Discover Germany, Issue 35, February 2016

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Wine, wood, feel good The nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg in Baden-Wuerttemberg is a true insider’s tip. On 33,000 hectares of picturesque wine-forest cultural landscape, one can enjoy vast views, vicinity to pure nature and gentle tranquility. Whether one seeks to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maulbronn’s monastery or spend the day hiking or biking, Stromberg-Heuchelberg has a great deal to offer. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: NATURPARK STROMBERG-HEUCHELBERG

Located in between the bustling cities of Pforzheim, Stuttgart, Heilbronn and Karlsruhe, one can find the enchanting, rural nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg, which poses as a beautiful island of tranquility and recreation with its mild climate and Mediterranean charm. The park’s theme ‘wine, wood, feel good‘ perfectly sums up the wine-forest region’s character. Viniculture plays an important cultural, as well as scenic, role here and dominates the south-facing hills. Especially in autumn, when the leaves change their colour, visitors can expect an incredible Indian summer. The viniculture also influences the re-

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gion’s culture substantially as there are several wine festivals, winery visits, guided wine tours, such as the mulled wine hike in January, or regional wine tastings on offer. “The main task of the nature park is to preserve the unique landscape and to make it perceptible for visitors,“ notes Dietmar Gretter, managing director of the nature park Stromberg-Heuchelberg. He adds: “We protect our landscape through usage. Stromberg-Heuchelberg is a cultivated landscape which would quickly change its character without the influence of humans. Thus, we support the environmentally

sound utilisation of the landscape with nature park markets to promote regional produce or numerous other events.“ Pristine forests take up the biggest part of the nature park’s space.This is the reason why rare wildcats, stag beetles, bats, woodpeckers and many other types of animals, as well as plants, such as the gas plant or wild service tree, call Stromberg-Heuchelberg their home. Furthermore, around 40 per cent of the nature park counts towards Europe’s Natura 2000 region and thus belongs to Europe’s special natural heritage. While forests and vineyards play an important role in StrombergHeuchelberg, extensive meadow orchards can also be found.The nature park scenically, geologically and topographically forms an island which protrudes from the surrounding landscape and thus enables beautiful views in all directions. As if the sensual natural beauty and diversity are not enough, the nature park has far more to offer.