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Germany has nearly 1,250 annual wine festivals. You'll find them in Germany's 13 wine growing regions, along the Rhine, Main, Elbe and Mosel rivers and in the southern wine-growing regions of Palatine and Baden.

The peak season for German wine festivals is June to October. Locations include village squares, vineyards, ancient castles and city streets. Special events celebrate the grape harvest with wine tasting, regional food, live music and the selection of a wine queen.

World's biggest wine festival

The Wurstmarkt, in Bad Duerkheim near Heidelberg, is the largest wine festival in the world. Named after a sausage (wurst), it begins September 7. Visitors sample wine at small, traditional wine stands, with wooden tables and benches, ride a ferris wheel and other fairground rides.

Dates for Frankfurt's Wine Festival are August 29 to September 7. Visitors sample more than 600 wines and sparkling wines from the region along Grosse Bockheimer Strasse.

Rhine River festivals

Along the Rhine, in the Rheingau, there are nearly 500 festivals. The oldest registered winegrower cooperative in the world hosts its wine festival in Mayschos on October 10 and in Altenahr, from October 6 to 7. Both towns are in the Ahr Region, near Bonn.

The Boppard wine festival, held September 28 to 30, is known for its colorful Rhine River fireworks. Ingelheim, near Frankfurt, holds a Red Wine Festival around its historic castle between September 29 and October 10.

Annual wine festivals in Palatinate are held in Freinsheim, from September 29 to 30, Gruenstadt, from October 5 to 8, Neustadt, from October 11 to 15 and Impflingen, from October 6 to 7.