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Description to Rhine/Rhein
The Rhine and some of its tributaries, such as the Main, Nahe and Neckar, are of eminent importance, especially in Germany, in terms of viticulture. This is because a large part of the German vineyards in 10 (of 13) directly bordering German wine-growing regions or in the immediate vicinity are located on the sometimes steep slopes of these rivers. The importance of the river is also underlined by the fact that the most important German grape variety, Riesling, is often named Rhine Riesling. The Rhine, like all bodies of water, has a positive effect on viticulture or creates the conditions for it by forming valley slopes. The river, which is 1,233 km long in total, 857 km of which are in Germany, is formed from two headwaters in the canton of Graubünden in the Swiss Alps. After the confluence of the Vorderrhein (77 km) and Hinterrhein (72 km) at the municipality of Tamins-Reichenau, it is called Alpenrhein and flows into Lake Con stance at the municipality of Hard. After passing through the Obersee, it is called Seerhein in the four km long section, flows through the Untersee and is now called Hochrhein after exiting at Stein am Rhein. Up to Basel, this forms the border between Switzerland in the south and Germany in the north.
The following section of about 360 km in the Upper Rhine Plain between Basel at the border triangle (Germany, France, Switzerland) and Bingen is called the Upper Rhine. The Franconian wine-growing region to the east of the river is crossed by the Main, which flows into the Rhine opposite Mainz, in a large W-shape. To the east of the Upper Rhine, the Baden wine-growing region stretches for 300 km in the Upper Rhine Plain from Lake Constance to Frankfurt am Main. Most of the vineyards of the Württemberg wine-growing region, which borders Baden to the east, are located along the Neckar, which flows into the Rhine near the old university town of Mannheim, and its tributaries. To the west of the Rhine knee near Wiesbaden, north of Bingen, lies a narrow strip of the Rheingau wine-growing region. Just below it, to the west of the Rhine, is Germany's largest wine-growing region, Rheinhessen. To the south lies the Pfalz wine-growing region with its easternmost vineyards close to the Rhine. At the bend in the Rhine after Bingen, the Nahe flows into the Rhine, giving its name to the growing region bordering Rheinhessen to the west. The mouth of the Nahe separates the Upper Rhine from the Middle Rhine.
The 130 km long section of the Middle Rhine stretches from Bingen and Rüdesheim on the Rhine in the south to Bonn-Bad Godesberg in the north. At Koblenz, the Moselle flows in, giving its name to the wine-growing region to the west of the Rhine. North of this lies the Ahr wine-growing region, also named after a tributary. Largely identical to the geographical region is the small wine-growing area of the Middle Rhine. Here, on the right bank of the Rhine, there are the tributaries Lahn, Wied and Sieg. The last section from Bonn is called the Lower Rhine (Nederrijn). At the Dutch-German state border, the Rhine divides to form the extensive Rhine-Meuse delta (also known as the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta). This is the joint estuary area of the rivers Rhine (with the three main branches Waal-Boven, Nederrijn-Lek and IJssel), Meuse and Scheldt into the North Sea.