If you are looking for a wine tour from Frankfurt, here are a couple of options and considerations::
Frankfurt as a base for wine tours
Let’s start with an inconvenient truth: Frankfurt is not ideal as a base for wine tours in Germany. Frankfurt is not part of any wine region and doesn’t have wine culture of its own either. A wine tour in Frankfurt will be limited to touring wine bars.
On the upside, if you are willing to assign a full day’s time, there are options: from Frankfurt it takes less than an hour by car or train to get into the nearest wine region. However, if you are planning to visit more than one wine region on your trip (as in a multi-day wine tour), better set up in Great Wine Capital Mainz, just west of Frankfurt Airport (more about Mainz).
The inexpensive options: Self-guided wine tours from Frankfurt
By train: Take a train to Rüdesheim in the Rheingau wine region at about 60 mins west of Frankfurt or – opposite direction – to Würzburg in Franken about 60 minutes east of Frankfurt. Both cities are well connected to Frankfurt Main Station by trains and offer options to taste wines in walking distance of the city center. In Rüdesheim, check out RheinWeinWelt, Vinothek Allendorf, Vinothek Breuer. In Würzburg, visit Bürgerspital, Juliusspital, and Weingut am Stein.
To travel by train in Germany download and use the near-perfect ‘DB Navigator’ app. It features English language, shows updated schedules and allows for ticket purchases.
By car: Driving yourself will dramatically expand your range and flexibility. From Frankfurt the wine regions of Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Franken are amongst the best options for a day trip – check out map below… the dotted line indicates the range of a day tour around Mainz and Frankfurt. Ideally plan for one region at a time, and ensure you call the wineries that you want to visit in advance – there are almost no walk-in tastings and appointments are essential (look up wineries on the Winetourism portal). Depending on distance from Frankfurt 2-3 tastings stops are realistic.
Sixt is one of Germany’s best car rental companies. Keep in mind though that in Germany there are very strict laws on alcohol and driving, and car rental insurances exclude coverage for driving under influence. Using Google Maps for navigation works well, with exception of some areas in Mosel and Nahe where connectivity can be patchy.
Guided Wine Tours from Frankfurt
Public tours Several big travel companies such as ETS Touristik offer scheduled bus tours from Frankfurt. The tours cover a challenging distance and range from Frankfurt and with that, the duration can last up to 10 hours. These tours emphasize on a touristic experience though – don’t expect much wine tasting to be involved.
The ultimate (and best, yet most costly) choice will be to opt for a Private Wine Tour out of Frankfurt: Expect pick-up in a comfortable 6to7-seater van, a customized itinerary, typically into Rheingau or Rheinhessen, with a number of stops for wine tasting.
A typical private wine tour from Frankfurt will be priced between Euro 900 and 1,100 for a seven to eight hours tour with about 3 tastings.
Online travel agents such as Viator and GetYourGuide, but also websites specialized in wine tourism such as Winerist, Winalist, and Winetourism are listing a few independent private guides. Ratings and reviews will provide good insights. In any case do ensure your driver-guide and the vehicle are properly and officially licensed for guided daytrips (on a private vehicle your ride may be not insured!).
Practical tip: Probe your potential private wine guide with a couple of questions about itinerary, wines tasted and the schedule – with that you will find out about language skills and flexibility, and whether you feel confident spending a day with that person.
Now, have a great time in our German wine regions! Should you need help planning your tour, reach out to us at BottleStops.