The town of Weinfelden and the village of Ottoberg in the canton of Thurgau both have a grapevine in their coat-of-arms, although with very different designs. Between them is the southern slope of the Ottenberg hill, where viticulture can be traced back to the 16th century. A 'Wein-Wanderweg' has been created here, a circular trail of 9km and a difference in altitude of about 200m, for which one should count with about 3 hours.
Especially towards late afternoon I encountered many small groups of mainly young people on this trail. At the railway station a backpack can be bought, containing bread, water, a flyer and especially a code with which a safe for wine-tasting can be opened. This activity needs company and since I was alone and since I had also read that a lot of the 'Weinweg' is surfaced, I chose to just do the upper half of the loop and combine it with a hike up the Ottenberg (681m at his highest point, thus about 250m above Weinfelden). Nice paths through light forests, along meadows and past traditional farm houses.
Great views can be had though also from the upper part of the 'Weinweg' and there is even a board half way, giving the name of all the Alpen peaks one can see from here. With its many information boards (German only) about viticulture, about different grape varieties and about some of the wine growers here it is not just an attractive walk, but also an educative one. When I stood at an information board about diseases and pests of the grape, a wine grower came from his nearby field to tell me that here they wouldn't have many problems in this regard, with one exception. Then he took me to one of his plants to show me black spots on a twig. As mentioned on the board it is called accordingly 'Schwarzfleckenkrankheit'. In English it is known as 'grape canker' or more common as 'dead arm of the grapevine'.
What one should definitely not miss though, besides a walk through the old part of Weinfelden, is a visit of the beautiful small village of Ottoberg with its many half-timbered houses.