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March 18, 2011

Prunus dulcis

© Lars O. Larsson
Spring is here! The almond trees are in bloom. Our photo shows a single one between Ruppertsberg and Königsbach. At most places though, they are lined up and form wonderful frames of vineyards, streets or fields. Over 3000 trees are found around Neustadt alone. Nobody knows how many there are along the entire wine route.

The colors of the blossoms vary from almost white over light rosé to bright pink. Since a few years, the ca 60 km long 'Mandelpfad' (almond path) invites for walks along the beautiful allees. Countless places are welcoming the thirsty and hungry walkers along the road... A map has been established to show the areas with most trees. Several monuments, like i.e. the Hambach Castle, the Weintor (wine gate) at Schweigen, etc. are lit up in pink between February and April 17, the time of the almond blossom. And in Birkweiler you can have your own almond tree planted with your name on it... All this and more you can read about at 

About 8 differents sorts of almonds are found along the Weinstrasse. Almonds are a good source for vitamin E, have a good balance of saturated and unsaturated fats and lots of other important nutrients. A daily intake of 25 g nuts or almonds is recommended by several health organisations. They also make for a tasty snack to a glass of wine.  

This weekend, Gimmeldingen is inviting to the first winefest of the year, the Mandelblütenfest (almond blossom festival). The weather has been gorgeous, up to 20 C, but unfortunately the weekend's prognoses are not that bright. However, we'll take it as it comes. Spring is here, whether we need thick jackets or thinner ones...

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