Franconian Wine, Region and People, Franconian Cuisine
At the ever popular wine and traditional festivals visitors quickly become friends of the Franconian philosophy of life which is marked by sociability and "joie de vivre". The widely known Franconian Wine is grown by about 6,500 wine growers on about 5,500 hectares of land. The region is divided into three areas. Different types of soil are also characteristic of the wines that grow there: Mainviereck (red new sandstone = red wine, mica slate = Riesling), Maindreieck (Muschelkalk = Silvaner, Scheurebe), Steigerwald (Keuper, gypsum keuper = Müller Thurgau). The most common types of wine are Müller-Thurgau (approx. 50%) and Silvaner (approx. 23%), followed a long way behind by Bacchus (approx. 9%), Kerner (approx. 5%) and Scheurebe (approx. 3%). Franconian wine-growers participate in a stringent selfcontrol scheme in order to guarantee the famous quality of Franconian wine. Its hallmark is a wide rounded bottle - the Bocksbeutel.
Franconia's cuisine presents itself as hearty as the region and its people and goes particularly well with Franconian wine or beer. Start with a mouth-watering soup such as a liver dumpling, potato, must or "wedding" soup. Typical main courses are roast pork or "Sauerbraten" (braised beef marinated in red wine and vinegar), both accompanied by potato dumplings. Regional specialities also include the famous Franconian "Wedding Dinner" (slowly simmered beef with noodles and horseradish sauce), "Blaue Zipfel" (pork sausages cooked in stock), "Knöchle" (knuckle), or "Ripple" (ribs) with sauerkraut, grilled sausages ("Bratwurst"), and "Gerupfter" (a rustic spread based on Camembert cheese), and "Meefischli" (small white fish from the Main river, eaten whole). A large number of seasonal dishes is also readily available: from September to April game (jugged hare and venison), fish (trout, carp), from April to June Franconian white asparagus in all varieties, from September to early November onion tart, ham sticks and Federweißer (new wine), plum cake, and, in November and December, poultry (Martin's or Christmas goose). Don't forget to taste the local rye bread that often contains caraway seeds for a distinct flavor.
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