The Rhine Valley, bordered on the west by the Nahe River and on the north and east by the Rhine. Major town(s): Mainz, Worms, Alzey, Bingen.
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.
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.
Vineyard area (2003):
26,171 ha / 65,666 acres · 3 districts · 24 collective vineyard sites · 400+ individual sites
Grape varieties [white 71.2% · red 28.8%] (2003):
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.
There are a large number of part-time wine-growers in the region who sell grapes or bulk wine to commercial wineries and producer associations who make and/or bottle and market the wine. Because of the large number of individual sites, about half the region's wine is marketed under the name of a few collective sites (e.g. Niersteiner Gutes Domtal, Oppenheimer Krötenbrunnen). About one third of all Rheinhessen wine is exported, not least because it is the primary supplier of the components for Liebfraumilch.
Signposted routes through wine country:
There is no officially signposted Rheinhessen Wine Road. (One explanation is that nearly every village in the region is involved with wine and hence, all roads are "wine roads.") The road parallel to the Rhine (B-9) from Mainz to Worms is known locally as the Liebfrauenstrasse.