Wine-growing in the Upper Middle Rhine region

Photo: Werner Klockner

The Middle Rhine wine-growing region covers the 120km stretch of Rhine between Bingen and Bonn. In 2002, UNESCO declared the southern part of this unique cultural landscape, the part between Bingen and Koblenz, much of which area is dedicated to wine-growing, to be a world heritage site. This is an added incentive to the vintners of the region to preserve the typical mountain vineyards and continue producing top quality wines.

Nature sets the pace

Climate and soil are the two factors which most strongly influence the character of wine. Set in the Rhenish “Schiefergebirge” (slate mountains), the Middle Rhine wine-growing region offers excellent conditions for cultivating wine. Over the centuries, the Rhine river has gouged its way deep into the low mountain range. This has a positive impact on the grapes grown here. Above all, Riesling grapes benefit from the special geographic conditions and optimum growing season. For this reason, this is the predominant variety grown here.

The ground in the Middle Rhine region is characterised by slate

The steeply terraced vineyards often appear to cling to the sides of the valleys like swallows’ nests. The stony soil and rugged rocks are sheltered from the wind, and are quickly warmed by the sun. Steely-blue slate soil is predominant here. Perfect conditions for Riesling grapes, which are said to have a typically Rhenish taste: minerally, with a subtle scent and racy acidity. Grown in 76% of the vineyards, this is the Middle Rhine region’s number one variety - as also in the joint municipality of St.Goar-Oberwesel. Wine which is pressed from these small grapes, which ripen later than other varieties, has a bouquet and flavour rich in finesse and subtle nuances, and which reflects the exquisite, classy quality of the grapes, thanks to which wines from the Middle Rhine region have long been renowned throughout the world. Riesling grapes are rightly called the “Queen of Grapes”. Rivaner, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris and, of the red varieties, Pinot noir and Portugieser, are also grown here.

The Middle Rhine region offers attractive landscapes and attractive cuisine

What better or more atmospheric way could there be to end a mellow summer’s day than in one of the many wineries, taverns or vineyard inns? Wind down at the end of the day with a glass of white wine or red wine. Treat yourself to a delicious meal in one of the many restaurants and hotels in the area. From light meals - like the regional “Spundekäs” speciality, a cream-cheese dip, or vintner’s soup, to festive three course meals, you’ll find everything your heart can desire here. The highest-flying culinary dreams can become a reality here in the Middle Rhine region. A festival of harmony between food and wine, with a healthy portion of culture thrown into the bargain - that’s what we call “Mittelrhein-Momente” - Middle Rhine Moments. This is a joint campaign conducted by various vintners and restaurant owners, who offer a wide range of original and exceptional events every year from January to December. Or enjoy culinary delights from world heritage chefs, who concoct dishes to tempt your palate all year round in various places.

Party while the sun shines

Good spirits are never out of season along the Rhine. From the beginning of the year until long into the autumn season, the Rhine region offers locals and visitors plenty of opportunities to celebrate in true Rhenish fashion. Wine festivals and street parties are as popular as ever.
For days, the lovingly decorated booths set up for the famous “Oberwesel wine market” invite locals and guests to public degustations on the atmospheric squares and streets of Oberwesel. Colourful highlights include festive processions with lavishly decorated floats and historic parades, as well as the “Rhine in Flames -  Night of a Thousand Fires” firework show in Oberwesel. Quality food and wines served to live music offer a very special culinary experience.
The people of the Middle Rhine region know how to celebrate - they’ve even created their own bank holidays! Come and join the party!