The cultural landscape Rheingau extends right bank of Walluf to Lorchhausen and runs like a gently rolling hills down from the heights of the Taunus mountains main ridge to the Rhine, which is deflected here for 30 kilometers from its general north and flows to the Binger Loch to the west. This is the dominant landform in the Rheingau region of the south-facing slope. However, the sharp cut of the Rhine in the Taunus mountains main ridge from the Binger Loch and Lorch is still part of this landscape, where the Rhine makes its way north again. Geographically, the Rheingau to the Rhine -Main Lowlands is counted and forms the main unit 236 The Rheingau landscape is the core of the same wine-growing region Rheingau.

The Rheingau region is characterized by numerous attractions. Politically, he belongs to the Rheingau -Taunus-Kreis in Hesse.

  • 3.1 vineyards, grape varieties and wine styles



The region is divided into three parts:

  • Directly on the Rhine are gently sloping, lössbedeckte vineyards, villages and wineries. The old cultural landscape has many historical castles, fortresses, churches and monasteries that make our region also attractive for tourism.
  • Above the vineyards of the Rheingau goes on in the so-called Rheingau mountains with the hinterland forest. Quartzite back with the highest elevation of the Rheingau, the Cold hostel (619 m) ​​, a wooded knoll above Hall Garden, coincides with many small stream valleys from the Wisper. This landscape is covered with canyon forests, bogs and meadow streams.
  • Between Rudesheim am Rhein and Lorch of the Rhine flows between high, wooded ridge to the north. This section of the Middle Rhine Valley - the epitome of the Rhine romanticism in Goethe's time - is characterized by groups of rocks, dry forests and smaller wine regions that are adjacent to the villages. Thrive here some of the most famous wines of Germany; a famous name is the Assmann Höllenberg.


The climate in the Rheingau region is characterized by dry and warm summers and mild winters. In the spatial locations near the Rhine grow in the gardens of Mediterranean woody plants ( fig trees, olives, apricots and peaches), prevails at the Rhein- steep slopes before adapted to the dry vegetation. The average daily temperatures in the summer months will be above 19 ° C, in winter rarely below 1 ° C. The annual rainfall is between 450 mm in some places on the Rhine and over 1000 mm on the Cold hostel.


The Rheingau includes a variety of very different soils. A general distinction is:

  • Loess soils and loess: these soils are the most common - all layers of the eastern and central Rheingau and the deeper layers of Lorch.
  • Soils of quartzite ( " Taunus quartzite " ): higher altitudes of the eastern and central Rheingau and in Lorch.
  • Soils of slate ( " Hunsrückschiefer " ) and phyllite: the former in Rudesheim am Rüdesheim Berg and Lorch, the latter in Assmannshausen, Kiedrich, Martin and Rauenthal.
  • Soils of sands, clays and Tonmergeln the Tertiary: used in all wine-growing villages between Wicker and Rüdesheim.
  • Soils from young Schwemmsedimenten: distributed in the deep layers of the Rhine and Main.

For detailed information on the soils of the Rheingau: Terroir Hessen / Viticulture location of the viewer HLUG - Hessian Agency for Environment and Geology.


In the old Frankish Empire of the Rheingau was a Gau, which was managed on behalf of the King of the Rhinegraves. In its original extent, it included the eventual Rheingau (who subsequently retained the name Rheingau), the Königssondergau (today roughly the territory of the state capital of Wiesbaden and the Western Main-Taunus -Kreis ) and the Upper Rheingau south of the Lower Main. To the east lay the Niddagau and Maingau and north of the Lahngau.

As early as the Carolingian period the Rheingau increasingly came under the influence of the Archbishopric of Mainz. So can already suggest a significant influence of the founding of the Abbey Bleidenstadt im Taunus by Archbishop Lull. Rabanus Maurus is 850 with a first archbishop of Mainz mentioned, the possessed in the Rheingau on a residence. In 983 Archbishop Willigis took the Reichstag Otto II in part in Verona, where he this on June 13, the so-called " Verona donation " made ​​. The donation said the archdiocese areas of Ingelheim up to Heimbach and Kaub, the area on both sides of the lower Nahe and the Rheingau rechtsrheinischen as fiefs. It formed the basis for a large part of the later Electorate ( Kurmainz ), over the ruled, the Archbishop as sovereign. He urged the influence of Rhinegraves back gradually. The archbishops brought the local nobles increasingly in their dependence. Under Archbishop Adalbert I had Kurmainz from 1130 full dominion over the Rheingau. As an administrative unit consisted in Kurmainz Vizedomamt the Rheingau. An important instrument of policy enforcement Mainz in the Rheingau was the founding of monasteries. The first of around a dozen were Johannisberg ( 1106-1108 ), Eberbach ( first time 1116) and home agent ( 1158 ). The Electoral begun under Archbishop Baldwin Eltville castle became an important residence of the archbishops.

The Rheingau was 600 years from the Rheingau Gebück, consisting of a " stooped " Book natural border fortification, surrounded by the end of the 18th century.

In 1525, the German Peasants' War reached the Rheingau. The farmers camped on the Wacholderheide before the Kloster Eberbach. From there, they plundered the monastery inventories. They demanded, among other things, the dissolution of the monasteries in the Rheingau. The rebellious peasants forced a declaration that the Rheingau monasteries were allowed to take no more monks. Following the approach of the troops of the Swabian League, the farmers have. The statement was irrelevant. Nine ringleaders of the peasants were beheaded. The previous privileges of the Rheingau ( Rheingau Weistum ) were abolished and the people obliged to pay fifteen thousand florins special taxes.

After dissolution of the Electorate of Rheingau in 1803 went to Nassau- Usingen and was at the time of the Duchy of Nassau in the offices Eltville and Rüdesheim divided. After the annexation of the Duchy of Prussia in 1867 by the Kingdom of the Rheingau district was created as a county in the district Wiesbaden the Prussian province of Hesse -Nassau. After division of the original great circle in 1886, the remaining area of the Rheingau district was identical to the Rheingau to Electoral Mainz time. After the dissolution of the Rheingau district in the Rheingau -Taunus-Kreis on January 1, 1977, the Rheingau is no longer a term for a political management unit. However, the Rheingau is still the name of a unique cultural landscape, have retained a special affinity evolved over its inhabitants and against outsiders often refer to as the Rheingau.


The climatic conditions favor the wine, which was operated in the region even in the time of Charlemagne. Rheingau wines, especially the Rheingau Riesling, enjoy a Spitzenruf around the world.

Vineyards, grape varieties and wine styles

As outstanding as the Rheingau under the aspect of quality is, he belongs in terms of its size with its 3100 hectares of the smallest German wine-growing areas and is ranked in seventh place. Nearly 2.5 % of German wine harvest is here produced a total of about 20 - million liters of wine per year, 85% of white wine. The average yield is 6700 liters per hectare, which is considerably less than the German average of around 9500 liters.

Among the varieties of Riesling takes just under 80 % a the undisputed market leader, while accounting for the Pinot Noir 12.5 % and the Müller -Thurgau only two percent. The Rieslings from the eastern and central Rheingau, provided that they come from the lower zones on sandy loam soils, always full, strong and earthy at the age than those that grow in Rudesheim on slate. These are more elegant and dazzling. An exception are the wines from Lorch.


The Rheingau is characterized as agricultural land is full of attractions from, including the Niederwald monument, the Monastery Eberbach, the castles Reinhartshausen, Reichartshausen, Johannisberg and Vollrads, the Oestricher crane, the historic towns of Rüdesheim ( throttle alley ), Eltville with the electoral castle and Kiedrich. In Rudesheim the UNESCO World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley begins.

In addition, there are other interesting castles and fortresses and monasteries and churches.

The Basilica of Schloss Johannisberg

Rheingau Cathedral in Geisenheim

Oestricher crane in Oestrich- angle, the last remaining wine loading crane on the Rhine


  • Rheingau Music Festival
  • Rheingau Platt
  • Magazine for culture and way of life - " VivArt ", Wiesbaden and the Rheingau