Tomorrow Ryan and I are taking the train north to Nuremberg with a few other people just for the day. Since I may have something interesting to blog about after tomorrow I want to be as caught up as possible on my travels thus far. And goodness I just looked at the clock and it is almost midnight. I hope you all appreciate this. :)
Luxembourg was great. My number one reason for wanting to go was because I have a family lineage to there as I mentioned in a post before I left. But when I was researching things to do there I found my number two reason to want to go there and that is because they have a great wine region for being such a tiny country.
The drive from Brussels to Luxembourg was beautiful. Although we were on an interstate or I guess I should call is an inter country or maybe just the autobahn we weren't seeing lots of grey cement like we've seen through a lot of our travels. There were big open fields that sort of reminded me of driving to eastern WA or OR except not as dry.
Our destination was on the far east side of Luxembourg. There is a stretch I don't know how many km but takes about 30 minutes to drive from one end to the other they call the Route de Vine, the "wine route." It is right along the Mosel Rive which divides Germany and Luxembourg. Our first stop was in the town of Ahn. I think it is funny because I have a friend who's family is from Korea with the last name Ahn, but here I was in Luxembourg visiting a town with this same name. Anyway I had printed out something like 15 pages of wine tasting notes for various wineries and we were able to find one that I had notes on.
At first we thought they were closed but someone came to the door and let us in. I guess this is not a busy time for tastings, although another group of three came in while we were there. The man, part of the family who own and operate the winery, sat with us and tasted with us answering any questions we had about the wine. Luxembourg has a sparkling called a Cravat that I was hoping to love because I love champagne, but I didn't love it at any of the places we went. I ended up taking a couple bottles home with me from this first place. I am forgetting their names right now and the bottles are in Ryan's room. There was a white that I had never heard of... oh yes Axerious I think or something like that. And then a Pinot Noir that I enjoyed and reminded me of home because if I go tasting in Oregon you get pinot, pinot, pinot, where ever you go and this was a good rich earthy one.
Next we headed just down the road (oh and just so everyone knows Ryan was our designated driver and was very responsible and got us home safe and sound). We saw a cute little house/ tasting room and got out to knock on the door. Just when we were ready to get back in the car an old woman cam out of the house across the road. She let us into a very beautiful but very cold cellar, but she did not speak any English. She spoke French and German. I speak a little French and even less German so it was a struggle but did my best to converse in French. It was actually a bit fun to try and use it. She poured us any wine we wanted except for the cheapest ones which I began to gather where a table wine and not something tasting rooms often pour for tastes. In the end we were willing to buy a couple bottles between the four of us I think partially to be nice, but she was adamant we get a case, that is 12 bottles. I tried to explain in French we did not have the money and at this point of the trip we literally had very little money. She wanted us then to get 6 bottles but again we weren't willing. So she didn't sell us anything. I tried to ask if she wanted money for the tasting but she did not understand or was so fed up with us she just wanted rid of us I'm not sure. I said I'm sorry in French and we left. Oh well.
As we were driving down the Route de Vine again we came upon a tasting room also from my packet of notes so we pulled off. This was a bigger on I think. They had a very large tasting room with lots of people in it enjoying wine by the glass or bottle and one large group even had appetizers being brought out to them. They would ask us what we wanted to taste. I don't want to pick because what I want is to experience what each winery has to offer and what represents them. So he just started bringing things. Most were very good. Ryan chose one to try and chose the sparkling wine that had a note that it tasted like lychee a sweet tropical fruit we love. He did love it so before we left I tried it as well and it was fabulous. I ended up taking home three bottle from here. It is astounding how inexpensive you can buy wine in Europe, but it is even better how inexpensive really good wine is in Luxembourg. They say the reason is because France, Italy, Spain, Germany, have all built up reputations for themselves and are pricing not only the quality of the wine, but the associations people have with wine that comes from their region. Luxembourg is totally content providing wines within their own country and the few people from surrounding countries who come to visit. The ONLY think disappointing about that is I doubt I'll find Luxembourg wine in the States.
We learned at our first stop about a wine festival the first week of May in Luxemboug City at a park where all the wineries come together for people to taste and eat and purchase. I would love love love to go but I am not sure it will work out because Ryan and I are taking a trip for his birthday from the 4th to the 9th. He knows we are going somewhere, but doesn't know where. I'm getting really excited. At some point before I leave I'd love to get back to Luxembourg and go tasting again and it would be fun to search out the town my family is from which I know have the name of. Aunt Sally if you are reading this thanks for calling my parents and giving them that information. :)
The rest of the drive back was uneventful. We did get a little lost and had to ask for directions, but that is nothing new for anyone who has been reading about all our travels. Several pit stops at gas stations. Zack and Reneé slept in the back I think or at least rode silent, but I made sure to stay awake and keep Ryan company for our late return. We got back tothe Abrams I think at 1 or 2 in the morning. Whatever it was it was way past my bedtime on a work night... or any night... and made for a tired day the next day.
Speaking of late nights this has turned into one. So I'm caught up and feel good about giving you all something hopefully fun to read about. Hopefully I'll have more stories to tell after my day trip tomorrow.