Josef Laufer owns this charming medieval farmhouse that he turned into an inn with a famous restaurant featuring the best of traditional German cooking. He makes his own wine on the premises and takes us on a tour of his vineyard.
One of the great inns along the Rhine, the Krone has been a favorite of poets through the centuries. Irene Hufnagel, who is also a medical doctor, is the owner. She shows us a museum in the inn that honors Ferdinand Freiligrath, a Romantic poet who wrote a book there denouncing the Kaiser and had to flee the country. She also takes us on a cable car ride to see an enormous monument that celebrates the founding of Germany as a country.
This castle on the Rhine was built in Charlemagne's time. Owned by Wolfgang and Barbara Huttle, it has been rebuilt like a true medieval fortress. Wolfgang is their chef, and we're invited to one of their authentic castle banquets, complete with court minstrel and wenches.
Cruise on the Rhine
There are more castles in this area of the Rhine than in any area of the world. We take a cruise and live their romance.
Wiesbaden Thermal Baths
We visit the healing waters in Wiesbaden, gateway to the Rheingau. Roman emperors sent their legions to its legendary hot springs after battle, and it was the favorite of the European courts. It's still enormously popular today, and we see why.
Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum
Siegfried has spent his life restoring mechanical music machines, some as small as a matchbox, and others room-sized. We visit this exuberant character and see- and hear- his fantastic collection.
Charlemagne indicated where to plant grapes along the Rhine, and it has now become one of the great wine regions. Home to Johannisberg riesling and spatlese, a late harvesting technique, we visit the great wineries of the area. We also visit Count Matuschka, whose family is the oldest continuous wine-growing family in the world, and hear his philosophy on the importance of enjoying good wine.