The northern slopes of the River Elbe around Meissen are sufficiently sun-drenched for viticulture. White wines are generally medium dry and sprightly; Müller-Thurgau (aka Rivaner), a fresh Muscat, is the most popular grape, followed by Riesling and Weisserburgunder (Pinot Blanc). If you can find it, Elbling has been cultivated in the area since the Middle Ages. Reds – Traminer and Blau Spätburgunder – tend to be aromatic and rich. While you can taste local tipples in Weinstuben in Meissen – try Der Weinladen at Burgstr. 17 – wine buffs should visit the acclaimed Schloss Wackerbarth estate (open daily for sales, tasting & tours; schloss-wackerbarth.de) in Radebul near Dresden.

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