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June 16th: Marktheidenfeld, Germany

Today we had a special program arranged by Vantage for its guests, so for once we weren’t jostled by tours from all the other riverboats cruising the Rhine-Main-Danube waterways. (1000 river cruises last year, in total!)

The day was hosted by Johannes, the owner and winemaster of Johannes Deppish Winery.  The program started with a choice of 3 tours: the winery, a paper making plant, and a piano collection.

I chose the winery. (I wonder why!) We were welcomed with a light sparkling Josseco, and a demonstration of a handy device that Johannes said makes wine drinking so much easier: a bottle with a straw in it, and a holder you can put around your neck, for hands free imbibing.


Our tour took us quite a steep hill, but I made it, and was glad I did, because when we reached the top, Johannes’ wife had set up a table for us, with some bacon quiche, and another wine to sample: 2009 Erlenbacher Krahenschnabel, (Dornfelder trocken – a dry red.)


On the way we say a hunter’s perch – the hunter’s job is to protect the vineyards from wild boar. He gets to keep any boar he kills for meat, but has to pay a fine if the vines are damaged.

When we had finished examining the vines and the grapes (only little seeds at this time,) we walked back down the hill for a tasting in Johannes’ beautifully arranged tasting room.

The particular bottle shape is indicative of a high quality German wine, and Johannes has won several awards.

The 3 wines we tasted were:
1) 2009 Rivaner (trocken)
2) 2014 Erlenbacher Krahenschnabel (Ehrenfelsaer feinherb)
2) 2006 Erlenbacher Krahenschnabel (Bacchus Spatlese)

Following the tours, all 3 groups gathered at the winery for a delicious barbecue picnic, with free-flowing wine and beer, music from an accordion-guitar duo, who had an amazing range of songs, and “dancing in the streets.”

We returned to the ship at about 2:50, just in time for me to have my 3:00 massage (perfection!)

And I finished that just in time to go on a short tour of the galley!

To top the day off, we had an exhibition of glass-blowing by a master, Rolf Schrade. I bought the most amazing bottle that holds oil and vinegar in separate compartments. (I forgot to take my camera to the demonstration, but I’ll post a picture when I get home!)

A very busy day!



  1. I wish I was there. Ich habe Deutschland sehr gern. Is the hunter’s perch a remnant from the past or do wild boars still roam?


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