We all know Germany as the beer country par excellence, but do you know that a very fine variety of Pinot Noir is produced in a small German valley? If you are surprised and can’t believe it, start reading to discover more about the Ahr wine region. Besides wine, Ahr offers amazing hilly landscapes, historical sites, and even a spa town (perfect to relax after some a hike on the hills). Ahr wine region is a perfect place for you even if you prefer cities over nature since it is close to the beautiful Bonn and Cologne.
Ahr is one of the smallest wine-making zones in the north of Germany, where vineyards stretch over 25 kilometres along the Ahr River. Even though border regions, Mosel and Mittelrhein are popular for white wine production, Ahr produces premium quality red wines.
Superior Wine Zones of Ahr
The total vineyard area of the Ahr wine region is about 570 hectares; out of these areas, one is a district site, one is a collective vineyard site and the other 40 sites are private. There are wine-certified VDP sites in Ahr, known as Grosse Lage, which include Landskrone and Burggarten in Heimersheim and Pfarrwingert and Hardtberg in Dernau.
Climate & Soil: Due to the presence of the river and favourable climatic conditions, the vines cultivated in the region are of the highest possible quality. The wine rows are nestled on steep slopes and cliffs of volcanic soil, which give grapes an extended period to get fully ripened. In some areas, the grapes are grown in loess soil.
Tourists might also witness the superior-most wine zones in Kirchtürmchen, Sonnenberg, Schieferlay, Mönchberg in Mayschoß and Eck in Altenahr. All these sites produce some of the best red, white, and dessert wines under VDP labels. Ahr wines are unique and rare, and unfortunately, you cannot find them outside of the Ahr wine region. So, as a recommendation, while in Ahr, get a chance to savor the excellence of the region.
The Ahr wine region is the house of many significant varieties, both indigenous and international, but the main focus of winemakers is on Pinot Noir, which is known as Spätburgunder here. Pinot Noir amounts to nearly 50% of the total production and it is best in Germany.
German winegrowers have also shifted their interest towards other reds, such as Portugieser and Frühburgunder (Pinot Noir Précoce). Alongside red varieties, you can discover high-quality Riesling.Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are also present and are totally top-quality wines, a gem for the Ahr valley.
The Best Pinot Noir in Germany
What to taste in Ahr
The flagship grapes of Ahr are red, and the main wine variety is Pinot Noir. Eight out of ten bottles of wine are red, made from the velvety Spätburgunder and the charming Portugieser. In some wine shops belonging to the wineries, you will get a chance to taste some of the best Frühburgunder medium-bodied wines. The wines of the Ahr wine region are fruity, revealing the best quality of grapes.
Winemakers in the Ahr valley focus on quality rather than quantity, which is why the region produces some award-winning wines. The products of the vineyards are ranked at the top in the well-renowned wine guide Gault Millau. The winegrowers of the Ahr wine region have also been awarded as ‘winemakers of the year’, for delivering excellent red and white varieties.
While in Ahr, there are many wineries you can visit. Some of them include Franz Coels, Winery Försterhof, Maibachfarm winery, Winery JJ Adeneuer, and many more. Enjoy the beautiful sightseeing and picturesque vineyards with a glass of wine in hand.
What To Visit Around And Near Ahr
Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler – A Spa Town with a Long History
Surrounded by the beautiful valley of the Ahr, Bad Neuenahr- Ahrweiler is one city with two centres. The Spa town and more modern centre of Bad Neuenahr coexist alongside the romantic old town of Ahrweiler.
History books tell us that the first people to live in Ahrweiler were the Celts followed by the Romans, but the main architecture still present in the city centre date back from the Medieval Ages. What really makes Ahrweiler a typical German town, is the presence of well-preserved half-timbered houses from the 1600s.
Opposed to this side of the city, the spa town of Bad Neuenhar features modern health centres, a casino and a large green area. What could be better than relaxing at the spa after a day of sightseeing?
Sinzig – The Barbarossa City
Located on the river Rhine, approximately 25 km southeast of Bonn, Sinzig is one of the five German towns known as “Barbarossa City”. This is because the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa stayed here several times during his reign in the 12th century.
The two main landmarks of Sinzig are the late Romanesque church of St. Peter and the 19th-century Neogothic castle.
Also, the town is part of the Ahr cycle path that runs from Blankenhein to Linz am Rhein (or vice versa); Sinzig can also be considered a starting point as it is served by a train station. However, if you want to cross the Rhine river, Linz am Rhein is only 6km away.
Remagen – A City for Peace
Remagen is another important and well-known city in the Ahrweiler district, only 4km north of Sinzig. The symbol of the city is the St. Apollinaris Church, built in the 19th century on the ancient site of the medieval church of St. Martin. A legend tells that a ship sailing from Cologne to Milan was forced to stop in here and in that moment, the remains of St. Apollinaris were wrongly unloaded on the city’s river banks. You can also go all the way up to the top of the church, where a statue of St. Francis from Assisi stands, and admire a beautiful view of the city and the Rhein valley.
On the riverbank, where once the Lunderoff Bridge was standing, there’s now the Peace Museum. It was established in 1980 to commemorate the history of the bridge that fell in 1945 killing several U.S. Army Engineers and the US prisoners kept in the Golden Mile camp.
Bonn & Cologne – For unforgettable Day-trips
The Ahr valley is very close to two beautiful German cities, Bonn and Cologne.
Bonn is the capital of the North Rhein-Westfalen region and until the year 1990, it was the capital city of West Germany. The city is about 40/45km north of the Ahr wine region. The former capital is totally worth a visit, as the landmarks to see are many: the Bonn Cathedral dedicated to Saints Cassius and Florentinus, the birthplace of the famous composer Ludwig Beethoven, the Old City Hall and the Market Square just to name a few. Bonn is also a student-friendly city since it has an excellent university, Universität Bonn.
Cologne is 30km north of Bonn and more or less 70km from the Ahr valley. Cologne is the fourth biggest city in Germany and the economical centre of North Rhein-Westfalen. If you want to spend a day in Cologne, the first stop must be the marvellous gothic-style Cologne Cathedral, right behind the central station. The “twin towers” of the Cathedral are 157m high (the North tower is 7m higher than the South tower) and they dominate the cityscape. The South tower is open to the public and from its platform the view of the city is incredible! Another unmissable thing to do in Cologne is to take a walk on the Rhine Promenade; if you have a sweet tooth, stop at the Chocolate Museum after walking along the river banks.
Discover And Enjoy The Natural Beauties
The Ahr valley is famous for its rare flora and fauna, and of course, for its charming vineyards. This region has a lot of adventurous activities to offer that will make your journey memorable and long-lasting.
Ahr Valley – A Gift of the River
The Ahr valley, differently from other areas of western Germany, has a mild climate and a very low rainfalls rate. This valley has always been on the laps of nature; as a matter of fact, the Romans once used to call this place “the wildest daughter of the Rhine.”
The whole valley features beautiful rock formations, ruins, idyllic castles and picturesque vineyards. The river passing by has made its beauty more exciting, and the unique landscape attracts many tourists every year.
In the middle of the Ahr, the valley cuts deep into hillsides, especially on the northern banks where the ancient vineyards, together with rocky crests and uphill woods.
Ahr Hills – Perfect for a Hike
The hilly area of Ahr is 30km west of Bad Neuenahr- Ahrweiler in the Eifel mountain range. The Aremberg is the highest peak, 625m above the sea level and even though the hills are not too high, the whole area is a paradise for hikers and MTB enthusiasts.
One hiking destination inside the hill area is Schrock, a great viewing point from which the Ahr valley is clearly visible. Better to undertake this excursion with steep shoes and a good physical condition.
The Ahr bike trail – A Slow and Sustainable Journey through the Valley
An 80km cycle path runs from Blankenheim to Linz am Rhein letting you discover the heart of the Ahr valley at a slower pace. To better profit from the amazing landscapes and visit the various villages that you encounter on your way, the advice is to do it in three days.
The wineries of the Ahr wine region will be on the route and a tasting experience can be a good way to relax after biking. But remember, don’t drink and ride!
What To Eat And Drink in Ahr
Explore some of the best food points in Ahr, such as Schwarzwaldstube and Claus-Peter Lumpp, from where the scenic view of the region will mesmerize your heart and soul. From modern German cuisine to traditional dishes, Ahr offers a wide range of recipes, paired with the top-quality wines of the region. Brace yourself for an unforgettable experience.
Pfalzer Saumagen – the Palatinan Würst
This dish is popular in the entire region of Rhineland-Palatinate and it can be described as being the regional variation of a sausage, like the Weißwurst in Bavaria. This sausage is mainly made of pork and potatoes plus various herbs and spices, all stuffed in a stomach casing. The Saumagen is served with sauerkraut or the typical German potato salad (Kartoffelsalat).
Flammkuchen – Taste the Soul of Two Countries
This speciality dates back to when the (now) French region of Alsace was part of Germany and that is why the Flammkuchen is popular in both countries and also has different variations according to the area where you order it. The basic recipe consists of a sort of pizza dough, but thinner, with fresh creme, thin-cut onions and bacon. In French is called tarte flambée because of the high temperature at which the dish is cooked in the oven.
Kölsch Beer – Ein Prosit!
This very particular type of beer is originally from Cologne but it’s very popular in Rhineland-Palatinate too. Kölsch is a clear warm fermented beer that is historically served in 20cl glasses. The peculiarity of the service is that the waiter fills up your glass until you put a coaster on top of it, meaning you are done with the beer. Kölsch is a PGI (protected geographical indication) product, since the beer has to be produced inside an area with a 50km range from Cologne.
An interesting curiosity is that there is a “beer rivalry” between Cologne and Düsseldorf, where a darker version of this beer is produced and is called Altbier.
Wine region close to the black forest. You can experience amazing wine tasting and tour activities at the various wineries in Baden . On our site you can read all about this regions to be prepared for your stay.
Wine history spanning more than a millennium. You can experience amazing wine tasting and tour activities at the various wineries in Franken . On our site you can read all about this regions to be prepared for your stay.
Tiny region with a huge wine culture. Hessische Bergstraße wine region is a great destination with a broad offering of wineries with wine tasting and tours. On our website you can book your visits in order to be prepared for your time in the region.