Not long ago, researchers proclaimed that red wine could be good for the heart, but the baroque city of Würzburg has known that for centuries. The local wines are usually dry whites, and these “stein” wines, which grow on the steep and sunny slopes along the Main River, are said to be especially healthy because of the minerals they soak up from the chalky earth.
This relationship between health and wine was institutionalized in Würburg’s two largest health care providers—Burgerspital and Juliusspital—which also happen to be the city’s top vintners. Wine sales go partly toward the upkeep of the hospitals, nursing homes, and training centers that these organizations run. The old and sick at the 800-year-old Burgerspital still get their glass of wine every day—on prescription, of course. And the best wines available in all of Würzburg are in the Juliuspital wine shop.
So in Würzburg, raise a glass of Riesling, Silvaner, or Muller-Thurgau and wish your companions: Zum wohl! (To your health)!