Bordered by Rheinhessen on the north and France on the south and west, the Pfalz’s vineyards sweep across this remarkably pretty, peaceful land for nearly 80 uninterrupted kilometers (50 miles). It is Germany’s second largest wine region in acreage, but often has the largest crop of all. The word Pfalz is a derivation of the Latin word palatium, meaning palace. The English equivalent, Palatinate, is sometimes used to refer to the Pfalz. Modern technology and viticultural training have made their mark here in the past four decades. Yet for the visitor driving through the sea of vines along the German Wine Road, the scene is still pastoral with the tree-covered Haardt mountain range, castle ruins, fruit trees, and old walled villages of half-timbered houses. The Pfalz is second only to the Mosel in acreage planted with the noble Riesling grape. Here, it yields wines of substance and finesse with a less austere acidity than their Mosel counterparts. Pleasant, mild white wines rich in bouquet and full of body are produced from Müller-Thurgau, Kerner, Silvaner and Scheurebe grapes, while smooth, fruity red wine is made from the Portugieser grape. In response to the growing demand for red wine, there are many new plantings of Dornfelder, which produces a deep-colored wine that can be quite complex, depending on the winemaking techniques employed. (Source: http://www.germanwineusa.com)
St. Martin is located in the midths of this beautiful region. The historic heart of the village St. Martin is under monumental protection and wants to be explored. St. Martin itself offers a wide variety of accommodation, ranging from small, family owned hostels up to first class accommodations on the premises of wineries. If there is time for a leisurely stroll, step outside the village and you will find yourself in the naturreserve „Pfälzerwald“ (Palantine forest) where you’ll find a plethora of hiking trails.
The conference venue is the hotel „Haus am Weinberg“ where one can choose to stay for the time of the conference as well. The hotel sits atop St. Martin and looks out on the Rhine valley which makes for pittoresque views of the vineyards and the surrounding region.
The images are published with the permission of the tourism office of St. Martin.