The Rheingau – Germany’s Premier Wine Region
Posted on July 26, 2016
Germany, like France, the USA and other temperate countries, has a number of designated wine growing districts. The Rheingau is one of Germany’s smallest but most highly regarded regions, about one eighth the size of Sonoma County’s vineyard acreage. When Eva and I were dating back in the mid 60s, we became very familiar with Napa Valley wines and did a lot of tasting at wineries there. We especially liked Souverain riesling.
We also became familiar with the fine San Francisco wine importer Draper & Esquin. We learned a lot about German, as well as French, wines from Esquin. For our honeymoon trip to Germany and vicinity, Esquin wrote letters of introduction to a number of wineries and shippers which we visited (wineries at that time were not open to the public). The Mosel and Rheingau regions were tops on the list, both prime riesling territory.
On this trip we spent many a day wandering the backroads and hiking many trails through some of the most famous vineyards of all the world. We stayed five days in gorgeous places surrounded by vineyards. We consumed perhaps a bit too much wine.
Eltville, Hattenheim and Erbach are wine towns of note. Schloss Vollrads, Kloster Eberbach, Schloss Reinhartshausen and Baron Langwerth von Sommern are wine estates at the top of world class producers.
We stayed in two places way up in the vineyards, near the treeline, with the Rhine River far below, one place in Erbach and the other in Hattenheim.
One morning we walked to Schloss Vollrads, about a mile away.
In Eltville we began to think of lunch just about the time most places were closing. We took a stab at this rather unassuming restaurant and found it was open and bustling. We were the last to leave.
Let’s take a look around at a few things that pleased us.
One day we sought out Martin Winery, where we had last visited 15 years before. We were greeted by Mr. Martin himself. His mother at age 86 has retired but is as sharp as ever, he said. The winery has been in the family for generations.
Before we left the Rheingau, we had to have another good meal at the fine restaurant in Eltville. We sat on the terrace, as it was another fine, warm day.
And now we must say for now – Auf Wiedersehen.