Small is beautiful
Compared to the major German wineproducing regions such as the Pfalz
(Palatinate) and Rheinhessen, the Mittelrhein , with only 500 hectares under
vine, plays a rather more modest role. In fact, it is one of the smallest of Germany’s thirteen wine-growing regions. But what the Mittelrhein wines lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. Almost everywhere in the UNESCO World Heritage Valley the vines grow on steep vertiginous slopes which store the heat of the sun. Rhenish slate predominates in the vineyards between Trechtingshausen and Boppard, whilst to the north you’ll find volcanic, pumice based soils and heavy loess. The Riesling grape is the undisputed star amongst the Middle Rhine’s varieties. It yields superb full-bodied wines with a crisp acidity and a fine nose.
The winery - A friendly, family affair
Wine growing in the UNESCO World Heritage Valley is typically the domain of private, family-run wineries. There are full-time and part-time wine growers, whereby the former usually cultivate between two and ten hectares. The individually run operations are complemented by the Middle Rhine’s three wine-growers’ cooperatives in Bornich, Damscheid and Perscheid. Wine growers are happy to offer winetastings and cellar tours for interested wine enthusiasts. It’s usually best to book in advance so that the wine grower has enough time to devote to his guests and their preferences. The wine grower’s year is a busy one, but it still has room for special wine farm festivals and Strausswirtschaften. The Strausswirtschaft is the wine grower’s own small wine tavern. It is his prerogative to serve his own wines and simple dishes on his own premises for a limited period each year. A broom, a wreath or a wine pitcher are some of the welcoming signs hung up outside the premises.