With vineyards covering an area of 26,500 ha, Rheinhessen is Germany’s largest wine-growing region. Most of all, it is the Riesling wines from the Rhine and the hill country that are causing such a stir of late. Also, Rheinhessen's classic Silvaner grape has once again become a topic of discussion. Along with Riesling and Silvaner, the white Pinot varieties are also gaining favor. Red wine grapes have doubled in acreage over the past ten years.
Dornfelder is the most important red variety, but classics such as Pinot Noir and Portugieser have also become more common in recent years. In 1981, Rheinhessen vintners invented Winzersekt. These sparkling wines, produced using the méthode champenoise, have become a calling card for Rheinhessen. Starting with the 1992 vintage, the Selection Rheinhessen was introduced; in 2000 the first grand cru wines (Großes Gewächs) from Rheinhessen were launched.
Loess, limestone and loam, often mixed with sand or gravel, are the main soil types. Rotliegendes is a red, slaty-sandy clay soil in the steep riverfront vineyards of Nackenheim and Nierstein and near Bingen, there is an outcropping of quartzite-slate.
Organic viticulture has a long tradition in Rheinhessen. Back in 1983, eleven winegrowers joined forces to establish the “Ring ökologisch arbeitende Winzer Rheinhessen e.V.” (Ring of Organically Producing Winegrowers in Rhine-Hesse).
Just two years later, the Bundesverband Ökologischer Weinbau e.V. (Federal Association for Organic Winegrowing - BÖW) was founded with strict guidelines, which are still valid in their essential features even today. In the following years, the idea was continuously developed further and the trademark ECOVIN introduced. Thanks to increasing awareness of the concept, the numbers of its members and thus the possibility of exchanging the latest findings also rose.
Other organic wine producers are members of the organic associations Naturland, Demeter or Bioland. An ever larger share of organic wine producers is not organised in any cultivators association. In Rheinhessen in 2007, about 110 vineyards were operated in accordance with the guidelines of organic viticulture. In 2007, approx. 1200 ha of vineyards in Rheinhessen were cultivated in accordance with organic principle; tendency rising. This corresponds to a share of about 5 % of vineyards in Rheinhessen.
For additional information about our wines please consult Rheinhessenwein´s official website www.rheinhessenwein.de