Randolph was recently asked to coach a group of young clarinetists for an Honor Band. It’s basically like All-State for American kids in Europe. Randolph heard from some of his coworkers who have coached for it before that the town it’s in (Oberwesel) is really beautiful, so we decided to go early and spend the afternoon there.
We were taking a little bit of a chance by going early, since it was a Sunday (and almost everything is closed on Sundays in Europe). Fortunately, we wound up having a great day!
We made a slight wrong turn shortly before we reached Oberwesel and approached the town from a different road. But because of our wrong turn we saw a field full of sheep being herded, which was kind of fun and very “scenic Germany.”
First, we wanted to swing by the location he would be coaching at so we knew where it was. Google Maps was not very helpful, but we made it eventually. As it turned out, it was on a steep hill – right next to a castle, Schloss Schönberg. So, of course, we decided to explore the castle! The inside has a restaurant and hotel and I think some sort of museum, but everything seemed to be closed. There was quite a bit to explore outside, though, and the view over the Rhein River was incredible.
Oberwesel is part of the Mittelrhein wine region and it is known for its Rieslings. What you can’t tell in the above pictures of the Rhein is that there are patches of vineyards on the steep, rocky slopes on the other side of the river. The entire surrounding area is filled with vineyards.
We drove down into town and walked along the river a bit and then went to see if there were any shops open to buy some local wine. As we parked, I looked out the window and saw the best yard decoration ever!
We found what we thought was a wine shop, but turned out to be Lanius Knab winery. We ended up doing a really nice tour and tasting. We tried six wines and ate a ton of cheese and brought a couple bottles home to add to our collection. The winery had two levels of cellars, the lower being for storage of bottled wine. It was very different from the sleek, modern wine caves in California. It was damp and (purposely) moldy. We learned to take some allergy medicine next time we go to a winery, since we both got really stuffed up overnight (probably from the mold).
This morning I realized it was Pi Day and, as a huge lover of pie baking, I couldn’t let it pass uncelebrated. So I made a cherry-raspberry pie and we had a couple friends over to enjoy our Pi Day Pie with us. If the crust looks a little weird (it’s oddly smooth looking…), that’s because it was made with coconut oil so that our friend who can’t eat any dairy could still partake. I would never be so mean as to deprive anyone of pie!
We’re looking forward to heading over the border into France for a three day weekend at the end of this week…more exploring!