I spent the second month of my stay in Germany in Berlin, the capital city of the Federal Republic. Berlin is not located in the centre of the country but rather to the east, only about 70 kilometers from the border with Poland. It’s far away from my own homeland, the Mosel banks. I always joke, my hometown Trier is closer to Paris than to Berlin. In history the Treverer and the Mosel where they settled belonged to both countries or to put it the other way: we were ruled by both.
Wine shop in Berlin where wine consumption is ‘en vogue’ (in Lichterfelde)
But can you imagine that grapes are also grown on the soils of the national capital? A curiosity, one might think; indeed so it is. Recently I learned from local newspaper articles that today vines are grown in five city districts (for instance Wilmersdorf, Prenzlauer Berg, Wedding, Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain). Because the region is not certified as a wine producing area, the wines produced from the local grapes are not allowed to be sold commercially.
This is not neceassarily an impediment to wine being ,though in small, in fact very small, quantities. The district councils use the bottled local wines as gifts for public anniversaries and award ceremonies. In some cases citizens can obtain these wines against a small fee. Usually the grapes are transported to a proper winery in a wine region where the wines are made. Many of the grapes are turned into sparkling wines. Apart from Riesling red varieties are also grown. Depending on the weather and disease conditions, between 200 and 400 bottles are produced in each of the districts. For us ‘normal’ wine consumers a tasting might be out of the question but it is good for the promotion of the divine drink.
Advertisement for wine and invitation for wine appreciation classes