In an effort to shed some light on how I study for WSET Diploma Course’s D3 exam, Le Club des Vins is running a series of posts covering wine regions. Today’s topic: Rheingau

📍 Location

Rheingau is one of the thirteen ‘Anbaugebieten’ of Germany. Most of the vineyards are located on the south-facing banks of the Rhine between Wiesbaden and Rudesheim. Then, there are some vineyards on the flat lands near Hochheim and very steep slopes between Assmansshausen (say what?) and Lorch. In terms of plantings, it’s 9x times smaller than the neighbouring Rheinhessen. Only the Ahr is smaller (and those regions no one really knows like Saale-Unstrut 🤷).⠀

In a nutshell

  • Germany
  • Cool continental climate
  • Erstes Gewächs
  • Riesling

☁️ Climate

Funny fact, the 50th parallel – the latitude of the Rheingau – runs across the city centre of Mainz. Meaning, it’s the northern border of wine-making in Europe. Cool continental climate for sure, but the region obviously benefits a lot from the Rhine (reflection of sunlight, reducing risk of spring frosts) The proximity of the Rhine also increases humidity which provides the ideal conditions for botrytis in autumn (but also increases the risk of fungal diseases). Also, the region is protected from northerly winds by the Taunus Mountains.⠀⠀

🌋 Soils

From calcareous soils around Hochheim (east) to steep slate slopes around Assmannshausen (west).⠀⠀

Source: Winefolly.com

🍇 Grapes & styles

The king of the Rheingau is Riesling, of course. The region produces both dry and botrytized Rieslings. There’s pinot noir too, not a lot, but it’s the key grape around Assmannshausen 🍇⠀

💡 Something you didn’t know (did you?)

To make life easier (not), Rheingau has its own version of Grosses Gewächs, called Erstes Gewächs. In his book ‘How to Design, Build, Stock and Manage your Wine Cellar, Tony Aspler states “these days you can pay more for those top quality wines [Rheingau Erstes Gewächs] than for Burgundy. Published in 2009. I wonder if this statement still holds? Well, maybe for a TBA or Schloss Johannisberg Eiswein?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Your turn now 

I always put a new region on instagram first. If you have any additions or comments on a region, please do share. You can drop a comment on instagram or on the website – see below. Your help is much appreciated!


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