Sunday, 28 July 2013

Weiler Weinweg in Flammen

Now to recount a lovely event that took place on 20 July in the vineyards overlooking the German town of Weil am Rhein. Weil is Germany's most southwesterly town, situated adjacent to the Swiss border and the city of Basel. The "Weiler Weinweg" is a 4-km public route through these vineyards, starting just below the village of Ötlingen, taking in the lieux-dits of Ötlinger Sonnhole and Haltinger Stiege, and finishing in Weiler Schlipf which overlooks the old, original neighbourhood of Weil.

The inaugural "Weiler Weinweg in Flammen" took place in 2005, borne of an idea among the local vintners of Weil, Haltingen and Ötlingen. This event featured wine and food stands amid a sequence of logs (see above) that were set on fire along the footpath. This culminated in the "Tulpe" (or Tulip, see photo) at the end of the route. Visitors who stayed long after sunset were treated to a grandstand view of the big firework show in Basel to mark Swiss National Day.

Unfortunately, a long hiatus followed until the local wine-growers next hung out their bunting in 2011. Due to the novelty factor and the beauty of the location, they were overrun by the sheer number of visitors this second time round. Food ran out at all the stands long before sunset.

They tried again this year but with more success. This was thanks in no small measure to some judicious scheduling. As it clashed with a popular local wine fest in Efringen-Kirchen, there were maybe less visitors than there might have been. The decision to bring it forward away from any Swiss festivities was also a good idea in itself, I think.

Anyway, es war wunderschön!

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