Wine Growing Regions
The stretch of the Rhine Valley between Bonn and Bingen known as the Rhine Gorge. Beginning just below Bonn and extending about 100 km/60 miles south along the banks of the Rhine, the Mittelrhein is a beautiful region of steep, terraced vineyards and some of the wine world's most splendid scenery - medieval castles and ruins clinging to rocky peaks, sites of ancient legends where Siegfried, Hagen and the Loreley seem to spring to life. Nearly three-fourths of the vineyards are planted with the noble Riesling grape. The clayish slate soil yields lively wines with a pronounced acidity. In years when the wines are particularly austere, they are sold to the producers of Sekt , Germany's sparkling wine, where high acidity is an asset.
Geographical location: The stretch of the Rhine Valley between Bonn and Bingen known as the Rhine Gorge.
Major town(s): Koblenz (confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rivers), Boppard, Oberwesel, Bacharach, Bingen (confluence of the Nahe and Rhine rivers).
Climate: The steep hillsides of the valley protect the vines from cold winds and there is ample sunshine. The Rhine serves as a large, heat-reflecting surface.
Soil types: Primarily clayish slate and greywacke.
Vineyard area (2003): 495 ha / 1,223 acres · 2 districts · 11 collective vineyard sites · 100+ individual sites
Grape varieties [white 86.9% · red 13.1% (2003): Riesling (69.1%), Müller-Thurgau (6.6%), Spätburgunder (7.8%)
Marketing: About one quarter of the region's wine is produced by seven cooperative cellars. As in the Ahr, nearly all of the wine is consumed locally or sold to visitors.
Signposted routes through wine country: The routes B-9 and B-42 (driving) run on either side of and parallel to the Rhine. There are two hillside routes (driving) that offer views: the Rheingoldstrasse through the Hunsrück Hills, from Rhens to Niederheimbach, and the Loreley-Burgenstrasse through the Taunus Hills, from Kaub to the Loreley and from St. Goarshausen to Kamp-Bornhofen. Two signposed trails (hiking) on either side of the Rhine are the Weinwanderweg, between St. Goar and Trechtingshausen, and the Rhein-Wein-Wanderweg, between Kaub and Kamp-Bornhofen.