The Beauty of Germany`s “Rheingau” Wine Region: Fall(ing) for Inspiration at Abbey Eberbach

Growing up in one of Germany`s most beautiful wine regions, I always took for granted being surrounded by endless vineyards, ancient wine estates and the ardour of wine making. This autumn, the golden vineyards looked more beautiful than ever. On a trip to the “Rheingau” wine region, I found balm for the soul at a centuries old monastery, but most of all the magical moment of inspiration!

To me fall is always a special season. When nature becomes a masterpiece of art and every leaf is dipped into golden shades of yellow and orange, life becomes infinite inspiration for the soul. Just as ephemerality lies in the nature of the beautiful season, the feeling of creative enlightment appears and disappears like a transient breath. Creatives know too well that the wavering spirit of inspiration has to be learned to live with, as the chuckling ghost of a castle that takes joy in appearing and disappearing whenever it likes, sometimes at uncommon times. Where does the transcendent feeling come from? And where does it go? The ancient Greeks believed inspiration to be a divine matter, that came from the Muses, nine sister goddesses, each of whom was regarded as the protectress of a different art or science.

The scientific rationality of our modern society finds little belief in the creative phenomenon. Inspiration, however, is not just the driving force behind arts, it infiltrates our every day life of human existence. Behind every pen we hold in our hands to write down a thought, every laptop we type on, headphones we listen to music, cup of tea we sip from, or magazine we leaf through while flying on airplanes higher than birds, behind every little aspect of our reality, tangible and intangible, lies inspiration. And everything in turn can be inspiration to create. Traveling is the greatest gift of inspiration for me that instills the fire to tell a story: That powerful moment of enlightenment, when your senses are amplified, your heart is starting to beat faster, overwhelmed with joy, you can feel a higher connection to the world around – empowered with a belief to be capable of everything. I still remember last autumn, the overwhelming awe I felt when I visited Weltenburg Abbey in Bavaria, Germany. Nestled in a sea of golden hills and mirroring waters of a picturesque canyon, I will never in my life forget the spiritual enlightenment & deepest gratitude I felt in light of the beauty of the ancient monastery.

This year, once again, I took the time to breathe in with all my senses the most magical season of the year. My journey this time took me to the “Rheingau” wine region, not as one of the most distinguished wine regions of the world, but as my home whose splendid wine culture had always been natural for me. With my heart wide open, I found inspiration in vineyards as far as the eye can see, valleys with rising dust at dawn, centuries-old viticulture, the ardour of wine making and the serenity of a centuries old monastery. It might not be a coincidence that I felt heavenly elevation once again at Abbey Eberbach , a sacred place, where the history of 1000 years of wine making have shaped the cradle of German “Riesling”.

“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. Dance to the radio, tell stories, write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward, you will have created something!”

-Kurt Vonnegut-

Whatever the source of inspiration is, from wherever this mystical moment is breathed upon us, there will always remain a mysterious aspect about it. We have to accept that inspiration is not around us all the time. It can be found in anything, anywhere, anytime at any place – but like the beauty of fall, we must appreciate it as an ephemeral gift that is both magical and magic at the same time.  As I walked through the idyllic valley of Abbey Eberbach, hills were illuminated by the red kisses of fall and I felt the endless calm of tranquility, only interrupted by the ripple of a small stream. As a couple walked past me, I could see in their eyes the same light shining as in mine. The woman looked at me and said “It is balm for the soul.” – I smiled and said “Yes, it is.”