Ahrweiler Despite the corona pandemic, Ahrweiler is celebrating its traditional wine festival. Visitors were not deterred by social distancing requirements and hygiene rules, making the opening event a big success.
Visitors can experience a different kind of wine festival on the weekends in Ahrweiler. In the courtyard of the former Calvarienberg monastery and along the city wall, the Ahrweiler vineyards beckon visitors to enjoy wine under specially adapted conditions because of the corona pandemic.
Guests were undeterred by the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, making the opening event on Friday evening a success. In the monastery courtyard, they were treated to a special highlight: the proclamation of the new Ahr valley wine queen, “Burgundia”.
A mild late summer evening settled on the vineyards above the city. Visitors stood in an orderly line at the entrance to the monastery on Blandine-Merten-Strasse. Only those who had a ticket were admitted, and each visitor had to fill out a form indicating the time of their visit and the table at which they sat.
Benches and matching tables were set up in the courtyard, with adequate space between them. Guests were allowed to remove their masks only at the tables. As in the restaurant, each guest was served individually. The garden buzzed with the sound of conversations taking place and music provided by local musicians “Kleine Ahrtal-Musik.”
A look back at a turbulent year
Dieter Franke grabbed the microphone and asked the outgoing “Burgundia” Carlotta Müller to join him. Visibly moved and fighting back tears, she talked about a turbulent year as wine queen. "The first half of the year was wonderful" - and then came corona. She reported how she had made a virtue out of necessity and found new ways of presenting wine with the internet format "Burgundia OnWine". Her speech was interrupted by enormous applause.
She also made no secret of her disappointment that Ahrweiler was the only region to stick to its decision to choose a new wine queen. Other wine queens on the Ahr and other festive groups gave their reigning royalty the option of extending their terms for a year. She was sad about that but thanked all her supporters and wished her successor good luck in office.
New “Burgundia” wine queen Ruth Simons introduces herself on stage
New wine queen Ruth Simons received a standing ovation as she was led to the stage. One could see the emotion on her face, but she addressed visitors with a steady voice after receiving the traditional necklace from her predecessor. She acknowledged that it had been a turbulent time but luckily things turned out ok and she was "happy that we are celebrating the evening within these walls".
"Chaos and uncertainties" should fade into the background for the moment, she urged. With a determined look she concluded her speech: "If I am honest, I can hardly wait.” The applause flared up again before the evening finally came to an end. Because the vineyards were to close already at 10 pm.
Orig. text: Sebastian Kirschner. Translation: ck