Rheinhessen is the largest of the 13 German wine regions, occupying the left bank of the Rhine between Worms and Bingen. It is officially located in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, although prior to World War II, it was located in the federal state of Hesse.
Of the wines produced in Rheinhessen, 69% are white and 31% are red. The most popular grape varietals include Riesling (16.4%), Müller-Thurgau (16.0%), Dornfelder (13.3%) and Silvaner (8.8%). Rheinhessen is also known as the home of the famous Liebfraumilch, a semi-sweet wine style that was once a German export legend.
Geographically, natural landmarks help to mark the boundaries of Rheinhessen. To the north and east, there is the Rhine River. To the west, there is the Nahe River. And to the south there are the Haardt Mountains. The region, which includes the famous German towns of Mainz, Worms, Bingen and Alzey, is sometimes referred to as “the land of the thousand hills,” for all the rolling hills and orchards in the area.
The most popular area for growing white wines in Rheinhessen is known as the Rhine Terrace, located between Oppenheim and Nackenheim. The most popular area for growing red wines in Rheinhessen is Ingelheim. The area of the Rhine Terrace is so massive that it dwarfs the size of the Rheingau, a nearby German wine region.
As in other German wine regions, the history of winemaking in Rheinhessen can be traced back to the era of Charlemagne. For nearly 1,000 years, the tradition of viticulture has thrived in this German wine region.
Here is a brief audio guide on Rheinhessen wine region. Check it out.