Esslingen is just 40 minutes via the s bahn train outside Stuttgart city. The town was barely touched during WWII so many of the buildings remain in tact from hundreds of years ago with history from the medieval times. The cobblestone roads within the town walls bump up because the city is built over wine cellars as the prime wine area. As you walk by, you can smell the fermentation coming up from the ground when the basement windows are cracked.
Taste some champagne (sekt) made from the oldest cellar in Germany. Kessler, founded originally by a former employee of Veuve Cliquot in France, is an affordable version right in the center of Esslingen. You can stop in to tour and taste, just be aware, on Saturday’s they close the tasting room at 4pm.
Hike The Burg. Steep stairs leading up a fortress wall and watch tower from the 14th century. Once at the top the views of the vineyards and town below are well worth the stairs up. There is a botanical garden in the courtyard with a beer garden just above it to stop and relax before trekking down through the vineyard paths back to town.
More to come next week! Off to NYC tomorrow!