Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Bernkastel - Kues

Some wise 14th century citizen of a little Moselle wine town should be credited with real foresight for devising one of the best marketing ploys ever invented for a 21st century wine.  All you have to do is have your product save the life of the Elector Palatine as he lies gravely ill.  Now some might question why the Elector became ill in your town in the first place, whilst others might argue that if he was so easily revived he cannot have been all that sick.  Nevertheless the legend adds a quality to Benkastel wine that can hardly be improved upon.

Some of the wine can hardly be improved upon either, as you can establish for yourself at an excellent tasting establishment in Kues on the opposite bank of the river.

The river turns out to have been important in local history for more than just economic reasons.  The plague broke out in Bernkastel but not Kues in 1627 and in Kues but not Bernkastel in 1641.  The first bridge was not built until 1874, which allowed the merger of the two communities in 1905.

Bernkastel is a very picturesque little town, with beautiful half-timbered buildings, especially around its market square.  The remarkably narrow Spitzhäuschen is a famous example of the type.