It was the Romans who laid the foundations for today's Kallstadt. Right up to the 5th century, they shaped the cultural landscapes that had previously been inhabited by the Celts along the German Wine Street of today and brought wine and chestnuts to the North. The Roman wine-estate, Weingut Weilberg, situated prominently between Kallstadt and Ungstein on a hillside, is an impressive testimony of this time.
Kallstadt subsequently experienced an eventful history under various rulers, and was finally placed under Bavarian administration in the 19th century, before the Palatinate emerged as a part of the Rhineland-Palatinate in 1946.
The chancel of the St. Salvatorkirche, with its octagonal tower, is the oldest building in the village. The church nave as well as the characteristic slate roof of the tower were rebuilt in Baroque style only between 1750 and 1775.
The Geib organ also dates back to this time, the sound of which makes this place of worship somewhere special, even today.
In the shadow of the church tower, the Kallstadt Lion looks over a water well.
Half-timbered houses with decorative elements and quarry-stone walls remind us of the fact that many of these buildings are over 300 years old.
Looking over Kallstadt, on top of the almost 500 metres high hill of the Peterskopf, the Bismarck tower rises over the treetops of the Pfälzerwald forest. It was built from 1901 to 1903 in honour of the Reich Chancellor Otto v. Bismarck and its turret can be climbed up to over 131 steps.
The view of the Rhine valley and over the green expanse of the Haardt can, on clear days, extend over to the Black Forest to the south and of the Taunus to the north so that the effort of the climbing ascent is always rewarded. Even a hike up from the village into the forest is a natural experience.
The inhabitants of Kallstadt live from wine, the grapes for which thrive magnificently in the mild climate of the German Wine Street. The numerous individual winemakers together with the local winegrower’s cooperative look after well over 200 hectares of vines. In addition to the main grape variety, the Riesling, many other high-quality varieties such as the Silvaner or white and red Burgundy varieties are produced in the cellars of the village.
During the grape harvest in autumn, impressively large mechanical harvesters are used, but also, in selected vineyards, the traditional manual handpicking is still maintained by many winegrower families. The vineyard site Saumagen is Kallstadt's most famous location and is also the reason why only in Kallstadt the Saumagen ( traditionally a stuffed pig’s stomach) can be served both in a wine glass and also on a plate.
The reputation of Kallstadt’s hospitality is well-known far beyond the borders of the region. From the seasonally-open wine taverns right up to top scale restaurants, there is a very wide selection available. And certainly no one has yet to leave Kallstadt still hungry or thirsty. This is not surprising since Kallstadt offers more seating in restaurants and wine taverns than the number of its residents.
With almost 300 guest beds, there is nothing more inviting than a stay overnight. In the entire village there are appartments, guest houses and hotels of different categories and there are also some winegrowers who offer accommodation to overnight guests.
An extensive hiking trail network connects Kallstadt with the neighbouring communities. The idyllic nature reserve of Berntal in the north, extensive vineyards around the village and the nearby Palatinate Forest with its forest taverns, natural monuments and castle ruins offer a varied and well-signposted region for hikers as well as for explorers looking for some fitness training !
Other historical wine villages can easily be reached either using the somewhat hilly cycle trail “Radweg Deutsche Weinstraße” or the more relaxing “Kraut und Rüben Radweg” (Cabbage and Turnip cycle trail).
Pedelecs and touring bicycles can be rented at i-Punkt Kallstadt. Map material is also available.
A year in Kallstadt
In March, the German Wine Street shines in the pink colours of the almond blossom. Kallstadt welcomes springtime with its Days of the Open Wine Cellars, where the winemakers of the village present a variety of their wines to the public in their courtyards and their cellars.
Shortly thereafter, the “Wine Festival of 100 Wines” is celebrated. Locals and guests celebrate the springtime on the central plaza next to the church, in winegrowers’ estates, in restaurants and wine taverns.
From the merry month of May, during the season of the blossoming of the vines and during the summer, the slightly-hilly vineyards and the nearby forest offer a variety of excursions, on foot or by bike.
Autumn is traditionally characterised by wine. The vintage already begins during the “Saumagenkerwe”, the second great wine festival in the village at the beginning of September. The life in the village pulsates, the wine estates offer freshly-fermented new wine for enjoyment on the spot or bottled in canisters and bottles to take away.
When the leaves on the vines start to turn yellow, orange and red, the time of chestnut cooking begins, where locally-grown chestnuts enrich a wide range of Palatinate specialties. The month of November is, for many friends of Kallstadt an absolute “must do” since this is the time for when local goose specialities are offered during the time of the religious Martinmas.
In the cellars of the winegrowers, work is being done during this time on preparing the new vintage, the first grape varieties are being bottled before the almond blossom then rings in a new year.
The historic old town of Freinsheim with its intact medieval city wall is a highlight well worth visiting in the immediate neighbourhood. The giant wine barrel in Bad Dürkheim as well as the castle ruins of Hardenburg and Wachtenburg or the Klosterruine Limburg annually attract thousands of visitors. Half an hour’s drive from the German Wine Street takes you to the imperial cathedrals of Speyer and Worms or to the Castle of Hambach, whilst only 45km away is the world-famous residence town of Heidelberg on the picturesque Neckar River. The entire Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area to the east of Kallstadt with Mannheim at its centre is renowned for both its culture and bustling activity.
We wish you a good journey and a pleasant stay!