The Middle Rhine
The Middle Rhine begins downstream of the famous Rhine bend of Bingen and extends over a length of 120km to the southern suburbs of Bonn. Here, the valley opens and the Lower Rhine plain begins. The main attraction of the Middle Rhine Valley is the Loreley rock and the town of Boppard, the pearl of the Rhine. As a result, to many wine lovers, when they think of Rhine wine, first the wild romantic valley of the Rhine with its many castle ruins surrounded by vineyards comes to their mind.
VINEYARDS, GRAPE VARIETIES
With only about 570 ha of vineyards, the Middle Rhine is one of the smallest German wine growing areas. North of Koblenz, the vineyards are located exclusively on the right bank of the Rhine, as the slopes on the left bank of the Rhine retreat from the river and are aligned north-east, so that the positive microclimate of the stream can no longer work so well.
The vineyards on the Middle Rhine are very steep and therefore very
difficult to manage - only with considerable manual and cost intensive effort.
About three quarters of the steep vineyards with their weathered slate
soils are planted with Riesling. The quality of these Middle Rhine wines, mostly produced by ambitious and idealistic winegrowers, is
high. Typically, the wines from the Middle Rhine are stronger than
Moselle wines and softer and less acidic than wines from the Rheingau.
With the appropriate residual sugar, they mature in the bottle for a
few years and develop a great deal of flavor.
About 40 ha of vineyards are planted with Müller-Thurgau, 30 ha with Pinot Noir and the rest with Dornfelder, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Kerner, Portuguese and Scheurebe.
Places, Locations and producers
BOPPARD AND BOPPARDER HAMM
A few kilometers south of Koblenz starts the almost 6km long Bopparder Hamm, which is aligned through the largest Rhine loop exactly south - a rarity on the Middle Rhine. The most famous and best single vineyards of the Bopparder Hamm are called Mandelstein, Fässerlay, Feuerlay, Ohlenberg, Engelstein and Weingrube. The Rieslings, Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris from the Bopparder Hamm are typically more opulent and fruity than the wines from other places on the Middle Rhine.
The most famous wineries are: Winery Matthias Müller, winery Weingart and winery Volk from Spay, winery Jens Didinger from Osterspay, winery August Perll, winery Walter Perll, winery Toni Lorenz and the winery Königshof from Boppard.
AROUND THE LORELEY
The namesake is the famous Loreley rock, which towers above the wine-growing village Sankt Goarshausen with a height of 132 meters on the right bank of the Rhine. The vineyard in Sankt Goarshausen is called Loreley rock, single vineyards are Burg Katz and Burg Maus. On the left bank of the Rhine, viticulture is concentrated around Oberwesel, the city of towers. With a total of four conveniently located side valleys and some outstanding southern locations.
Known single vineyards around Oberwesel are the top location Oelsberg and St.
Martinsberg, Bernstein and Römerkrug. Well-known producers from Oberwesel
are the wineries Lanius Knab and Goswin Lambrich.
The wines from the
southern part of the Middle Rhine show very clearly the proximity to
the Rheingau. They usually have a higher acidity than the wines from
Boppard and Oberwesel. Due to the crunchy acidity, some of the best
Rieslings come from Bacharach. The most well-known single vineyards are
the Bacharacher Hahn, Kloster Fürstental, Posten, Wolfshöhle and the
island Heylesen Werth.
The best known
producers are the winery Toni Jost Hahnenhof, winery Jochen
Ratzenberger, winery Fritz Bastian and the winery Randolf Kauer ("organic wine" from the Middle Rhine).