Lucerne, Switzerland & Rhine River Cruise travel blog

The guys REALLY wanted to go on this trip!

Corn field - the leaves look really different than ours

Grape vines are everywhere - over the street & down the buildings

Doktorenhof courtyard and guide

We had to wear robes to protect the vinegar from outside smells

Herb room - the well is full of dried herbs

I felt like we should be chanting!!

Some of the many vinegars

Doktorenhof grows and harvests their own grapes

Doktorenhof sign

Our educational trip this morning was to the Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate – a small family owned place that makes drinking vinegars. The estate is located in Venningen in the Palatinate and the vinegar is fermented in centuries-old barrels.

The owner of the Doktorenhof wine vinegar estate, Georg Wiedemann is dedicated to the “sour arts” and produces the finest vinegar with passion and flair. Here vinegar is produced by hand and matured in the warm, dark cellar in huge barrels. This vinegar is made from fine wines also produced on the small estate. The wine is aged 1 – 4 years before being put in a barrel with some of the “Mother”. It can then take another 1 – 15 years before the vinegar is ready.

After the cellar tour, we went to the estate’s atmospheric tasting room. That’s right, there was a tasting of five different wine vinegars, each served in a specially designed glass, much like a long-stemmed shot glass. These complex and elegant vinegar are typically sipped as an aperitif between courses or after a meal, or drizzled over salads, cheeses or meats.  They do make one “health” vinegar that you add to a glass of water every morning to keep aches & colds away.

Who knew vinegar could be so fascinating? The estate itself is located in a charming village, surrounded by the beautiful vineyards of Germany’s Palatine Wine Country.

My in-depth guided tour provided an expert overview of the production and fermentation process of these unique wine vinegars. Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines—such as Gewürztraminer, Riesling and pinot noir—which are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother” and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. They even have a large herb & spice chamber where all they use are kept. The cellars are dark so for the tour, they light candles (no electrical lights) which takes the girls around 45 minutes.

We'll never look at vinegar the same way!!

After returning to the boat for lunch, the Deatz/Rineharts were off to explore the town of Speyer and “maybe” do some shopping!

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