Rheinhessen

In 2008, twenty young winemakers started a crazy project: wine on the bank of the Rhine river in Mainz, open air, after work and mostly with standing visitors. "It was cozy in the beginning", Alina Engel laughs, "by now, the size of the crowd is crazy!" Ten years later, the Mainzer Weinsalon is an award-winning classic, and Alina welcomes us in the classy new vinothek of her Winery Meyerhof in Flonheim, deep in the heart of Rheinhessen.

Wine tourism and wine experience, that's why they won the Best of Tourism Award 2018 of the Great Wine Capitals for wine tourism services here.

They moved from the Black Forest to Rheinhessen, and they found a paradise of wine and gourmets. In 2011 Beatrix and Markus Hebestreit took over a vacant homestead in the small village of Saulheim and turned it into a pilgrim's destination for wine gourmets for the whole region. "We are fully booked every night", Markus Hebestreit says: "People here spend a lot of money for food and wine – and they go out eating even in the middle of the week!" "Usually, restaurants are visited for their food, and the wine plays second part", Markus says, "in our restaurant it's just the other way round." Many guests come here just to taste the new wine varieties. It’s no wonder that the Mundart won the Great Wine Capital's Best of Wine Tourism Award in 2018 for wine gastronomy.

This is where in summer Shakespeare dances, where Grandpa Jean gives his features to the wine bottles and where a male Miss Marple roams the landscape. Books and stories have a home right next to the wine bottles in the sales room, and in summer, the huge yard turns into a stage: "My parents started the theater thing 25 years ago", Andreas Wagner says "That was quite unusual back then."

Josef Neus watches from the wall, the founder of the famous winery looks demanding. "He always watches what we're doing", says Lewis Schmitt, and leads me to the art nouveau stone-fountain in the back room of this Victorian villa in the heart of Upper-Ingelheim. The dark panels on the side of the rooms are original, as well, yet, at the front of the building, awaits us a highly modern vinotheque. The new rooms, the fusion between old and modern, alongside with the beautiful park – that is why the Weingut J. Neus was awarded the Best Of Wine Tourism Award 2018 in the category architecture, parks and gardens.

In the Domhof in Guntersblum in Rheinhessen they serve crisp Riesling and heavenly food among lots of historic tales on the side. In 2010 they won their first Best of Wine Tourism Award for that, now they topped it with the Best of Wine Tourism Award 2018 for accommodation. "There were just not enough beds for our guests", Chris says, thus, in 2016 they built on the site of the old bottle barn a small hotel which mimics the architecture of the neighbouring houses.

The Rheinhessenvinothek in Mainz offers Wines not only from German Rheinhessen but from all the Great Wine Capitals, served in a 150 year old former magazine building, earning it the global Best Of Wine Tourism award for Wine Tourism Services in 2017.

 

Winery Eva Vollmer in Mainz offers unique laid-back wine-lingerings along with splendid wines and new radical ideas. "Laid-back wine-lingering", Eva calls these events – and it's precisely for these innovative wine tourism concepts that she was awarded the Best of Wine Tourism Award of the Great Wine Capitals in 2017.

"Wine is Art" is the motto of the Wilmshof, a small winery in Selzen, a wine village south of Mainz. It describes exactly what Katrin and Tobias Mohr won the Great Wine Capital Art and Culture Award 2017 for: A unique fusion of the art of wine making with the arts itself, celebrating a "new aesthetics" and an holistic approach, as the jury enthused. No wonder when the winemaker is an artist and his wife an interior designer. "This is our second vocation", Katrin Mohr says with a smile.

Pauser's Quartier in Flonheim, in the heart of Rheinhessen, is a place where modern architecture meets wine-caressing traditions. Here, they serve spicy Syrahs as good as sweet Kerner whites – and while rooted firmly in the soil, they reach for the stars of wine-making.  Pauser earned the Great Wine Capital Best of Wine Tourism Award in 2017 in the category of Architecture & Landscapes.

Hidden at the back of a row of tiny alleys lies the Landhotel Strubel-Roos with its ages old vinery at the side – a truly unique experience of hospitality in the heart of Rheinhessen.

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