German regions


What wines are produced in the Rheingau region?

The Rheingau region is one of the 13 major wine regions in Germany and is known for delivering some precious, high quality wines. Despite only contributing a small part of the nation wide wine production, the Rheingau region is one of the most famous ones in Germany.

Rheingau is dominated by the Riesling grape, with making up to almost 78% of the wine production in the region. On second place with just over 12% there is the Spätburgunder, the German equivalent of the Pinot Noir. The remaining 10% is divided over 13 other grape varieties.

This region is accountable for delivering one of the finest Rieslings of Germany, and therefore a very interesting region to zoom in on. In this article we dive deeper into this exciting region!

Where is it located?

As the name already unveils, the Rheingau region is located next to the Rhine river. The river runs through the country from south to north, but makes a sudden movement to the west around Wiesbaden for some kilometers after which it goes up north again. At this exact place, where the river makes a sudden turn, the vineyards of Rheingau are located in an area of roughly 50 km.

North of the vineyards are the Taunus mountains and on the south there is the river. The mountains provide protection from the rain and cold of the north while the river gives the extra push of sun reflection making it perfect wine-growing conditions.

Even though the area is not too big, one can find lots of different soil types in the region and the vineyards. Some wine-makers grow their grapes on chalk or sand, while other vineyards are grown on clay or gravel.

The closest airport which operates international flights is the airport of Frankfurt, which lays on 45 km from the region.

Which grapes grow in the region?


As mentioned, Riesling is the big winner in this region. With 78% of the total wine production from Rheingau being Riesling, it is a big beneficial to the countries output of Riesling wines which is by far the most famous Germany grape variety.

The Riesling wines from Rheingau are characterized as being dry, medium-bodied and having strong tones of citrus fruits. These Rieslings are stronger than the average Riesling, and belong to the top of the country.

When it comes to food pairing you would like to try a nice Rheingauër Riesling with a spicy curry or any other Asian style spicy dishes. Besides the Asian cuisine, Riesling goes well with white meat like duck or pork. As lots of white wines, Riesling also pairs well with fish. Personally I would recommend it with shellfishes like shrimps, crab or lobster.

Spätburgunder – Pinot Noir

The second biggest grape variety growing in Rheingau is the Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder as the Germans like to call it. With a share of 12% of the total Rheingauër wine production it is well below Riesling, but contributes nonetheless to some fine quality wines.

The wines are characterized as medium- to full-bodied and has tones of blackberries and cherry.

Spätburgunder wines are perfect to match with lots of different dishes because of its relatively high acidity. Try a Rheingauër Spätburgunder for example with a charcuterie or cheese platter, or try it with some roasted meat. You won’t reject it!

Wineries in the region

There are lots of different wineries in the region with some of them producing one of the finest wines of Germany. Not surprisingly, most wineries are producing Riesling wines and Riesling wines only. Below we give you some information about the two biggest and well-known wineries in the region.

Schloss Johannisberg

The most iconic and famous Riesling producer in the region and some might say of whole Germany is Schloss Johannisberg.

The owners of Schloss Johannisberg claim to be the first official Riesling only wine producer in the world; with fifty hectares of vineyard and with an impressive “schloss” (German translation of castle) it is definitely an iconic winery to visit.

Schloss Johannisberg has been producing wines for over 900 years and is since 1720 officially only producing Riesling wines.

If you plan a winetrip to Germany and are close to Rheingau, it is definitely worth a visit. You can stay for dinner in their own restaurant or even plan your wedding in their Schloss!

Schloss Vollrads

Schloss Vollrads has been making wines for over 800 years and produces, not surprisingly, Riesling wines. Their vineyard is about 80 hectacres on which they claim to produce some fine “unique and authentic” Riesling wines.

The castle and its vineyard is full of history. In 1814 the famous German poet Goethe visited the winery and in 2011 Schloss Vollrads was added to the list of 100 best wineries in the world.

If you want to visit this winery it is recommended to make a reservation as it might be busy (especially during the holidays!). They have a coach house in their courtyard where you can taste their Riesling wines, sparkling wines or brandies.

The winery also has its’ own restaurant where you can enjoy their Riesling wines with some fine food.  

Wines to try

With Rheingau being a Riesling paradise, you would not be surprised that most of its fine wines are made from this grape. There are multiple fine wines coming from this region and it is definitely worth trying a lot of them (especially if you are a Riesling fan), but to give you a head start we give you some recommendations below.

August Kesseler – Riesling Rüdesheim – 2016

A medium bodied Riesling wine, from the Kesseler Haus (winery).

This Riesling is very well balanced. It is a dry white wine with some tones of sweetness of honey at first when you take a sip. With some strong hints of peach, pears and apple it is a very refreshing wine which would do great on a summer evening picknick with some cold cuts. It would also combine well with shellfish, spicy Indian food or we would even pair it with cooked pork.  

Schloss Johannisberg – Riesling Trocken GG – 2018

Schloss Johannisberg produces lots of wines, but this one in particular we liked. This wine is in the higher segment quality wines of Schloss Johannisberg, but much more affordable than some other fine wines from this winery.

The wine is dry, well balanced with tones of peach, apricot and green apple. When it comes to food pairing, we would recommend it with spicy Indian food, shellfish or cold-cuts.

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