February 21, 2018

Wine along the Rhine. . .

. . . Main, Elbe, Ahr, Mosel, Saar, Ruwer, Nahe, Neckar and Saale rivers.  These are the rivers in areas that are known to produce great German wines.  I know many of us associate beer with Germany but Germany is also known for its wine.

To be clear, I am not a wine expert of any kind.  Nope, not me.  I am just a wine drinker that gets great enjoyment out of trying local wine when traveling.

So what is the story on German Wine?

There are actually 13 wine regions in Germany!  That’s a lot of acreage allocated to growing grapes that produce wine.  Germany is the most northern country that grows wine, and in fact, its wine began about 100 BC with the Romans.  Today Germany produces some very good and diverse wines.  Of the grapes grown in Germany, 87% are white and 13% are red.  In Germany, if the wine is made from at 85% of one kind of grape that name must be on the label.

Here is a little information on the 4 major wine regions in Germany.  Not only do they produce excellent wines but you will also find stunning landscapes, cultural adventures and history to boot!

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Wines

The Saar and Ruwer rivers are tributaries of the Mosel River where some of the best Rieslings are from.   These wines are delicate, fragrant, light bodied and fruity.  Well-known labels in this area include: Dr. Loosen, Weingut Von Hovel and S. A. Prum.

This area is full of remarkable villages hugging the river.  You could also enjoy a bike ride along the river, tasting wine as you go!  Bernkastel-Kues hosts the Middle Mosel Wine Festival which comes complete with fireworks.

Moselle vineyards Germany

Moselle Vineyards by Hans Peter Merten

Rheingau Wines

This area is home to some of the world’s oldest wine growing estates.  The Rheingau is known for its Rieslings that are spicy, fruity and full of flavor.  The monastery famous for the Johannisburg Riesling is also in this area and you can enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace while glimpsing beautiful views of the Rhine.

Both Mainz and Rudesheim host wine festivals during August and September where you can take part in the festivities along with sampling wines of the region.

Schloss Johannisberg Rheingau Germany

Schloss Johannisberg Rheingau by HA Hessen Agentur GmbH

Pfalz Wines

The Pfalz region is the largest wine producing region in Germany!  This one region produces wines ranging from Rieslings, to full-bodied Muller-Thurgau and Silvaners to a smooth fruity red from the Portugieser grape.

The region goes on for more than 50 miles and is home to the “German Wine Road” where you can discover romantic spots, history, museums and the wonderful wine.  Every September there is a “Sausage Festival” in Bad Durkheim which is actually the largest wine festival in the area!  Another item to note, the last Sunday of August the Wine Road is closed to traffic.  This would be the perfect time to get out the bikes, skates or walking shoes!

Castle along Weinstrasse Germany

Castle along Weinstrasse by Phototdesigner Mark Wohlrab

Rheinhessen Wines

This region is the largest wine producer in Germany and is home to the famous Liebfraumilch wine.  Today there are a variety of grapes grown in this region ranging from the red Portugieser and a Pinot Noir from the Spatburgunder grape.  You will also find traditional Rieslings and Silvaner wines.

Two wine festivals you won’t want to miss are the Roter Hang Festival in June where the wine tasting booths are out in the vineyards and the Kellerwegfest in Guntersblum.  This festival also takes place in the vineyards and has cellars carved out of the hills.

Vineyards in Esslingen Germany

Vineyards in Esslingen Germany from Baden-Wurtetemberg Tourismus Marketing

Not one of the larger wine regions in Germany but the Franken region is special for the traditional vessel their wines are bottled in.  It is a short, green container called a Bocksbeutel!  Very unusual and worth a purchase just for this bottling!

Franken Wine Bocksbeutel Germany

Franken Wine Bocksbeutel by Foto-Design Ernst Wrba Wrba

Do you enjoy German wines?

Have you been to any of these regions?  Tell me about it. . .

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  5. Grace says:

    Debbie, the photos look great. The one with the castle looked like it was a miniature model. When I think of Germany I think beer. I forget about the wine – especially the Riesling and Gewurztraminer (which I know is from another region). The latter is so good with a bowl of curry!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Hi Grace, I know what you mean! I think a lot of people associate Germany with Beer which is too bad because they have some awesome wines too! I love Riesling’s. The curry sounds really good too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks for the interesting overview of the wine regions in Germany. I love the look of the Franken region’s wine vessels. So unique!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Hi Scott!
      I agree. They are very unique and would look great in my house!!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Jen says:

    I, too, love Germany’s wines. In fact, the only white wine I adore is a good Riesling (even before I moved to Germany), so I’m quite happy indeed to be in the land of the Riesling. We have a favorite small producer in the Rheingau where we go to get stocked up. He has a wonderful restaurant, and in the summer you can sit out in the “wine garden” under vines strung with white lights. So magical!
    Jen recently posted..Colors of Carnival

  8. Frau Dietz says:

    Hello – I just found you via Laurel 🙂

    I live in the Rheingau area you mention above – I can see vineyards on the hills from my balcony 🙂 – and the wine is simply fantastic. I wasn’t at all sure about German wine when I first tried it (and like you, I don’t know much about it – I just know what I like!) but my father-in-law is a proper wine buff and we ended up sending some to England for our wedding. These days, I can’t drink white wine from anywhere else in the world! (German red wine, although it’s slowly improving, is AWFUL.) I still can’t get over how such great quality wine can be so inexpensive, and I love buying directly from a small, local producer rather than off the supermarket shelf. On your next trip, you should try to make it over for one of the wine festivals – and the Wiesbaden one FAR outdoes the Mainz one!!
    Frau Dietz recently posted..Friendly Friday- No Ordinary Homestead

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Hi Frau Dietz,
      Thank you for your wonderful and informational comment! I am glad to hear that you really like German white wine. I wish I could see vineyards from my balcony too! I will definitely make a note to attend the Wine Festival in Wiesbaden.

  9. Laurel says:

    I’m truly amazed at how many wine growing regions there are in Germany. I think German wine is OK, but it’s not amazing. I don’t know any Germans who drink the wine grown around Stuttgart and when I’m buying a bottle of wine my German friends always seem to prefer something non-German which I find interesting.
    Laurel recently posted..Carnival Parade in Stuttgart

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I had no idea there were so many wine producing regions in Germany. I was sorry to read that you aren’t a big fan of German wine. Hopefully they will get better over time and you will then become a fan 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!


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