I got to Bremen at night after my first train ride in Germany. The next day was exciting because I got a tour of Germany and I got to visit the Bremer Ratskeller, the oldest winery in Germany. If you know me well, you know that wine tourism excites me. When travelling, I always look at what wine & food experiences I can have.
Located in the townhall of Bremen, this cellar was erected there in 1405. A wine lover visiting Bremen will always find themselves there, whether to just stand outside the cellar, look at their wine collection in their wine shop, visit their gourmet restaurant or just take a tour. I opted for all of them.
Why do wine cellars exist?
Wine cellars protect wine from fluctuations in temperature, humidity, movement and light all which can be detrimental to a wines longevity and quality. That is why wine should be stored in a cold, dark and still place. This is why I cringe when I go to a wine shop and the wines are all facing the sun! When wine is stored in a good condition, it can even improve in quality. Storage is very essential in wine.
I did an article on storing wine here.
The Bremer Ratskeller is a world heritage site. It is located in the basement of the Bremen Townhall.
We were greeted by Arne on arrival at the Bremer Ratskeller. It helped that he was very knowledgeable and passionate about his work. He gave us a bit of history and background on the cellar.
I did not have time to dine at the restaurant, but it was such a beautiful, dimly lit and rustic restaurant. It also has exceptional wines from all over Germany.
Back in 1342, there was a prohibition that stated that only the city council could taste the wine. Therefore, the wines were stored there and this ensured that the taxes and payments could be monitored. Back then, there were two types of wine, the normal and the premium wines. In 1805, the French marauded the wine. After world war II the same thing happened but through the American soldiers.
However, regular restoration efforts over the years have ensured, that this place is still up and running with over 650 types of wine. In fact, many wineries send their wines to be included in this list. The “Rathaus” is large covering over 5 thousand meters squared and is still located under the old and new city hall.
Check their website here
I would like to thank Bremer Ratskeller for hosting us, Arne from Bremer Ratskeller for the lovely tour and my work colleagues in Germany for arranging this.