Wine region Rheingau
The Rheingau region is famous for its numerous sights and relics from the past such as castles and palaces, monasteries and churches. Above all, however, the region is famous for its outstanding wines. The highlight is the famous Rheingau Riesling, one of the world’s most popular and aromatic white wines. Apart from being highly informative, a visit to the vineyards in Rüdesheim and the Rheingau region is a tasty delight!
Even though the Romans already began to grow wine in the Rheingau region, it was the Emperor Charlemagne who introduced a more targeted cultivation of vines in the area. His method prevails until this day: viticulture is one of the most important economic sectors of the Rhine region today and has significantly shaped the landscape. A large number of traditional vineyards are still being operated today and are perfect for an excursion or a wine tasting.
The Rheingau region features a large number of vineyards due to its fertile soil and a long-standing wine-growing tradition. As personal taste varies, we have listed only a few of the region’s many vineyards that we feel are worth a visit:
Fritz Allendorf Vineyard – Georgshof
This family-run vineyard is a member of the Rheingau VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates)) and offers interestingwine walks, wine tastings and much more. Its tasting weeks from 27th April to 3rd June (Allendorf’s Open Cellar & Gourmet Week) offer a good opportunity to get to know the vineyard. Information from www.allendorf.de
Prinz von Hessen
The PRINZ von HESSEN vineyard, whose tradition stretches back over 800 years, is situated in Johannisberg. Many different award-winning wine and sekt (German sparkling wine) varieties are produced here. Information from www.prinz-von-hessen.de
The vineyard is one of the oldest in the Rheingau and can boast having discovered the “spätlese” grape harvesting method. As luck would have it this was something of an accident due to a late-arriving messenger failing to deliver the estate’s grape gathering permit in time. The estate can provide a multitude of information about this traditional establishment and its wines. Guided tours of the cellars, wine tastings and a wine shop are all available for visitors. In addition, the vineyard restaurant is an excellent place to stop for a while and feast oneself. Information from www.schloss-johannisberg.de
By its own account one of the oldest vineyards in the world, Vollrads Castle is dedicated to growing the Riesling grape. The family cultivates the grape on around 80 hectares; the resulting wine has won many awards and can be tasted and purchased in the vineyard’s own shop. The annual harvest in autumn is an excellent time on this estate if you wish to follow the grape’s progress from harvest to the wine press. www.schlossvollrads.com
Matthias Müller Vineyard
The Matthias Müller vineyard is to be found at the heart of the UNESCO “Upper Middle Rhine Valley” world cultural heritage site. The family-run operation was chosen as “Vintner of the Year” in 2012. The vineyard farms over 14 hectares and, in addition to Riesling grapes, also grows pinot grigio and pinot noir grapes. In the process, the family is able to call on over 300 years of experience, which are reflected in the multi-award winning wines. www.weingut-matthiasmueller.de
Zum jungen Oetinger
Despite its name, this vineyard is far from young. The family-run wine-making business has been established since 1828 and is now run by the third generation. This family of wine-growers predominantly focuses on the balanced nature of their wine selection. Their range contains both young wines and wines that have been stored over longer periods of time and which sum up what a Rheingau Riesling is. www.zumjungenoetinger.de
In addition to the possibility of purchasing wines directly from their respective producers, we would also like to mention the “weindekanei” in Eltville at this point. Around 100 wines from 40 vineyards can be tasted here. Alongside advice and an extensive range, there is also a friendly atmosphere here, and prices in line with those offered by the vintners themselves. Information from www.wein-dekanei.de
Rheingau Wine Museum
The museum contains the world's oldest collection of exhibits on the subject of wine production and enjoyment. The exhibition covers around 2000 exhibits ranging from the ancient world to the present day and provides and interesting glimpse of the history of wine cultivation. The museum’s guest book is worth a special mention. Famous figures such as Goethe, the Brothers Grimm and Heinrich Heine are immortalised on its pages.
For over 30 years the Winzerexpress (vintners’ express) has travelled through the streets and alleyways of Rüdesheim showing visitors the sights of the town, such as St. Hildegard’s Abbey. The guided tour, which describes the region and its people and offers fun for all the family, lasts for around half an hour.