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Residenz Castle, Juliusspital and the Franconian Wine Country
By Therese Bruning
25 October 2010

 This morning it was time for a better look at some of the tourist sites of Wuerzburg, the first one being the Residenz Castle ,a short walk from our hotel. Stunning gardens and the beautiful interior make this well worth a visit. Built in the 1700s, a large part of the Castle was destroyed during World War 2. Having viewed the photos of the destruction inside the Castle, the amazing reconstruction is a testament to all those involved.
A 15 minute walk finds us at the wine estate of Juliusspital for a tour of their underground cellars and a wine tasting. On our way, many locals were already poised at their tables in quaint bars with a glass of vino or a stein of beer in hand so it didn’t seem out of order for us to start our tasting at 11.00 in the morning. Our guide told us that centuries ago the people of Wuerzburg drank wine as the water was not clean, so maybe it is something that has been instilled in them from long ago. The time of day wasn’t an issue that phased any of our group so off we went. 

Beautiful gardens greet us at the entrance and we are guided into the underground cellars where we walk down rows of ornately carved wine barrels and a tasting of their delicious "Echter Secco" sparkling wine. At the end of the tour, there’s a shop for purchases should you wish to indulge a little further, and then off to the winery’s restaurant, Weinstuben Juliusspital, for a light lunch and further tasting of some of their enjoyable vintages. 
A 45 minute bus ride from Wuerzburg, along the Main River and past picturesque villages and vineyards as far as the eye can see takes us to Iphofen, a town which dates back to mid 700AD. This is a town that immediately has a wow factor. The Mainbernheim Gate leads you into cobblestoned streets lined with colourful, charming cottages with a medieval feel. It really is well worth a visit.  
From the town area of Iphofen, we walked to the local vineyards where it was explained to us how and when the grapes are harvested and the different varieties grown in the region. What better way to satisfy our thirst after a long walk than – you guessed it – another wine tasting, and what better place to experience it than in the fresh air amongst the stunning scenery of hectares of vineyards. "ZUMWOHL! " (to your health).

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