We’re off to Bingen am Rhein this month – it’s the hometown of Brand Ambassador, Mark Amin Giesler, and is situated at the meeting point of four winegrowing regions.
Mark has been a Highland Park Brand Ambassador since 2016 and is currently working from his home in Bingen am Rhein. Bingen forms the southern boundary of the UNESCO Rhine Gorge World Heritage Site and nestles between the Bingen Forest to the west and the Rheingau mountain range to the north. Originally a Celtic settlement, before Roman troops arrived in the first century AD, Bingen is a vibrant town, steeped in history and folklore (including the Mouse Tower where the Bishop of Mainz Hatto was allegedly eaten by mice!). Birthplace of St Hildegard von Bingen and the celebrated poet Stefan George, it boasts a number of exciting festivals each year including Winzerfest, which, at 11 days, is the longest wine festival on the Rhine! Mark tells us more…
A wander through the vineyards
“My home village, Ruemmelsheim, is in the gorgeous wine-producing area of Nahe Valley (Nahe is Celtic for "Wild River") where some of my favourite wine estates are based. Living on the corner of four different German wine-producing areas means there are many beautiful walks – it’s difficult to pick out a favourite one but it would have to include vineyards! I love taking long bike rides, going on walks with my partner Sabine and Scallywag (our Welsh Terrier) or just driving through this beautiful area in our Beetle convertible.”
Finding valleys with views
“For visitors, ‘must do’ trips include the numerous river cruises through our stunning ‘Middle Rhine Valley’ or exploring the famous Lorelei region with its wonderful castles and palaces – more than 60 of them! I’d recommend going to the viewing tower on the Salzkopf (‘Salthead’) Mountain, the highest point here, which offers fantastic panoramic views over Rhine-Nahe-Hunsrueck and is definitely the best place to see a sunrise or sunset. Personally, I also love the view over my childhood home of Ruemmelshein – you can even see neighbouring Dorsheim in the background, which I think must be similar to living in Kirkwall in Orkney and being able to look over to Stromness!”
Experiencing local food and drink
“Visitors can enjoy lovely walks through the beautiful vineyards here, followed by a visit to one of our many wine estates, wine pubs or wine festivals. You can enjoy good local food and drink here or take part in a wine tasting – it’s a great way to spend an hour or two. Although we’re big meat eaters, I’d highly recommend sampling our Rhinehessian Onion Tart – it’s a traditional autumn dish that’s best served with ‘Federweißer’, a new wine in which the yeast is still active.”
Enjoying Highland Park in Bingen am Rhein
“There are no Cliffs of Yesnaby here, so my favourite way to enjoy Highland Park outdoors has to be with my partner Sabine and my best friends at Rossel, at a ruined castle overlooking Bingen. Highland Park Viking Code Tumblers in our hands, filled with the best spirit in the world, we sit and wait for King Harald to appear in his Drakkar longship… Skål!”
For more information on Bingen am Rhein, check out the town’s official website!