The temperature dropped as our small group stepped out of the July sun and into the dark 1,000-year-old Cistercian hospital at Kloster Eberbach.
“This way,” our guide said.
Following her directions, we shuffled to one end of the room—the one where candlelight illuminated a dozen samples of the monastery’s Riesling.
“Between the 13th and 16th centuries, the monks grew the vineyards into the largest wine estate in Germany,” our guide told us.
It was after this period that the hospital was briefly converted into a wine cellar, she continued.
Today, Kloster Eberbach remains the largest wine estate in Germany. From the property’s storied roots to its place in popular culture—Eberbach served as a filming location for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”—to its quality wines and prime location in the Rheingau Valley on the Rhine River, the destination made for my favorite stop while sailing on The A with U by Uniworld this summer.
In true Uniworld fashion, when The A docked in Rudesheim, a picturesque town near Eberbach, the river cruise line positioned a luxury bus nearby to take us to the monastery. A 20-minute drive up rolling hills, blanketed with grape vines and ripe with panoramic views of the river valley, led us to the historic estate. Two guides welcomed us upon our arrival, then split our small group for an even more intimate experience. Half of us went right. The other half turned left.
After stopping (and sampling) in the candlelit hospital, my group followed our guide through the monastery’s much brighter gardens, library, dormitory, basilica (the filming location for “Games of Thrones”), dining hall, pressing room (for the grapes) and more—enjoying two additional samples of Riesling en route.
While the tour was wine-focused, it was also perfect for The A’s lovers of history, architecture and, yes, even “Game of Thrones.”
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