General Information: Germany's largest wine region, Rheinhessen, lies in a valley of gentle rolling hills.
While vines are virtually a monoculture in the Rheingau or along the Mosel, they are but one of many crops that share the fertile soils of this region's vast farmlands. Steep vineyard sites are confined to small areas near Bingen and south of Mainz along the Rhein Terrasse. Varied soils and the favorable climate make it possible to grow many grape varieties, old and new. In fact, many of Germany's aromatic, early-ripening new crossings were bred in Rheinhessen by Professor Georg Scheu, after whom the Scheurebe grape is named (pronounced "shoy"). Rheinhessen wines are often characterized as being soft, fragrant, medium-bodied and mild in acidity ? pleasant, easy-to-drink wines. There are also wines of great class and elegance, with a depth and complexity second to none.
Climate:Mild. The region is ringed by protective hills and forests: in the west, the forested, hilly countryside known as Rheinhessen's Switzerland; in the north, the Taunus Hills; in the east, the Oden Forest.
Soil: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.
Grapes:Müller-Thurgau (18%), Dornfelder (12.5%), Silvaner (10.3%), Riesling (10.1%) as well as many new crossings, e.g. Kerner, Scheurebe, Bacchus, Faberrebe and Huxelrebe, and the red varieties Portugieser, and Spätburgunder.