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Rheingau

Description to Rheingau

The German wine-growing region is located in the federal state of Hesse. The vineyards cover 3,211 hectares of vines, starting on the Untermain east of Wiesbaden and stretching around 50 kilometres along the right bank of the Rhine to Lorch north of Rüdesheim. The "Rheingau Riesling Route" wine route runs along the right bank from Lorch to Hochheim.

Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) is said to have had the first vineyards planted near today's Johannisberg Castle. The late harvest is also said to have been "invented" here, as evidenced by the legendary story of the late harvest rider. In the Rheingau in particular, the Roman Catholic Benedictine and Cistercian orders did a great deal for viticulture and also owned extensive vineyard estates. Incidentally, a curious Free State of Flaschenhals existed in the Rheingau for three years after the First World War.

Rheingau - Karte

Cabinet cellars in Eberbach

The quality designation Kabinett goes back to the Cabinet cellar of the famous Cistercian monastery of Eberbach, which still exists today. This monastery was also the source of the endeavour to replace the red grape varieties with Riesling. The first documented mention of this variety dates back to 1435 in Rüsselheim. The VDP-Rheingau organises an annual auction here for charitable purposes, as well as the Glorious Rheingau Days.

Hochheim wines for Goethe

The village of Hochheim has become synonymous with German Rhine wines, and the place name has given rise to the name Hock, which is commonly used in England. Johann W. Goethe (1749-1832) also favoured wines from Hochheim vineyards. The Research Centre for Viticulture, Fruit Growing and Horticulture was founded in Geisenheim in 1872.

Climate and soil

The Rhine ensures an even temperature and intensifies the sunlight like a Spiegel. It also encourages botrytis (noble rot), which is a prerequisite for the noble sweet Prädikat wines, through the fog that rises in autumn. The vineyards consist mainly of sunny south-facing slopes. Quartz and slate soils in the higher areas as well as loam, loess and clay soils in the valley are the ideal basis for racy and flavoursome white wines. Phyllite slate around Assmannshausen also offers ideal conditions for red wines. Well protected from the winds by the Taunus mountain range, the winters are mild and the summers warm.

Area, municipalities and vineyards

The Rheingau consists (since 1971) of the single Johannisberg area with eleven large vineyards and 123 individual vineyards. From the 1999 vintage onwards, the designation Erstes Gewächs was introduced for wines from first-class classified sites (see VDP classification). Many of the single vineyard sites extend over several municipalities. However, if they have the same name, they are not always the same site. The municipalities with their single vineyard sites:

Rheingau -Mäuseturm und Burg Ehrenfels

The Bingen Mäuseturm is a former defence and watchtower. It stands on the Mäuseturm island in the Rhine off the Binger district of Bingerbrück. Together with Ehrenfels Castle, situated on the right bank of the Rhine opposite in the middle of the vineyards, the tower, which is around 25 metres high, used to serve as a customs post for collecting Rhine tolls.

Grape variety index

There have been no major changes since 2009. The two dominant grape varieties are Riesling with 78% and Pinot Noir with 12%. All other varieties make up the remaining 10%. As in the other wine-growing regions, the up-and-coming varieties were Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Status 2018 (0 = less than 0.5 ha):

Grape variety
German Main name
In Germany
common synonyms
Colour Hectare
2018
%-
Ant
hectare
2009
Riesling White Riesling, Rhine Riesling white 2.505 78,1 2.420
Pinot Noir incl. Samtrot Pinot Noir, Blauer S., Pinot Noir red 392 12,2 368
Pinot Blanc Pinot Blanc, Pinot Blanc white 53 1,7 20
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner, Riesling-Sylvaner white 32 1,0 47
Grey Burgundy Ruländer, Pinot Gris white 29 0,9
Chardonnay - white 24 0,8 11
Sauvignon Blanc Muscat Silvaner white 17 0,5 7
Dornfelder - red 13 0,4 18
Kerner - white 10 0,3 16
Grüner Silvaner Silvaner white 9 0,3 9
Red Traminer Traminer, Gewürztraminer white 9 0,3 -
Dunkelfelder - red 8 0,3 12
Ehrenfelser - white 6 0,2 10
Frühburgunder Blue Pinot Noir, Clevner red 6 0,2 7
Dakapo - red 6 0,2 6
Merlot - red 6 0,2 4
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 5 0,2 3
Saint Laurent St Laurent red 5 0,2 -
Scheurebe Seedling 88 white 5 0,2 2
Auxerrois Small Heunisch white 4 0,1 1
Rotberger - red 4 0,1 6
Cabernet Mitos - red 3 0,1 2
Müllerrebe Black Riesling, Pinot Meunier red 3 0,1 -
Portugieser Blue Portugieser red 3 0,1 7
Regent - red 3 0,1
Yellow Muscat Muscat, Muscat Blanc white 2 0,1 -
Grüner Veltliner - white 2 0,1 -
Albalonga - white 1 - 1
Bacchus - white 1 - 1
Blauer Zweigelt Zweigelt red 1 - -
Cabernet Blanc - white 1 - -
Cabernet Dorsa - red 1 - 0
Ehrenbreitsteiner - white 1 - 1
Faberrebe - white 1 - -
Gold muscatel - white 1 - -
Pinotin - red 1 - -
Reichensteiner - white 1 - 3
Acolon - red 0 - 0
Blue Burgundy - red 0 - -
Blauer Silvaner - white 0 - -
Blue Trollinger Trollinger, Schiava Grossa red 0 - -
Bronner - white 0 - -
Cabernet Cortis - red 0 - -
Cabernet Cubin - red 0 - -
Cabernet Dorio - red 0 - 0
Cabernet Franc - red 0 - -
Cabertin - red 0 - -
Cover red - red 0 - 0
dominatrix - red 0 - 1
Foundling Bouvier white 0 - -
Freisamer - white 0 - -
Hegel - red 0 - -
Helfensteiner - white 0 - -
Herald vine - white 0 - -
Hibernal - white 0 - -
Hölder - white 0 - -
Huxelrebe - white 0 - 0
St John - white 0 - 1
Jewel - white 0 - -
Chancellor - white 0 - -
centre core - white 0 - -
Limberger Blue Limberger, Blaufränkisch red 0 - -
Malvasia Frühroter Veltliner, Formerly red white 0 - 0
Merzling - white 0 - -
Morio-Muscat Morio white 0 - -
Muscaris - white 0 - -
Muscat Ottonel - white 0 - -
Muscat Trollinger Muscat d'Hamburg red 0 - -
Neronet - red 0 - -
Nobling - white 0 - -
Optima Optima 113 white 0 - -
Ortega - white 0 - -
pearl - white 0 - -
Phoenix - white 0 - 0
Prior - red 0 - -
Rieslaner - white 0 - 1
Rondo - red 0 - -
Red Elbling Elbling white 0 - 1
Red Muscat Muscatel white 0 - -
Saphira - white 0 - -
Schönburger - white 0 - 0
Winning vine - white 0 - -
Solaris - white 0 - -
Souvignier Gris - white 0 - -
Syrah Shiraz white 0 - 0
Pigeon black Blue pendulous red 0 - -
Viognier - white 0 - -
White Elbling Elbling, Kleinberger white 0 - -
White Gutedel Chasselas white 0 - -
Würzer - white 0 - -
Dyer's grape Teinturier du Cher red - - 0
Osteine - white - - 0
other white varieties - white 31 1,0 59
other red varieties red 2 0,1 16
WHITE VARIETIES 2.748 85,6 2.610
RED VARIETIES 463 14,4 452
TOTAL 3.211 100 3.062


Producers

Well-known producers in the Rheingau include Albus, Allendorf, Altenkirch, Baron Knyphausen, Barth Norbert, Bausch Hans, Becker Hans-Josef, Bibo & Runge, Bischöfliches Weingut Rüdesheim, Bott Michael, Breuer Georg, Breuer Stefan, Brueder Eser, Chat Sauvage, Daniel Holger, Diefenhardt'sches Weingut, Domdechant Werner'sches Weingut, Dr. Corvers-Kauter, Dr Nägler, Erbslöh, Eser August, F.B. Schönleber, Flick Joachim, Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern, Freimuth Alexander, Fürst Löwenstein, Geheimrat J. Wegeler Erben, George, Georg Müller Stiftung, Goziewski Jörn, Graf von Kanitz, Hessische Staatsweingüter, Himmel Emmerich, Hirschmann Christoph,

H. J. Ernst, Johanninger, Johannishof Eser, Jung Jakob, Kaufmann Urban, Kesseler, Klosterweingut Abtei St. Hildegard, König Klaus & Ursula, König Robert, Krone, Kühn Peter Jakob, Künstler Gunter, Lamm-Jung, Laquai Paul, Leitz Johannes, G.H. von Mumm, Nikolai Heinz, Oetinger, Prinz Fred, Prinz von Hessen, Querbach, Rebenhof Willi Orth, Ress Balthasar, Rothenbach Fritz, Rotkäppchen-Mumm, Rüdesheimer Sektkellerei Ohlig, Schloss Johannisberg, Schloss Reinhartshausen, Schloss Schönborn, Schloss Vollrads, Solter, Spreitzer Andreas & Bernd, Strieth Thilo, Toni Jost Hahnenhof, Trenz Michael, Vaux, Weil Robert, Wilhelm Mohr Erben and Winzer von Erbach.

Image: by Hans Buch - Own work, Public domain, Link

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