The art of fermenting grape juice...
Favorite thing: Muehlhausen is part of the Kraichgau in Baden-Wuerttemberg & lies in the heart of southern Germany's wine country: Baden is the southernmost and 3rd largest of Germany's wine regions. This area includes the upper Rhine (from the Swiss border to about Mannheim) and also part of the Neckar River & the shores of Lake Constance. The "Kraichgau", a region of gently rolling hills between the Black Forest and the "Odenwald", is rich farming land.
The region's scenic vineyards are set between the hills of the Black Forest & the Rhine River.
You'll hear radio jingles in the area singing "Badisher Wein, von der Sonne verwoehnt" = "Badischer wine, blessed by the sun" and a sign at the entrance to Muehlhausen proclaims "Harmonisch umgeben von Sonne & Reben" = "harmonically surrounded by sun & vines"... picture-perfect, isn't it?
Our area contains soils that range from gravel, limestone and clay to volcanic stone. The grapes are also varied, and include the flowery Mueller-Thurgau (great for white-wine spritzers) and the noble Riesling. About 23% of the vineyards are planted in Spaetburgunder (Pinot noir), a specialty of full-bodied & fiery red wines produced in the "Kaiserstuhl's" volcanic soil & are unique to Baden... Spaetburgunder Weissherbst is a popular rose wine.
Fondest memory: Germany's consumption of wine per capita is 32 bottles per year. Each citizen of Baden averages 53 bottles a year - a tribute to our winemakers? Or proof that we're all simply red-nosed, giggling country folk? Hahaha!
Muehlhausen's vineyard is called Heiligenstein ("Holy Stone")
Some other wine producing villages in the area & their vineyards are:
Leimen: Herrenberg, Kreuzweg.
Wiesloch: Bergwaelde, Spitzenber, Haegenich.
Dielheim: Rosenberg, Teufelkopf.
So if you're in my area, pop into one of the many wineries or castles for some wine tasting and pick-up a couple of bottles to take home with you. This may not be Italy or South Africa, but some of our wines are pretty decent and may just take you by surprise...
"They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
- Ernest Dowson "Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longham"
"When there is plenty of wine, sorrow & worry take wing."
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History, statistics and life in Muehlhausen
Favorite thing: There are many villages, towns & cities with the name "Muehlhausen" in Germany. Therefore it is important to always mention the region or nearest main river in order to avoid confusion.
"My" Muehlhausen lies in the rich & fertile hill country of the Kraichgau area.
We are surrounded by vineyards, forest & meadows near the Autobahn (Highway) A6 towards Heilbronn, exit ("Ausfahrt") Wiesloch/Rauenberg, or on the rural road ("Bundesstrasse") 39 between Walldorf & Sinsheim.
Our community consists of 3 villages:
Muehlhausen, Tairnbach and Rettigheim.
In 2005, the population of the 3 villages combined was approx. 8,000.
The origins of the name are relatively easy to explain: A "Muehle" in German is a mill, so the community was most likely founded by farmers, settling with their families around a mill and stockpiling foundation for corn, wheat & grain. Further confirmation of this theory is the "Ortsiegel" = village emblem, which shows a mill wheel (see photo). (The emblem of Tairnbach is a grape vine; the emblem of Rettigheim is a cloverleaf.)
The structure of Muehlhausen (and many other communities in the area) transformed throughout the last century: from mere farming village, to tobacco & cigar production during the industrialised era and finally to an attractive, tranquil & centrally located residential area with small businesses, schools and local produce.
There are many recreational clubs and unions, keeping sporting and cultural traditions alive until this day: football, volleyball, volunteer fire-fighters, church choir, fishing, fanfare music, horse riding & gardening.
Fondest memory: The first documented mention of Muehlhausen was found to be on March 5th 783 A.D. So in 1983 the village proudly celebrated its 1,200th birthday! If fact, the area around Muehlhausen is extraordinarily rich with history: fossils are regularly found in the surrounding forests, and we know that at least one of the roads through the village (Untere Muehlstrasse) is built upon an old Roman road!
The communal & neighbourly spirit is strong in villages such as mine, and matters large & small are published in the community's weekly paper called "Gemeinderundschau" (or in our dialect: "Gemeindeblaettl").
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