franconia. The vines find perfect growing conditions on about 6.000 hectares of sunny, steep slopes along the river. Franconian wine growers are very preoccupied with producing high quality wines and their pursuit of perfection pays off: Franconian wines always are among the top scorers in international wine competitions.

Most notable is the Sylvaner, a typical Franconian grape variety. It is routinely made into some of the best wines and is bottled in the unique “Bocksbeutel” bottle. Franconian wine growers have used this fatbellied, flat bottle for their best wines since 1726.

The Main River connects many charming wine towns and hamlets: Klingenberg am Main, Miltenberg, and Wertheim, the wine capital Würzburg, Veitshöchheim, Sommerhausen, and Frickenhausen am Main, Kitzingen, Volkach, Dettelbach, and Zell am Main. There are wineries, wine taverns, and wine festivals too numerous to count. You are invited to experience the great hospitality and the superb Franconian wine.

Around Frankfurt another, more fruity and tart variety of wine is very popular: apple cider made from traditional, local apple varieties.

The famous counterpart to Franconian wine is Franconian beer. Franconia boasts the highest density of breweries in Europe. There are approximately 300 regional breweries that provide a wide variety of beers for all tastes.

Most notable are beers from Bamberg, Kulmbach, and Bayreuth. You will find yourself in beer paradise! Bamberg offers a truly unique brew: a smoked beer. During manufacture, smoke flows through the malt and results in a tangy, full-bodied taste. In Kulmbach, the Bavarian Brewery Museum is worth a visit: Enjoy the exhibits and the museum brewery made out of glass. Bayreuth on the other hand, invites you to visit the “Maisel Brewery and Cooperage Museum” featuring more than 7,000 items in the most comprehensive beer museum in the world.

In Franconia, beer is enjoyed in cozy taverns or at traditional beer festivals - and especially “on top of the cellar.” Brewers have dug beer cellars into rocks for centuries to have a place to keep the beer cool. Soon, beer was being served at the cellar and under the shade of trees. This wonderful tradition continues to this day in Franconia.

When it is time to celebrate, wine, beer, and brass music belong here just as great Franconian food: pork cutlet and tender carp, fine lamb and sweet treats such as “Küchle” are on the menu right next to the traditional brats. Probably the most famous bratwurst is the small Nuremberg brat. However, there are many different varieties of brats. Along the Main River, it tends to be thicker and longer, in Sulzfeld am Main, brats are curly and up to a meter long, and in Kulmbach, locals call it “the pinched one.” No matter where you try it, brats are always hearty, typical Franconian fare!

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Germany

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