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An A to Z of wine-growing regions
The Rheinhessen wine region, view of Gau-Odernheim from Petersberg hill

The Rheinhessen wine region: innovation at the highest level

Germany's largest wine-growing region, Rheinhessen is a welcoming and hospitable region on the Rhine. Everyone is amazed by what is being achieved in the triangular region between Mainz, Worms and Bingen, where a group of young vintners with great enthusiasm for wine, self-confidence, incredible dynamism and a great feel for fine wines is at work. Buzzing networks such as 'Message in a bottle' or associations such as 'Grosses Gewächs Rheinhessen', 'Selection Rheinhessen', 'Ecovin' and 'Wein vom Roten Hang' provide innovation, while Mainz and Rheinhessen represent Germany in the Great Wine Capitals international club.

Regional characteristics

Area under vine and grape varieties

Soil types

Climate

Growers and cooperatives

Highlights from the wine region

The production of sparkling wine has a long tradition in Mainz. Sixty cellars across seven underground levels belonging to the former Kupferberg sekt winery in the Kästrich area of Mainz form the deepest sparkling-wine cellar in the world. Artefacts dating back 2,000 years were unearthed during works in the Kupferberg cellars.

Worms has been a wine-making town since the Romans came to the Rhine. In the Middle Ages, the 'Song of the Nibelungs' praised the good wine at the royal Burgundian court in Worms. In the centuries that followed, all of Worms' spiritual and secular leaders developed a liking for these wines, a taste that spread far beyond the region. Wines made from the grapes grown on the Liebfrauenstift-Kirchenstück estate are particularly well known.

The traditional Mainz Wine Market is regarded as one of Mainz's best festivals. The municipal park in Mainz provides an unparalleled setting for the wine stalls, with the sekt festival and arts and crafts market in its rose garden. Strolling wine tastings and delicious food are other attractions in Mainz, which has been a member of the Great Wine Capitals network since 2008.

The Rhine has long been the at heart of life for the people along its banks. On the Rhine Cycle Route, you can explore the history and culture of the river from its source in the Alps to its estuary on the North Sea coast.

The importance of the Rhine is regularly documented along its riverbanks in the form of castles, fortresses, churches and historical towns and cities. Many of these are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. The Rhine is also a major commercial transport route in Europe. Dozens of docks handle its busy shipping traffic. The picturesque Middle Rhine Valley, home to the famous Loreley rock, is one of many scenic stretches along the route. As well as the delicious local cuisine, you can enjoy wine made in the vineyards on either side of the valley and a host of cultural attractions.

Terrain: flat, family-friendly route along the banks of the Rhine. Predominantly asphalt, some sections paved or on crushed brick/stone. Mostly free of cars.

Scenery: the route follows the Rhine from its source in the Alps to its estuary in the North Sea, crossing a huge variety of landscapes from mountains to plains.

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