Over 25 Reasons to Follow the Saxon Wine Trail


Hiking the Saxon Wine Trail is divided into 6 daily stages averaging 8 miles, or 5 to 6 hours of walking per day. 2022 is 30th Anniversary.

The Saxon Wine Trail, a 50 mile walk and wine tasting experience through more than 850 years of wine making, is easily divided into six stages with an average of eight miles or five to six hours of walking a day. This region of German, nicknamed the Saxon Rivera, follows parts of the Elbe River as it winds its way through countryside near such historic Saxon towns as Pirna, Meissen and Dresden, all renowned for their porcelain, art, architecture, history and castles. With temperatures averaging about 75 degrees during summer and orchards and vineyards brimming with fruit, the trail is also lovely in autumn when the leaves are ablaze of colors. For those who’d rather drive, it’s 34 miles by car.

Either way, according to Victoria Larson, USA Press Representative, State Tourist Board, visitors can sample over 60 grape varieties – including Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, but also Traminer, Scheurebe and the Goldriesling, which is only grown on the Elbe.

“You will pass beautiful villas and magnificent castles,” says Larson. “A detour into the old town of Dresden leads to the Zwinger, Semper Opera and Frauenkirche. In Radebeul, you can take time to visit the Saxon Wine Museum Hoflößnitz and the beautiful 850-year old winery in Europe at Wackerbarth Castle where you can treat yourselves to fabulous tours, meals and a great gift shop. The journey continues to Meissen: the imposing castle hill with the cathedral and Albrechtsburg Castle can be seen from afar. The WineExperienceWorld of the Saxon Winegrowers’ Cooperative Meissen offers information and insights into the history and current practices of winegrowing in the area.”

In the last 40 years, Saxony has experienced a true renaissance of wine growing with young and experimental vintners leading the way. Although Saxony is still Germany’s smallest and northernmost wine region, currently there are not only many professional growers but also about 1000 hobby winemakers. Typically grapes are grown on hillside terraces requiring that most tending and harvesting be done by hand.

The northern starting point of the Saxon Wine Route is the charming village of Diesbar-Seusslitz with its beautiful baroque castle surrounded by formal gardens.

The most prominent winery of the route is Schloss Proschwitz housed in a baroque-style castle built by one of Saxony’s oldest families who lost their home after WWII but bought it back after reunification. With dedication, labor and love, they recreated one of Saxony’s leading and largest privately owned wineries. Their wine production includes a range of wines from Pinot Gris and Pint Blanc to Müller-Thurgau and Goldriesling, a Saxony speciality. The castle and vineyard are year-round destinations for events and weddings as well as the concerts that are part of Dresden’s famous music festivals.  

Not far away, Meissen, once the seat of the Saxon electors which gives it a special prominence in this historic land, also has extensive vineyards.

“Two trademarks of this 1000-year-old city on the Elbe are the Albrechtsburg, an enormous Gothic cathedral, and the well-known Meissen porcelain manufactory, MEISSEN, a must-visit destination for anyone interested in design and craft, jewelry, art and architecture,” says Larson.

The capital city of Dresden with its magnificent skyline is notable for the dome of the Protestant Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), the smaller dome of the Catholic Palace Church (Hofkirche), the roof line of the Semper Opera and the ornate gates to the museums in the Zwinger Palace.

Just down the river, the next highlight is Castle Pillnitz, the summer palace of the Wettin kings and Saxon electors. The baroque palace is home to the Arts and Crafts Museum of the Dresden State Art Collection as well as a castle museum and has an extensive formal garden and park. The most spectacular way to get to the palace is by paddle boat from Dresden as the riverbank is lined with beautiful villas and castles built by noble families who wanted to be near the king.

A magnificent winery in Pillnitz with views over the Elbe River Valley is Weingut Klaus Zimmerling, where visitors can stay for a wine tasting and view the fields and the outstanding sculptures by Malgorzata Chodakowska.

The last stop on Saxony’s Wine Trail is the medieval town of Pirna, the gateway to Saxon Switzerland. Pirna is famed beyond the borders of Saxony due to the paintings by Venetian artist Bernardo Bellotto, the nephew of the famous Italian painter, Canaletto, who often took his uncle’s name to further his own reputation. The medieval town is much as it has always been and features winding streets, leading visitors in between town houses, charming courtyards and numerous fountains, and taking you on a journey through the past.

Every autumn, towns like Pirna and Radebeul host wine festivals where visitors get to taste the local wines and meet regional growers. Saxony and Dresden is an easy car or train ride from Berlin or Frankurt both of which have many direct flights from the U.S. and Canada.

Making the Case for Macon

Macon, Georgia, which is just 90 minutes from Atlanta and 3.5 hours from both Birmingham and Chattanooga and four hours from Charleston and Jacksonville, is often an overlooked destination.  Located in the center to Georgia–or should we say the very heart and soul of the state–Macon is a fun-filled destination with both a fascinating history, an exciting present, and a bright future. Still need convincing? Here are four reasons among many to put Macon on your bucket list.

  • Makin’ Fun: Macon is the home of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, so sports-aholics can get their fix of every sport at every level of play. But for some what’s best about Macon’s athletic scene is that it’s home to the best-named baseball team in the whole game: the Macon Baco. Yes, really. That alone should prove that Macon is a fun place. As for the Macon Bacons, it’s part of a wood-bat collegiate summer league whose roster teams (pardon the pun) with top players from schools around the country. Not only does the team have a delicious name, but it also has a mascot that really sizzles: Kevin, a seven-foot-tall slice of bacon. Get it … Kevin Bacon? Our pal Kevin Bacon loves to dance particularly it’s one of the songs from the movie “Footloose.” A dancing strip of bacon imakes sense. After all Macon is a city that’s all about music. As an aside, the Bacons’ archrivals are the Savannah Bananas. We love that name but really, if it’s a contest between bacon and bananas, we’d choose bacon every time.
  • Makin’ Movies: The baseball team plays at historic Luther Williams Field, built in 1929 and recently refurbished. Even if you haven’t been to a game (yet), the field might look familiar to you because it’s starred on the screen in “The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings,” a 1976 movie starring Billy Dee Williams; “The Trouble with the Curve,” a 2012 film featuring Clint Eastwood; “42,” the 2013 biopic about baseball legend Jackie Robinson; and the Hank Azaria TV comedy “Brockmire.” Macon is the site of plenty of movie-making, most recently welcoming an all-star cast that was in town filming the remake of “The Color Purple,” which is set for release in 2023. The film is being produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Quincy Jones. (As an aside, if our mention of Kevin Bacon above has you playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” you might be interested in knowing that each of those producers has a Bacon Number of 2. The actor, we mean. Not the baseball mascot. The version wearing a frying pan as a cap is probably separated by a few additional degrees.)
  • Makin’ Music: This new version of “The Color Purple” is an adaptation of the Broadway musical, so Macon was the perfect location. This is a city with deep musical roots (fun fact: this is where the kazoo was invented, by a formerly enslaved man named Alabama Vest all the way back in 1840), and it lives up to its tagline, “Where Soul Lives.” It’s the hometown of Otis Redding, Little Richard and The Allman Brothers, all of whom left indelible marks on the place and its people. Today, visitors can learn more about Macon’s musical history by checking out live performances at an array of venues, visiting the Otis Redding Foundation Museum or the Allman Brothers Museum at the Big House, or taking a public or private Rock Candy Tour, which could focus on music alone or the delightful combo of music and food.
  • Makin’ Dinner: Macon has an incredible food scene, and some its top restaurants have ties to music. The Downtown Grill a fancy English steakhouse, is where Greg Allman proposed to Cher, but it’s H&H Soul Food where the band spent even more time … and then took its former owner, Mama Louise, on the road with them so they could have their favorite meals on the tour bus. Today you’ll find everything from upscale to down-home offerings, plus plenty of liquid refreshment to accompany all the amazing tastes.

Pro tip: For a great lunch option, hit The Rookery and order pretty much any sandwich or burger … and a milkshake chaser. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that many menu items feature bacon in a starring role. Because, as we know, it always comes back to bacon.

And there you have it … in just three degrees of separation from baseball to burger, Makin’ it in Macon is all about fun, food, sports, history, and so much more.

For more information or to begin planning a trip, start here

TASTE AWARDS Announce All Award Winners and Honorees for 13th Anniversary Year

For over a decade, the TASTE AWARDS have been the premier awards celebrating the year’s best in Food, Fashion, Health, Travel, and Lifestyle programs in Film, Television, Online & Streaming Video, Podcasts, Radio and Photography.

2022 Nominee, Winners, Honorees and Hall of Fame Inductees will have their honors celebrated on the star-studded televised awards show broadcast in May and June on selected public television stations across the United States.

The TASTE AWARDS have included appearances by stars, celebrities, producers and executives from networks and platforms such as the Food Network, the Style Network, Bravo, the Cooking Channel, TLC, Discovery, Lifetime, E! Entertainment Television, PBS, Create TV, APT, NBC, ABC, the CW, HGTV, the Travel Channel, HD Net, Hulu, YouTube, Dreamworks, Esquire Network, FYI Network, The History Channel, Bio, iHeart Radio, Sony Pictures, HBO Max, Entertainment Studios’ Recipe.TV, NETA, Myx TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tastemade, the Africa Channel, Roku, and more.

Now in its 13th year, the annual TASTE AWARDS television broadcast across the United States will be in May and June 2022, and you are requested to join. 

This star-studded television special will be broadcast exclusively on select public television stations nationwide. Celebrity award presenters for this broadcast include Tyler Florence, Joanne Weir, Darley Newman, Chef Jernard Wells, Michelle Harris, Kim Estes, Lorna Maseko, Nikki Dinki, Andrea Feczko, Danielle Nottingham, Kitchen Chat, Chef JJ Johnson, and more.

The 13th Annual TASTE AWARDS ceremony has been produced in a pre-recorded format for broadcast in May and June 2022 (check your local listings for May and June dates and times) and also viewable on the PBS Video app.

THE ANDREW ZIMMERN DISCOVERY AWARD honors the mission to discover new cultures, new flavors, or new talent. The inaugural winners of this new award were Andrew Zimmern and Tyler Florence. This year’s winner, based on decades of contributions to culinary, television, and film talent as well as a fierce and constant determination to find and spotlight new flavors, is celebrity chef and author Julia Child (The French Chef).

All of the following have been selected by the TASTE AWARDS Committee to be honored with Special Achievement Honoree Awards in the listed categories.

BREAKOUT FOODIES OF THE YEAR

Sweet Heat with Rick Martinez (Food52), Bake It Up a Notch with Erin McDowell (Food52), Pizza-Making Class on Goldbelly Live

BREAKOUT STORYTELLERS OF THE YEAR

86ED, The Food that Built America: “Soup of the Century” (History)

OUTSTANDING PASSION

G. Garvin Live!

STYLEMAKER AWARD

Lost Time

Arts of Fashion Show

SPOTLIGHT AWARD

Maria’s Portuguese Table

To Dine For with Kate Sullivan

ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE NEWS AWARD

Rich and Daily

OUTSTANDING NATURE OR SCIENCE PROGRAM, FILM, OR DOCUMENTARY AWARD

The Green Wave – Tahiti

BEST OF CANADA

One BIG Recipe

BEST OF AFRICA

Amah Knows Best

Item 13: An African Foods Podcast

BEST OF LATIN/SOUTH AMERICA

Sopitas de mi Ecuador

GENERAL CATEGORY TASTE AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEES & WINNERS

The Academy of Media Tastemakers has selected the following nominees and winners in each awards category.

Best Chef in a Series

AZ Cooks Live

Bake It Up a Notch with Erin McDowell (Food52)

Cooks Thyme with Chef Tobias Cooks

G. Garvin Live!

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted

Just Eats with Chef JJ

Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana

Paris Bistro Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams

Simply Ming: Season 18 – WINNER

A Taste of Key West

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television

Cook’s Country – WINNER

Eatup! New York

Fast Foodies

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted

Just Eats with Chef JJ

Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana

New Soul Kitchen Remix

Paris Bistro Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams

Selena + Chef Season 2

Tastes Like Home Series Four and Five

Best Food Program – Online and Streaming

AZ Cooks Live

Bake It Up a Notch with Erin McDowell (Food52)

Bravo’s Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen

Chef Jason Bunin Cooking Show

Cutting the Curd

Feast.Network

Gear Heads — America’s Test Kitchen

Let’s Make Dessert — America’s Test Kitchen

Meat and Three

Sweet Heat with Rick Martinez (Food52)

The Butter Book

The Extra Mile

The Wild Harvest – WINNER

What’s Eating Dan? — America’s Test Kitchen, Dan Souza – WINNER

Best Food Travel Series

A Parisian Food Affair with Julie Neis

A Queen In The Kitchen-Estate Italiana

A Taste of Key West

Australia’s Food Bowl with Stefano de Pieri

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television

French Country Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted – WINNER

Lidia Celebrates America: A Salute to First Responders

Maria’s Portuguese Table , 8 part Series

Tastes Like Home Series Four And Five

The Extra Mile

To Dine For with Kate Sullivan

Weekends with Yankee

Best Reality Series

Backyard Bar Wars

Culture Kitchen – WINNER

Fast Foodies

G. Garvin Live!

Just Eats with Chef JJ

New Soul Kitchen Remix

Selena + Chef Season 2

Simply Ming: Season 18 – WINNER

The TODAY SHOW: Joy’s Superfood Friday

What’s Eating Dan? — America’s Test Kitchen, Dan Souza

The Event

Best Drink or Beverage Program

Back Bar

Backyard Bar Wars

Dads Drinking Bourbon

Feast.Network

Muddled Up!

Proof

The 3 Julias on 30A Television

The Grape Nation

The Speakeasy

Wine First – WINNER

Wine Soundtrack

Best Branded Program, Native Content, Video, or Advertisement: Presented by R&B Cellars

Clovia – Women’s Day

Get Away for a Day with Allyshia Renay!

Nadia Mejia’s (2016 Miss USA Runner-Up) AI Driven Interactive Food Film

Non So Dove, Ma Insieme

The Superiore of Prosecco in Venice – WINNER

Best Green or Organic Program, Series or Film

Building Tomorrow

French Country Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams

New Day New Chef : LIVE

Paris Bistro Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams

The Green Wave – Tahiti

The Soul of A Farmer – WINNER

Best New Series

Backyard Bar Wars

Counterjam

Culture Kitchen – WINNER

Fast Foodies

Let’s Make Dessert — America’s Test Kitchen

The Sandwich Universe

Best Single Topic Series: Presented by Gowan’s Cider

All in the Industry

Back Bar – WINNER

Cutting the Curd

Dads Drinking Bourbon

Extreme Cuisine – Sea Urchin

Fields

Let’s Make Dessert — America’s Test Kitchen

Pizza Quest

Sip Sip Hooray! wine podcast

The Event

The Sandwich Universe

The Speakeasy

The Wild Harvest – WINNER

Best Series Pilot

Backyard Bar Wars

Cooking in Mexican from A To Z

Dear Mama

Fast Foodies – WINNER

Fields

Muddled Up!

One BIG Recipe

Pizza Quest

The SloFunkPump Show

Best Home Chef in a Series

Eat, Drink, and Handle Your Business

Let’s Make Food From Food with Michelle Ullmann

Living By Design

Selena + Chef Season 2 – WINNER

The 3 Julias on 30A Television

The Trailer Park Cooking Show With Jolene Sugarbaker

Valcooks Kitchen

Best Food or Drink Podcast

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio

Counterjam

Item 13: An African Foods Podcast

The Black Kitchen Initiative by Heinz

The Sandwich Universe

The Speakeasy – WINNER

Best Travel Program

A Parisian Food Affair with Julie Neis

A Pilgrimage to Tibet

Dear Mama

Get Away for a Day with Allyshia Renay!

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted – WINNER

Great Getaways: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Passion Italy

SOS

Tastes Like Home

Travels with Darley

Best City or Regional Program

Amah Knows Best

Australia’s Food Bowl with Stefano de Pieri

Back At The Table

Eatup! New York

Get Away for a Day with Allyshia Renay!

Joanne Weir’s Plates & Places – WINNER

Wine Road Podcast

Best Ethnic Lifestyle Series, Program or Film

54 Years Late

A Queen In The Kitchen-Estate Italiana

CombiNation Plates

Culture Kitchen – WINNER

Friday Night Vibes

G. Garvin Live!

Just Eats with Chef JJ

New Soul Kitchen Remix

The Black Kitchen Initiative by Heinz – WINNER

Valcooks Kitchen

Best International Program: Presented by Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel (Puerto Vallarta)

Amah Knows Best

Australia’s Food Bowl with Stefano de Pieri

Extreme Cuisine – Sea Urchin

French Country Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams

Nordic by Nature – Michelin Stars

Passion Italy

Sopitas de mi Ecuador

Tastes Like Home – WINNER

The Green Wave – Tahiti

Best Multi Camera Production

Backyard Bar Wars

Fast Foodies – WINNER

French Country Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams: Foraging By The Sea

Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana

Joanne Weir’s Plates & Places

Tastes Like Home – WINNER

Best Foreign Language Program, Series or Film

A Queen In The Kitchen-Estate Italiana

Nordic by Nature – Michelin Stars – WINNER

Sopitas de mi Ecuador

Wine Soundtrack