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.

Germany’s Oldest Palace, Original Home to Meissen, Innovates with the Histopad, an Augmented Reality Tour, in 2020

Albrechtsburg Castle above the River Elbe.

Just outside of Saxony’s cultural city of Dresden, Germany’s fourth most popular destination, the
palace of Albrechtsburg in the town of Meissen awes its visitors with its extraordinary murals and
original interiors as well as state of the art video installations about the making of porcelain, or
“white gold.” But now this famous palace has gone a step further by implementing an Augmented
Reality Tour with the Histopad that facilitates an unprecedented depth and breadth of discovery.

Already at the time when it was being built in the 15th century, the Albrechtsburg Castle that
towers over the River Elbe was considered cutting edge architecture. The sophisticated arched
curtain windows and the cellular vaulting throughout the castle as well as the large spiral
staircase were architectural novelties. Today, however, the innovation lies in technology and
beautifully crafted, highly interactive 3D videos that engage visitors on a very sophisticated and
comprehensive level that is fun at the same time as educational.

The so-called “Histopad,” the first in Germany, is an augmented reality tour created by
Schlösserland Sachsen and a French firm, Histovery. The tablet guide brings history alive in 3D,
uncovering delightful facts and tidbits about the palace’s hidden secrets, such as where the
treasure was stored; what they ate for dinner; what they would be talking about in the morning;
what they wore to work or on a weekend; what was served at their banquets; how did the
chemical laboratory for the porcelain really look? It takes history to a whole new level of detail of
day to day life that makes the characters and their palaces come alive as real people and
places. Every detail has been researched and verified by the well-respected experts at the
Stately Palaces and Gardens of Saxony.


The late-Gothic castle complex – the Meissen Albrechtsburg Castle – was built between 1471
and 1524 on behalf of the two brothers, Ernest and Albert of Wettin, who jointly ruled Saxony in
the Middle Ages. The new residence was a representative administration center and residential
palace – the first of its kind in German architectural history. It was meant to showcase the power
of the Wettin Dynasty and how closely this was tied to the Saxon kingdom. The architect, Albert
von Westfalen, was considered a trendsetter in building design and the palace he created was
considered the best in all of Europe. Soon after the palace was built however, the Wettin
brothers split their kingdom and so the palace went unused except for an occasional ceremony.

The beautiful Saxon capital of Dresden.

It was not until a few hundred years later, in 1710, that Augustus the Strong floated 20 miles
down the Elbe to Meissen and mandated the creation of a porcelain manufactory right in the
middle of Albrechtsburg Palace. He imprisoned his top scientific minds of the day in the
fortifications of Dresden to work together to create the white porcelain and after many years,
they succeeded in 1708, and the European hard porcelain was born. All of the European
aristocracy, and Augustus the Strong in particular, were seized by the lust for porcelain, or white
gold. He called it the maladie de porcelaine or porcelain fever. Today, many of the best pieces of
Augustus the Strong’s extraordinary porcelain collection are located in the Dresden State
Art Collection’s Porcelain Collection in the Zwinger Museum. They are a testament to his
17th century pursuits and ultimate success not only in amassing an enormous collection of
porcelain from around the world but also for building and creating Europe’s finest porcelain

The special exhibition “Augustus the Strong – History. His Myths. His Legends.” at Moritzburg Castle (Schloss Moritzburg) deals with the glorious life of the former Elector of Saxony.

The Meissen Manufactory stayed in the Albrechtsburg Palace until 1853 when it was then
moved just a few blocks away to today’s state of the art facility where visitors can visit the
Meissen museum, shop in the showroom, dine on Meissen porcelain and watch the artists at
work and even participate in workshops. Meissen porcelain is a signature product of Saxony and
has been a mainstay of the state’s economy providing jobs, income and hard currency revenue
even during the reign of the GDR. Today it is still an important company in the state of Saxony
and Germany and it has become a cultural center hosting artists each year to participate in its
exhibitions and add to the famous Meissen designs.

Weesenstein Castle (Schloss Weesenstein)! The unique ensemble is located in the Mueglitz valley near Dresden 

In addition to the porcelain exhibition in the Albrechtsburg, the other tours include the palace
architecture, the dynasty of the Wettins and the monumental murals. Unlike other major projects
in their time, Albrechtsburg Castle did not grow over many building stages, but as a holistic
design of the master builder Arnold von Westfalen. From 1471 on, it was he who created a real
trendsetter for late-Gothic architecture. The Wettin Dynasty ruled in the heart of Europe and
were influential in spreading Luther’s ideas.

The dynasty ruled until 1918 at the heart of Europe.

At the end of the 19th century, after the porcelain manufactory had moved out, Wilhelm
Rossmann, Privy Court Councillor, developed his artistic design: “a painted picture book” which
are actually enormous murals that show visitors historical events of Saxony and have become a
central memorial site of Saxon identity that goes back to the original founding dynasty.
Today Meissen and Dresden are an extraordinary destination for people interested in history,
culture, architecture and, especially, decorative and applied arts. But this also applies to all of
Saxony where there is so much art, history, classical music and culture. Saxony is a place of
history but also of the future and technology is appreciated and used to make the arts and
culture come alive in the 21st century.

Dresden Christmas Garden

http://www.saxonytraveldreams.com is the new microsite from Saxony Germany where lovers of
history, castles, classical music, art museums and charming towns can experience Saxony at its
most beautiful. A perfect antidote to the stay at home corona virus regulations, this microsite
takes you there, to Saxony, creating an immersive visual and audio experience.

For further information, please contact Victoria Larson, USA Press Representative, State Tourist Board of Saxony at Victoria@vklarsoncommunications.com


http://www.facebook.com/SaxonyTourismwww.instagram.com/SaxonyTourism #saxonytraveldreams #visitsaxony

All photos are courtesy of Saxony Tourism.


A Taste of Saxony

Upper Lusatian Buttermilk Pancakes, in German Buttermilchplinsen, are easy to prepare and taste like heaven.

Ingredients for 6 people:
2 1/8 cups buttermilk
8.2 ounces flour
1 dash of salt
1 pinch of baking soda
2 eggs

Mix buttermilk with eggs, then add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Allow the dough to rest for ten minutes. Melt some butter in a pan, put some dough in it to and fry the pancakes from both sides until they are golden brown. Sprinkle sugar on top and serve with apple puree.