By which I mean, at some point it occurred to me that driving from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of France’s greatest wine regions, to Piedmont, one of Italy’s greatest wine regions, would be only a slightly longer trip than driving from Houston to Dallas. (Not to mention that at the end I’d be in Piedmont, a more appealing place than Dallas.)
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50 Best Bars in America >America’s Wildest Hotels >Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S. > Best Pizza Places in the U.S. > Best Burgers in the U.S. > After that, the mental dominoes fell into place: What if I flew to Europe and hit the road, visiting five iconic wineries, in five great wine regions, in five different countries, in five days—the Priorat in Spain, Châteauneuf, Piedmont, Germany’s Mosel and finally Austria’s Wachau.
I’d visit five legendary wineries, and I’d also have the pleasure of founding an entirely new pursuit—extreme wine tourism—in the process.
This story was originally published by Food & Wine.
Switzerland is lovely. Its mountains are scenic, its water is pure, and I have fond memories of falling asleep one time in a Swiss meadow and waking up surrounded by cows (different story). But when you're trying to drive swiftly from Italy to Germany, Switzerland is just a big, mountain-filled problem.
Nevertheless, nine hours after leaving Piedmont, I arrived at the gates of Maximin Grúnhaus. One of Germany's greatest estates, it's in the Ruwer valley region (Germany's Mosel wine region is made up of a trio of river valleys--the Mosel, the Saar and the Ruwer). Dr. Carl von Schubert's family has owned Grýnhaus for five generations; originally it belonged to the Abbey of Saint Maximin, and there are written records of the property that date back over a thousand years.
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