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Winegrowing on the Nahe

The Nahe river and its five tributaries create a paradise for winegrowing: the Nahe winegrowing region features an impressive rustic landscape and a mild, balanced climate. No wonder, then, that it is such a popular tourist destination. Here you can read more about the Nahe, its viticulture – and the special features that make this region what it is.

The Nahe winegrowing region: geography

The Nahe river and its five tributaries create a wine-friendly microclimate.
Nahe has been considered an independent wine region in the lovely state of Rhineland Palatinate since 1971, though wine has been grown here since Roman times. The Nahe river rises in Saarland and eventually flows into the Rhine – the town of Bingen is located at its mouth. The Nahe is the heart of the wine region that bears its name. Together with its five tributaries, the Nahe creates a wine-friendly microclimate: its scenic beauty, and of course its excellent wines, attract legions of tourists year after year. The climate is mild, with little rainfall.
The vines grow on gently rolling hills: the Nahe winegrowing region covers a total of about 4,100 hectares of cultivated land. Red Pinot varieties, which have demanding climatic requirements, thrive between Bingen and Bad Kreuznach on the lower Nahe. Characteristic of these red varieties are their balanced acids and impressive must weights. On the upper Nahe, conversely, the low mountains create a rather cooler climate – which suits grape varieties like Riesling and Müller-Thurgau. Because of the climatic conditions, these varieties ripen more slowly: Their aroma and acid structure are finely pronounced, resulting in fruity white wines.

Explore viticulture on the Nahe: take the Nahe Wine Route

Exploring the winegrowing region along the Nahe is ideal for wine lovers: a 130-kilometre circuit known as the Nahe Wine Route will familiarize you with the area. The route is rich in history: you will follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans, for whom, without this route, viticulture on the Nahe would have been impossible. The Wine Route also takes you past a wealth of sights, such as the Organ Art Museum and the ruins of the Disibodenberg monastery. The old town of Bad Kreuznach is another highlight on the Route: its characteristic bridge houses are especially popular with camera-wielding visitors.

Germany's greatest soil diversity: the Nahe wine region

The wine region on the Nahe has greater soil diversity than anywhere else in Germany. Viticulture on the Nahe is believed to take place on 180 different soils. Around Bad Kreuznach we find sandstone, loam and loess, while below Bingen the soil consists of quartzite, clay slate, conglomerate and red sandstone.
Conglomerate, which is easily heated, gives the wines their juicy aromas of peach, apple and apricot. In addition a highly concentrated minerality provides a certain spiciness. Clay slate, for example, is known to impart intense aromas of grapefruit and lemon to the finished wines, while loess confers aromas of mirabelle and pear: these grapes produce delicate Rieslings that are perfect for serving with food.
The diversity of soils in the Nahe region creates wines with a wide variety of fruity and intense aromas: after all, terroir is an important aspect in the development of any wine's flavours.

Top wines from the Nahe

Grape varieties of the Nahe winegrowing region

75% of the wines produced in the Nahe region are white. The most important grapes are Riesling, Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau, though Pinot gris and Pinot blanc have become increasingly important in recent years. Red wines are produced here too, the most important grapes being Dornfelder and Pinot noir. In addition to these two front-runners, the Portugieser also plays a supporting role.
Nahe viticulture is known for its wines at the upper end of the quality rankings, which account for the largest and most important segment of the yield. About half the wine produced here is sold directly: the Nahe region is home to around 300 winegrowers who take orders and deliver the goods directly. So if you are interested in wines and cultivation and you like intense aromas of fruit, you will find winegrowing on the Nahe inspiring.