Wine Growing Regions
The tiny region Hessische Bergstraße takes its name from an old Roman trade route known as the strata montana, or mountain road.
It is a pretty landscape of vines and orchards scattered on hilly slopes famous for its colorful and fragrant springtime blossoms, the earliest in Germany. Riesling and Grauburgunder are the vines which are grown most here. The wines tend to be fragrant and rich, with more body and an acidity and finesse similar to those of the Rheingau.
Overview Hessische Bergstraße
Geographical location: Bordered by the Rhine on the west and the protective Oden Forest on the east, the Hessische Bergstraße extends from Darmstadt to just north of Heidelberg. The region also boasts a small "island of wine" near Groß-Umstadt on the eastern outskirts of Frankfurt.
Major town(s): Bensheim, Heppenheim
Climate: Ample sunshine and sufficient precipitation for vines to thrive
Soil types: The soils are varied, ranging (north to south) from porphyry-quartz to weathered granite to sand and loess-loam
Vineyard area (2017): 462 ha · 2 districts · 3 collective vineyard sites · 20+ individual sites
Grape varieties [white 79.4% · red 20.6%] (2017): Riesling (42.6%), Grauer Burgunder (11%), Müller-Thurgau (5.4%) as well as Spätburgunder and Silvaner
Marketing: More than over half of the region's wine-growers deliver their grapes to the regional cooperative cellars in Heppenheim. The State Wine Domain in Bensheim is the region's largest vineyard owner. Given the small size of the region, Bergstraße wines are scarce and mostly consumed by its locals only.
Signposted routes through wine country: The route B-3 (driving) traverses the length of the Bergstraße. The Bergsträßer Weinlagenweg (hiking) is a marked path through the vineyards from Zwingenberg to Heppenheim.