Last year when I went to Toronto, I did a much better job of writing while on the road. Daily or near-daily dispatches were a much easier way to stay on top of recapping where I went, what I ate, what I drank, etc. I should have done this in Germany, but sadly, I was just tired and didn’t.
That said, here’s a fun tidbit about the German wine and tourism industries: There really is a program for women in the winemaking industry in Germany, with each region selecting a "princess" or "queen" who serves as the brand ambassadors for the German wine industry within the country and internationally.
Sure, it might sound like a beauty contest, but it's really not. (Well, at least not anymore. It definitely used to be for the previous generation and older.) To compete, you have to be an expert in oenology, newer winemaking technology, and the wine distribution business as well as proficient in multiple languages.
Sure, it might sound frivolous at face value (as most things involving women are often derided as such) given the queen and princess monikers. But it’s much richer than that, especially based on all the women (and men!) I talked to about it. Professionals of both genders in the German wine industry take it very seriously because, as I mentioned, participants really have to know their stuff. It’s not quite like taking a somm exam, but maybe consider it a stepping stone.
And frankly, it's nice to see a program encouraging women—young women, at that—in a still male-dominated industry worldwide. Today, there are only 50 or so female winemakers running wineries in Germany, but from what I learned, that's 50 more than roughly 30 years ago.