The Rhine river cuts through some of Germany’s finest winemaking regions; ideal for cruisers who love their wine.
Renowned regions the Middle Rhine, the Rhine Valley (Rheingau) and the Rheinhessen, all lie on the banks of this famous waterway, making it easy for you to sample the wine as you go. It would almost be rude not to.
We’ve put together a guide for each of these three magnificent regions, their specialty wines and which ports are in each area.
The Rhine Valley - Rheingau
The picturesque Rheingau is one of the most famous areas in Germany for wine making. The name of the game here is quality, not quantity and each batch of wine being crafted with perfection as the goal. The region’s wine-making exploits date back to the Roman era, making it the oldest wine-growing area of Germany.
Known for its high quality Riesling grapes, the region produces some of the finest white wines in Europe with 80 per cent of the produce coming from the valley being fruity Riesling varieties. However, while it’s certainly a popular stop for those who prefer white, Rhine Valley’s reds are also high in quality. Much lighter than their neighbouring European counterparts in France, German reds are much more delicate and subtle.
Many of our river cruises take dock at Rüdesheim; a wine-making town in the heart of the Rhine Gorge. Here, you’ll be right in the heart of German wine-land, with fine Rieslings and tasty reds easy to come by in almost every bar and restaurant.
The Middle Rhine
The Middle Rhine is another area of Germany where Riesling rules the roost. While not as famous as the wineries of the Rheingau, the quality is still very high.
Dotted with picturesque castles and lines by green rolling hills, the Middle Rhine is one of the most popular sections of any Rhine river cruise with its fine wine only aiding its popularity. Vineyards are aplenty within the region, so you won’t have to travel far to find a good glass of wine when exploring your ports of call.
As well as Riesling, the Middle Rhine is known for its own delicious variety of pinot noir; spätburgunder. This full-bodied wine has a real kick to it and is one of the most celebrated reds on the Rhine.
Besides being one of the most important cities on the Upper Middle Rhine, Koblenz is also a popular stop for wine. Our Jewels of the Rhine from Basel stops at Koblenz, and so it’s the perfect choice if you’re after a few different tipples.
For a different kind of white to Riesling, although there’s still plenty around, take a stop in the Rheinhessen and enjoy a glass of Müller-Thurgau; a flowery tipple with a hint of nutmeg.
For reds, try the dry Dornfelder, This common grape is the most popular type or red in the region and can be distinguished by its deep, dark colour. For a more Mediterranean flavor, look out for Regent, one of the newer grapes to be cultivated in the area. Since 1994, this red has been popular with locals and tourists alike, and now takes up 800 hectares of the Rheinhessen’s vineyard area.
The towns of Worms and Bingen are the most important places on the Rhine in terms of wine, but you can pretty much get hold of a bottle of quality Rheinhessen tipple anywhere along the river.
A side (tasting) note
Due to the proximity of these regions, many of the wines crossover and can be found in each. If you are after a bottle to accompany your meals, don’t be afraid to ask the waiting staff for tips; they will be more than happy to help out.
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