In the sunny region of Saale-Unstrut, people take the time to enjoy themselves. Good restaurants can be found everywhere, from rustic country inns to beer gardens and taverns along the banks of the Saale and Unstrut. Gourmets are spoiled here with local products, delicious seasonal and often organic dishes from the region. And with wine from the region! And that is special, when you consider that Freyburg is located at 51° North latitude.
Wine culture in Saale-Unstrut
Freyburg an der Unstrut is located in the middle of the Saale-Unstrut region, one of the (if not the) most northern wine regions of our eastern neighbours, named after the rivers Unstrut and Saale. And that you can enjoy wine here, Torsten General is only too happy to show you.
Torsten General has lived in this region for 12 years and, like his wife, has a great passion for wine. They decided to take their passion to the next level and started a real wine hotel in the middle of the Saale-Unstrut region, in the town of Freyburg to be precise. Are you looking for an appropriate wine hotel? The modern Weinhotel Freylich Zahn is the ideal place to stay for a few nights while exploring the city and wine region. The hotel and winery is located in a hundreds of years old warehouse, where a young family of wine brewers has made their big dream of a small hotel a reality.
In addition to a wine hotel, Torsten and his wife Elvira have also opened a restaurant (51° Wine Bar) and shop (vinothek). It should be clear: viticulture has left its mark not only in the landscape, but also in the hearts of the inhabitants of Freyburg.
Taste – taste the local culture
It is well known that you discover the best places in a city with the help of tips from locals. People who live in the city and know all the secret spots. The German Tourist Office is responding nicely to this with the campaign German.Local.Culture., in which the local stories of Germany are central. Go on a journey through green areas and discover authentic crafts, local specialties and characteristic traditions.
In Freyburg state a meeting with local Torsten General central. In the video you can see that he not only talks about his passion for wine and his special wine hotel, but that he also shares what you should absolutely not miss as a visitor to the city. In this way everyone can get to know Germany from the locals.
Roads and river valleys meander through the landscape, making you want to go for walks and bike rides. In the area you will find several wine routes. Or take a canoe trip on the Saale or the Unstrut. Drink a glass of wine in one of the cozy Straußwirtschaften or pouring, visit one of the wineries, where you can learn a lot about the vineyards in the area, and look for fairytale castles and old churches.
Freyburg Wine Town
The wine city Freyburg is the center of the region; a small, compact town in Saxony-Anhalt, in the heart of Germany. The picturesque town has a historic center with cozy squares, such as the Marktplatz with the town hall, various hotels and fine restaurants. And an impressive castle that towers high above the city: Schloss Neuenburg with its wine museum. The city church of St. Marien in the center is also called the little sister of Naumburg Cathedral.
Freyburg is not only home to many small wineries, this German town is also home to one of the major producers of sparkling wine, the Rotkäppchen Sektkellerei. Be sure to take an interesting tour of the champagne cellars, past the atrium, the mighty cellar complex and the huge wooden barrel, to learn more about the production of this widely known and popular sparkling wine.
Walking through vineyards
The gently rolling countryside in the Freyburg area, full of vine-covered slopes and castles visible from afar, provides the ideal ingredients for a perfect walk. Slightly ascending hiking trails, a wide choice of hiking trails (about 1,300 km), many wineries and charming river landscapes. Recommended are the Saale Wine Route, the Vineyard Route and the Rödel-Rundweg, the circular walk Rödel near Freyburg. The Saale-Unstrut Wine Route between Freyburg and Laucha offers a lot of information about the Saale-Unstrut wine on 12 kilometers. For young hikers, there are five child-friendly information boards between Weischütz and Zeddenbach.
Each of these routes takes you through the beautiful wine landscape to numerous wineries, past historic village centers with a rich history and a lively culture. Not to be missed are the Naumburg Cathedral which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018, the Ducal Vineyard in Freyburg, the old monastery church of scenic Zscheiplitz and the windmill of Zeddenbach.
Wine tasting by bike – from the source to the mouth
Freyburg is located between the vineyards, and where there are vineyards, it is often a good place to stay. Usually a river with a centuries-long (wine) history flows through the beautiful landscape. After all, its transport function was vital for viticulture. Along the rivers Unstrut and Saale (and the White Elster) there are numerous wine routes for tourists; long walks or a bike ride along the vineyards, through nature parks, past castles, monasteries and churches, parks, water mills and historical museums. It certainly does not have to be the entire 200 kilometers of the Unstrut or the 400 kilometers of the Saale cycle path to enjoy.
With the classic Saale-Unstrut Wine Route (approx. 60 km from Memleben along Nebra, Laucha, Freyburg and Naumburg to Bad Sulza), the White Elster Wine Route (approx. 17 km from Zeitz to Wetterzeube) and the Mansfelder Lakes Wine Route (approx. 22 km from Zappendorf to Unterrissdorf) you will discover the most beautiful places in this region. The Goetheradweg, which is on the World Heritage List, is also a 90-kilometre cycle route through the area. You can of course also put together your own cycling tour, by combining part of the Goetheradweg with, for example, the idyllic Saale-Unstrut-Elster Rad-Acht or a tour around the Geiseltalsee, possibly up to the Merseburger Dom, the Gothic cathedral of Merseburg. Many parts of the Saale-Unstrut cycle paths are particularly family-friendly, so that children can also enjoy cycling.
If you prefer not to walk after a visit to the winery, you can hop on the Geiseltal Express, which makes daily rounds around the lake.
Saale-Unstrut – where it’s all about wine
After a long bike ride or a walk over the steep slopes, there is nothing better than a well-deserved glass of wine at one of the wineries and taverns in Saale-Unstrut. Order a savory tarte flambée or a hearty cheese platter to perfectly round off the wine enjoyment. The winegrowers are happy to tell you their stories, in the vineyard itself, or in a wine cellar.
After a visit to the “Freyburger Weingalerie” you will know that there are almost 800 hectares of vineyards, half of which are cultivated by about 400 winegrowers of the winegrowers’ association. That here so-called Pradikatswein is made from the northernmost wine-growing region, the highest quality level in German wine-growing legislation. Something special are the wine tastings in the ANISIUM, which are crowned with a tour of one of the most beautiful rustic wooden barrel cellars in Germany.
A soil of shell lime and red sandstone, the many hours of sunshine (1600 hours) and the low rainfall (500 mm per year) ensure optimal growing conditions for the grapes grown on the steep slopes of the wine region. These specific conditions in turn determine the colour, aroma and taste of the wines.
Despite the very northern location of the Saale and Unstrut rivers, the area has more than 60 grape varieties and wine has been grown here for more than 1,000 years. From fruity, spicy white wines to velvety red wines. The delicately spicy müller-thurgau, earthy silvaners, riesling, pinot gris and pinot blanc, as well as dornfelder and pinot noir are among the wine varieties grown in Saale-Unstrut in more than 50 wineries. The specialties are the noble white and gray Burgundy wines.
Wines taste best where they come from. So pay a visit to the Saale-Unstrut region, close to Leipzig. A region known for the terraces of vineyards and the delicious wines produced there. This sunny wine region offers versatile experiences for hikers and cyclists, but also for culture and wine lovers. You reach Freyburg by highway via Dortmund and Kassel (600 kilometers from Utrecht).
Saale-Unstrut is still a real one hidden gem. So off to Freyburg for a weekend full of first-class culinary delights!