Wine Growing Regions
Ahr - Red Wine Paradise
With 562 hectares of vineyards, the Ahr is one of the smallest wine-growing regions in Germany. Red wines in particular thrive on the steep slopes above the river. It is not only lovers of excellent red that make pilgrimages to the red wine paradise of Germany. The Romans had already appreciated the climatic advantages of the wild and romantic Ahr Valley and planted the first vines.
Today, the Ahr Valley in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate presents itself as a distinguished red wine growing region. In addition to Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), the king of red vines, Frühburgunder is also valued and is one of the specialties of the region. Several old Frühburgunder vineyards have been discovered and are now preserved by committed wine growers.
The top Ahr wines can only be produced with great effort and dedication. In order to work on the vines and harvest, the winegrowers often have to climb through rugged crevices in extremely steep slopes, where sometimes only a few vines stand side by side. Top quality rewards this arduous work in such extreme vineyards.
The Ahr River meanders dreamily in tight bends through the bizarre rock landscape towards the Rhine and the vineyards nestle above on barren rocks. The mild climate provides the grapes in the Ahr Valley with ideal conditions, as the warmed rocks release their stored heat to the vines at night.
The holiday regions of Ahr, Rhein and Eifel attract many tourists with wonderful hiking trails, elaborate cycling routes and a Nordic walking fitness park. Many visitors hike on the picturesque Rotweinwanderweg (red wine hiking trail), which connects over 35 kilometers of wine towns from Bad Bodendorf to Altenahr. It offers spectacular views of the Ahr Valley in every season. Descents and paths lead directly to villages, where one can visit wineries and enjoy the atmosphere of the Straußwirtschaften where winegrowers invite you in to satisfy your hunger and thirst.
Romance and down to earth warmth and hospitality characterize this region as well as exceptional wines and culinary delights. Winegrowers' cooperatives and wineries invite you to lively events in old buildings and gardens. The best restaurateurs in the region often work with the top wine producers to bring events like the Gourmet & Wine series, which has been very popular for years.
The diversity of offerings inspire the senses of gourmets and wine connoisseurs all year round. You can relax and enjoy yourself at the numerous wine festivals and wine-cultural events, be it the “Open Wine Cellar Day” in April, the Ahr wine market at Pentecost, or the wine weekends during the grape harvest, which offer brilliant fireworks in the vineyards.
Overview of the Ahr
The Ahr is one of Germany's northernmost wine regions. It is also one of the smallest, with vineyards extending only 24 km along the Ahr River as it flows toward the Rhine just south of Bonn. From Altenahr, in the west, to the spa town Bad Neuenahr, the vines are perched on steep, terraced cliffs of volcanic slate. In the broad eastern end of the valley, the slopes are gentler and the soils are rich in loess. Four out of five bottles of Ahr wine are red — velvety to fiery Spätburgunder and light, charming Portugieser predominate. Lively, fresh Riesling is the most common white wine produced here. Another specialty of the region is the red variety Frühburgunder.
Geographical location: The Ahr Valley on the fringe of the protective Eifel Hills
Major town: Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
Climate: Mild and favorable, greenhouse-like in some of the steeper sites
Soil types: Deep, rich loess in the lower Ahr Valley (eastern portion); slate, volcanic stone and rocky soils in the middle Ahr Valley (western portion).
Vineyard area (2019): 562 ha · 1 district · 1 collective vineyard site · 40+ individual sites
Grape varieties 2019 [white 17.8%, red 82.2%]: Spätburgunder (65.3%), Riesling (8.2%), Frühburgunder (6.1%) as well as Müller-Thurgau and Portugieser
Marketing: Most growers are members of the five cooperatives that produce and market about 75% of the region's wine. The State Wine Domain at the 12th-century monastery Kloster Marienthal is the Ahr's largest wine estate. Nearly all of the region's wine is consumed locally or sold to tourists.
Signposted routes through wine country: Rotweinstraße (driving), Rotweinwanderweg (hiking), Ahr-Radtour (cycling)