The wine-growing region is located in Hesse in Germany between the rivers Neckar, Rhine and Main in the protection of the Odenwald on the western slope of the Odenwald. The vineyards cover 467 hectares of vines along the Rhine. The Romans already cultivated vines here and laid out the "Via strata montana" (mountain road). The first documented reference was made in 755 regarding the donation of a vineyard in Heppenheim
Climate and soil
The mild climate prompted Emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) to exclaim on his return from the coronation in Frankfurt: " Here Germany begins to become Italy. With an early spring and late autumn, there is a relatively long growing season with excellent sunshine and sufficient rainfall. This results in optimal conditions for viticulture. The main wine-growing communities are Heppenheim and Bensheim with mainly loess loam soils. There is red sandstone only on two small "islands" (Heppenheimer Steinkopf and Maiberg). Only in the northern area (e.g. Zwingenburg) are there isolated granite weathered soils.
Areas, communities and sites
The wine-growing region is divided into two areas, Umstadt (Odenwald Wine Island) and Starkenburg, three large vineyards and 23 individual vineyards. The wine-growing municipalities with their individual vineyards:
There were no major changes compared to 2009. White wine varieties dominate with almost 80%. Riesling is the undisputed leader with a share of over 40%, followed by the up-and-comer Ruländer (Pinot Gris). The status 2018 (0 = smaller than 0.5 ha):