This patchwork quilt of vineyards is very interesting, but I’m sorry I could not find a copyright-friendly photo of what this looks like from the ground–I searched Wikimedia Commons, Flickr and Panoramio but sadly could find nothing I felt comfortable using. These vineyards surround on all sides the small Bavarian town of Kallstadt which is nestled in the hills of southern Germany, a region for which wine has been the major economic export for centuries. Wine has been made in this part of Germany since Roman times and with very little change since then. Riesling and other traditional German whites are the grapes grown here. While I don’t believe Dr. Karl Müller’s astonishing 1000-year wine chronicle reached as far south as Bavaria (he was centered mostly on the Baden wine industry), certainly the wineries here have a lot in common with the ancient vintners of medieval German lands.
You may wonder why I chose this specific corner of wine-growing Germany to showcase today. Well, it just so happens that Kallstadt has a particularly famous family who was in the wine business in this region for centuries. The name of the family was originally Drumpf, but in the social and economic confusion of the Thirty Years War, in the mid-17th century, somehow the family’s name went down in the ledgers as Trump. In 1885 a certain Friedrich Trump left this village to immigrate to the New World. Friedrich’s grandson Donald Trump is now (late summer 2015) the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, on an anti-immigration platform which is profoundly ironic if you realize where the family came from and how they got to America. I’m not sure how this irony might taste to a member of the Trump family, but I bet the wine from Kallstadt tastes pretty good!