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An A to Z of wine-growing regions
The Nahe wine region, Rotenfels

The Nahe wine region: a real gem

Lush greenery, romantic river valleys and dramatic rock formations are what lend the Nahe region in south-west Germany its distinctive character. Its mild climate ensures that grapes ripen early and develop a pleasing acidity. The 130km Nahe Wine Route links wine-growing villages, castles and natural beauty such as the Rotenfels rock face and the Trollbachtal Valley. The Edelschliff showcases what this region can do: a fine riesling, chosen by a jury, is presented in a designer bottle decorated with a gemstone from Idar-Oberstein.

Regional characteristics

Area under vine and grape varieties

Soil types

Climate

Growers and cooperatives

Character

Highlights from the wine region

Situated in the heart of Rhineland-Palatinate, the Soonwaldsteig Trail runs from Kirn on the Nahe river to Bingen on the Rhine. Here you’ll find peace and calm in unspoilt natural surroundings.


Tip: Altburg Celtic settlement

Altburg is a Celtic-Treveran hill settlement dating back to between 300 and 50 BC and forms the eastern outpost of a line of fortification. Typical buildings have been reconstructed based on research at the site. The village is ‘inhabited’ as a living museum.


At a glance:

  • Starts: Kirn (market square)
  • Ends: Bingen am Rhein
  • Length: 83km
  • Number of stages: 6
  • Altitude variation: ascent 2,950m, descent 3,050m
  • Terrain: 90% unmade, 5% asphalt, 5% other

Nowhere is the history of wine growing from the Middle Ages to the present day illustrated so vividly as in the Bad Sobernheim open-air museum by the river Nahe. Established in the beautiful Nachtigallental valley in 1973, the museum occupies 35 hectares and attracts around 60,000 visitors a year, making it the biggest of its kind in Rhineland-Palatinate. The everyday life of vintners is brought to life in the buildings they lived and worked in, as well as in the museum's own vineyard.

Where outstanding riesling grapes now grow, copper ore was once excavated. Until 1901, the Kupfergrube vineyard in Schlossböckelheim was just what its German name means – a copper mine. The Prussian state established the Niederhausen wine estate and bought the land belonging to the Hermannsberg farm on the river Nahe in 1901. The first riesling vines were planted two years later.

Made famous by Hildegard von Bingen, Disibodenberg in Odernheim on the Nahe also plays a part in ancient viticultural history as the oldest site in Germany where vines are grown. Traces of Roman vines have been found on the southern slope of Disibodenberg hill and grapes have been grown continuously in the abbey vineyard since the 11th century.

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