Deidesheim - now Cittàslow :-))
Nearest airport: Frankfurt International or Karlsruhe
Deidesheim is one of the typical villages at Deutsche Wein straße. It came to fame during the governing years of our former chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was a true Palatinater (unmistakably) and who loved his Saumagen. That’s why he has dragged every statesman or stateswoman who came for a visit to Deidesheim, to the restaurant Deidesheimer Hofto be precise. Have a look at their website, almost everyone was there (see vips in the navigation menu for photos and signatures). The village even offers walks in the footsteps of state guests.
But since we have a new chancellor since many years, the hype in and around Deidesheim declined and the village has now time to show that it is a gem itself. They have several funny and famous wine festivals, the most important one is their billy goat auction, a festival which dates back to 1534, and is a kind of historical performance every Tuesday after Pentecost. Then they have something quite fascinating: the tower writing. These are poets, authors, who are selected by a foundation and have to write and publish literature about Palatinate. This goes along with 7500 €, and four weeks living in a town tower, free wine included.
In Christmas season, Deidesheim’s Christmas Market is famous throughout the whole region and I can say that it is really lovely to walk through the village and browse through artisan’s workshops and the like. Deidesheimer Hof offers specialities, even Saumagen burger, which taste excellent (one only has to neglet what the word stands for…but it is nothing more like a huge sausage).
Update, November 2010:
In May 2009, Deidesheim recieved the Cittàslow Certificate and is now one of eight in Germany and the first one in state of Rheinland Pfalz :-)) Congratulations :-))
More information on Deidesheim website, albeit in German only.