Early breakfast with the vineyard workers and we headed off up the slopes in Willhelm to the picking area. All the vines are on too steep a slope to have any machinery so it’s all done by hand.
The task is to cut the bunch from the vine with secatuers and throw them into a 35 litre box. Once the box is full, which takes about half a row of vines, it is lifted onto the truck by hand. Once processed this will produce about 20 litres of wine.
Some of the bunches could be dropped into the box straight away, but most had to be cleared of mouldy fruit on order to not taint the wine. This was done either by cutting the affected fruit away or scraping it with the fingers. It’s a tedious and messy job but important to get right to provide the best quality wines.
As Kerry said, if I’d told her a year ago she’d be picking grapes on the Mosel River with Jacob and me, and scraping mould away with her fingers, she’d not have believed any of it. But here she is, here both of us are, and it was a good thing to do.
Now and again, you can look up from the work on front and gaze over the river valley, the cruising ferries and the life going on far below. It’s a great sight.
Morning tea and lunch were brought up to the workers. Good tasty and filling food.
The afternoon saw us having time off for touristy things. Jacob took us around some villages but he’s getting sick with a cold and we were pretty exhausted from our five hours on the vineyard so we’ve retreated back to the Hof
We’d travelled the Autobahns through the day, but ducked away onto smaller roads to avoid the inevitable congestion around Frankfurt
Arrived Kröv around 4:00pm and warmly greeted by the Klein family
Changed into workclothes and picked up a load of unwanted pine boards in the village from a friend of Jan’s. He is an Aussie, has married a doctor from Hannover, and been a teacher, wine maker and now boat salesman. They live with their two young boys in a 400 year old house they bought for around 300,000 Euro. Kerry’s eyes lit up!
We followed the smelly truck, fumes reminded us of car nine in the convoy, way up into villages out of Kröv and on dark found Jan’s brother Ernst family home. A large rambling very old house in a village of 45 people, that’s valued at around 60,000 Euro, including 2000sqm of land. Kerry’s ready to pack her bags!
Jacob is so excited being back at the Hof. It’s really his home away from home and he’s very proud to show us around. Tomorrow it’s been arranged for us to go grape picking on the slopes, that should be interesting!
Gastof Weichlein At Weingartsgrueth was our overnight stop. Lovely hotel with award winning chef in a very quiet village.
We’d travelled the Autobahns through the day, knowing we had a lot of distance to cover.
Not long after we crossed the border into Germany from the Czech Republic, Willhelm attracted the attention of the German Police who flagged us down. They had been parked up by the road, and something about us attracted their attention, so they hiked off after us. given we were doing a legal 140km/hr, we were surprised at how quickly they caught us up in their diesel Ford Focus. They pulled in front of us, lights flashing and making it very clear we needed to follow them into a convenient stopping bay. And the best part was when they waved a red wand out the window, the same way we used to wave our blue fairy wand that we’d got from the Nanjing Youth Olympics months ago. However this was no time for comparing fairy wands, and they wanted our papers, passports, Jacobs drivers licence and Willhelm’s registration papers. Once we’d presented all of these, in the meantime someone else had been pulled over too and was having their boot checked, they checked them all in their car and returned them to us with a smile and wishing us safe journey. They were polite and professional and clearly doing a border control function. Fair enough.
Through the day we travelled 670km and achieved 5.6l/100km for the day. The average speed was 104km/h. These cars are amazing. Given we were travelling at 150km/h plus for some distance, the economy at speed is incredible.
We swung by Bamburg which is a Delightful old living village with old buildings on the waterfront, then made our way to our hotel. Unfortunately it had bad Internet, so this is a little behind in posting.
Cold and rain greeted us as we packed up Willhelm for another day on the road
We were headed for Olomouc in the Czech Republic and only had a few hundred km to travel. Jacob planned a detour that added in some extra distance but took us up into the mountains. It’s great driving these roads. There’s generally not too much traffic but sometimes the roads are a bit narrow and rough. Willhelm takes all this in his stride 🙂 and is a lovely car to drive.
On the way we passed through the large town of Zilina or Zilnia. Lo and behold we found a Kia car plant here. And with the Skoda being a Czech vehicle, this area has more than its share of manufacturing.
Passing over the border between Slovakia and the Czech Republic we made sure we got the obligatory border crossing photos. All the border posts are now relics of a time gone by.
We found our accommodation and Jacob was an immediate hit with the owner as he spoke German, and none of her relatives did. She said she learnt German because of the wAr ‘but that was another story’ she said.
What we’d seen of Olomouc on the way on was not impressive. It was a built up city of 100,000, small by Asian standards, and unattractive accommodation apartments
Guided by our hostess, we headed off into the old city and found a wonderful very old living town. Yes there were tourists but the majority of those in the old town appeared to live there. Students and shoppers going about their daily lives. Unlike Melk and the lovely Cesky Krumlov which are clearly tourist villages, this one felt really lived in.
Jacob had found the village mentioned in his bible hence our booking here. And he also found a pub called Moritz that came highly recommended. So that’s were we had a dinner of local fare and beer and made our way home in the dark on a very quiet Monday night.
Quick breakfast in a local bakery for €10 for three instead of paying that amount each at the hostel/ hotel. Coffee, buns, jam.
Off we drove following our prearranged plans only to be thwarted within 200m by a road block. Rerouting is only possible with my app when I have wifi, so Jacob was relied on to navigate a new route onto the motorway.
Great drive up into the mountains, fantastic trees and hills. Into Cicminy, a classic ‘village’, lots of pro and amateur cyclists on the road too.
Arrived in Byrstiča to our penzion thanks to Kerry’s alert eyes seeing the sign Jacob and I were blind to.
Then it was off on an hours train ride from Martin to Banská Bystriča up the mountains. Scenery was spectacular, but normal for the locals. a bite to eat at a local pizza cafe, and we jumped on the return train an hour later. Unfortunately it was dark by then, but it was a nice outing and came recommended in Jacobs Lonely Planet guide.