Rheingau - Rheinsteig
Johannisberg is legendary amongst German wine towns. The "Pearl of the Rheingau" is the birthplace of Spätlese and Auslese, which has been produced here since 1775. It is from here that the fame of the noblest among white wines, Riesling, spread far and wide.
Numerous testimonies of this great wine history can be found here, such as the famous vineyard resplendent with Riesling, and Schloss Johannisberg, built in the 18th century, which today houses the winery’s administration.
Aware of this unique wine tradition, we begin our 11-kilometer hike to Eberbach Abbey (kloster-eberbach.de). In contrast to many other hiking routes that we present, this is a rather easy one, in which a pleasant undulating walk is uninterrupted by any excessive efforts. We will only climb a moderate 281 meters in altitude.
First we head downhill on the Rheinsteig trail to Oestrich-Winkel. One of the outstanding sights in this quaint village is the Brentano House, built around 1750, in which the famous family lived for almost two centuries from 1804. The brightest minds of the early 19th century were guests in this stately house, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Achim von Arnim, Friedrich Carl von Savigny, the Baron of and to Stein, the Brothers Grimm ...
The exquisite fairytale-like Schloss Vollrads wine estate is also worth a visit, especially as you can not only taste excellent wines here, but also dine in style in the gardens, courtyard and restaurant.
We now leave this charming place and continue to follow the now moderately rising Rheinsteig. We traverse a beautiful landscape covered in vines, to the wine village Hallgarten, more than 750 years old. The unique, picturesque location, with the romantic Rhine Valley on one side and the magnificent Hochwald on the other, in combination with the old cultural landscape of lush vineyards, makes Hallgarten an attractive destination. A pause is highly recommended, especially as there are many fine wines waiting to be savoured in the local bars.
Back on the Rheinsteig, we soon leave the ascent behind us and as we hike back down, we can already see our next destination from afar, the historic Kloster Eberbach. Founded in 1136 by the Cistercian monks, the Eberbach abbey has dominated over the centuries. It has been famous for its wine growing and trading since the Middle Ages. With the secularization in 1803, the last 25 monks had to leave the abbey, but it has remained a pilgrimage site for wine lovers from all over the world. Incidentally, Umberto Eco's world-famous novel “The Name of the Rose” was also filmed here in 1986.
The Kloster Eberbach Foundation has owned the facility since 1998 and transformed it into a successful venue for music concerts, events, conferences, art fairs and of course, many wine tastings. There is a boutique hotel on site as well as a museum and traditional restaurants.
Hours walking time
Johannisberg - Kloster Eberbach
Blaues Quadrat mit weißer geschwungener Linie (Rhein) in Form eines leichten "S"
Hier ist der Rheinsteig entspannter. Immer in leichter Höhenlage gewährt er durchgehend begeisterndes Panorama. Dafür bietet der Weg durch die Weinberge kaum Schatten.
Diverse Parkplätze in der Ortsmitte von Johannisberg
Kloster Eibingen - Abtei St. Hildegard Rüdesheim
Ponyland Ebental Rüdesheim
Kurfürstliche Burg Eltville
In all Rheingau winegrowing communities you can find “Straußwirtschaften” (seasonal wine taverns), which here have often been converted into respectable inns. However, the simplest, most original wine bar is still called a "Straußwirtschaft" - whereby the vintner family clears out an area of their courtyard in order to serve their own wine to guests for a short time of the year.
There are also many large old wine barrels in parks along the Rhine river, that are open throughout the summer months. Here local winemakers offer their wine with simple snacks on a rotating schedule. They are hugely popular and a wonderful way to taste a local drop.
Information in English can be found here: rheingau.de