Mittelrhein (wine region)
Mittelrhein (or Middle Rhine) is a region (Anbaugebiet) for quality wine in Germany, and is located along a 120 km stretch of river Rhine in the touristic portions of the Rhine region known as Middle Rhine. On the left bank of Rhine, vineyards begin immediately downstream of the Nahe River estuary and last until Koblenz. On the right bank, vineyards begin where Rheingau ends and last until 8 kilometers south of Bonn, in the Siebengebirge. Parts of the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage since 2002, make up the southern part of Mittelrhein.
The region's 461 hectares (1,140 acres) of vineyards (2008 situation) are dominated by white wine grapes (85%) to a higher extent than any other wine region of Germany with the exception of Mosel. With the much-appreciated Riesling being the most grown variety at 67% of the vineyards, and considering the vicinity to the world-famous regions Rheingau and Mosel, it could perhaps be expected that Mittlerhein would enjoy a commercial success. In reality, the situation is quite the opposite, since the region's planted area have been shrinking for quite some time, the region's wines are hardly ever seen on export markets, and seem to be rather unknown even inside Germany.
Mittelrhein is divided into two districts ("Bereiche"), made up of eleven sites ("Großlagen") and 111 vineyards ("Einzellagen"). In the north, four villages which are situated in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia make up the district Siebengebirge, while the bulk of the vineyards, in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, define the district Loreley. Vineyards are situated on both sides of Rhine, with a few vineyards being situated on the banks of Lahn, a tributary of the Rhine.
From south to north, the districts and sites making up the region are:
Disctrict Loreley (Rhineland-Palatinate)
- Burg Reichenstein, centered on Oberheimbach
- Schloss Stahleck, centered on Bacharach
- Herrenberg, centered on Kaub
- Schloss Schönburg, centered on Oberwesel
- Loreleyfelsen, centered on Sankt Goarshausen
- Burg Rheinfels, centered on Sankt Goar
- Gedeonseck, centered on Boppard
- Marksburg, centered on Koblenz
- Lahntal, centered on Obernhof
- Burg Hammerstein, centered on Hammerstein
District Siebengebirge (North Rhine-Westphalia)
- Petersberg, centered on Königswinter
The most cultivated grape varieties, by area in 2008, were:
- Wein.de (German Agricultural Society): Middle Rhine, read on January 2, 2008
- J. Robinson (ed), "The Oxford Companion to Wine", Third Edition, p 445-446, Oxford University Press 2006, ISBN 0-19-860990-6
- Mittelrhein-wein.com, accessed on March 21, 2008
- German Wine Institute: German wine statistics 2009/2010
- Mittelrhein-wein.com: Die Weinlagen im Anbaugebiet Mittelrhein, accessed on March 21, 2008
- Deutsches Weininstitut – Tabelle Lagenregister Mittelrhein
- Landwirtschaftliche Bodennutzung - Rebflächen - Fachserie 3 Reihe 3.1.5 - 2008 [Agricultural land use - Areas under vine]. Wiesbaden, Germany: Statistisches Bundesamt. 2008.
- Mittelrhein-Wein.com, website on the region's wines