The Nahe wine region is in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate and it is named after the Nahe River, one of the l tributaries of the Rhein River. The Nahe wine region is famous for its lush vineyards and orchards. Although the area does not feature large castles and romantic beaches, the serenity and peacefulness of the region allow for relaxation and good memory-making. The pastoral setting of the Nahe features incredible beauty and lush, green vineyards. Breathtaking gardens, rolling hillsides, and warm sunny vineyards express the charm of the region.
The Nahe wine region is the smallest wine region in the southwest of Germany famous for the production of high-quality white wines with almost 27% of Riesling vineyards. Although the Nahe wine region is not so famous as its powerful neighbours such as Mosel, Rheingau and Rheinhessen, it’s the diversity of soils and the natural condition favours the production of high quality, exceptional wines. The Nahe wine region vineyards are extended over an area of about 4300 hectares. The Nahe region presents a variety of soils: volcanic, sandstone, clay, limestone, and metamorphic rocks; all contribute to the production of the finest grapes.
Nahe wine region can be divided into smaller wine regions, Schloßböckelheim (upper Nahe) and Bad Kreuznach (lower Nahe). Along with these two, Bretzenheim, Monzingen, and Merxheim also produce rich-quality wines. The winemakers of the Nahe wine region focus on quality rather than quantity. Despite being of the smallest wine regions of Germany, Nahe delivers the most interesting and superior-quality wines.
The vineyard-zone of Nahe wine region produces some of the most delicious wines for both local and international wine lovers to enjoy. Most of the vineyards, 75%, are cultivated with white grape varieties, such as Riesling, the most cultivated variety, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Silvaner. Although the majority of the production is based on whites, red vines have a special place in addition to the white grape varieties. Upon visiting, tourists can discover top-quality Pinot Noir and Portugeiser, beautifully growing in the vineyards.
Out of the total wine production, more than 55% is labelled under the QmP designation. This stands for Qualitätswein mit Prädikat and it signals a wine with a specific attribute. Around 40% is QbA, meaning it comes from selected harvesting, and the remaining 5% is Tafelwein (Table Wine). The growing of the vines of Nahe is well-protected by the Soonwald and Hunsrück Mountains, which. Bring a balance of rainfalls and sun. All these conditions help grapes to get fully ripened.
What to Expect from Nahe wines and Where to Taste
In the Nahe wine region, there are different types of wineries that you can visit: some are famous for their full-bodied white wines, whereas some have excellence in the production of luscious red and sparkling wines, such as Dönnhof Winery. The wine tasting tours of Nahe are all guided, and the owners and members of all wineries explain their winemaking processes, combined with unmissable wine tasting activities.
Discover the modern wine bars, called Vinothek, of the region and buy some delicious red, white, and dessert wines from the assortment. Get a chance to savour some of the best wines of VDP-labeled (VDP is the German organization that labels these wines) estates and explore their wine quality. The wineries that come under VDP status have estate-owned guest rooms, restaurants, etc. enhanced by spectacular sightseeing.
Weingut Bürgmeister Schweinhardt is located very near the Nahe River, in the Langenlonsheim wine-growing area. The winery has been active since the 19th century, as the wine cellar dates back to 1827. The production features both high-quality red and white wines such as Pinot Noir and Riesling. The winery was also awarded for its dessert and rosé wines, all made within the wine-growing regions of Mittelrhein and Nahe.
This Nahe region winery is totally worth a visit, and the many awards it won can assure that. They received an award for being amongst the “Best Vines in Germany” last year. Weingut Hof Breitenstein offers a wide range of wine styles including their sparkling German Sekt, fiery red wines and exquisite late-harvest sweet wines.
Surrounded by picturesque countryside, this 80s-established winery Weingut Mathern awaits for you to taste their excellent wines. The majority of their vines are more than 50 years old, bringing to their production an excellent vintage taste. All vineyards are harvested manually as grapes are carefully selected and transported to the winery for fermentation.
Right on the river Nahe, there are the ruins of a monastery that was built and destroyed several times. The actual ruins date back to the 11th century. The first settlement of the monastery was founded by saint Disibod.
The ruins are also the site of the oldest vineyard in the entire Nahe wine region. Studies have discovered that this area was used to grow grapes ever since the Romans. In more recent years, some grapes that were said to be extinct, from the White Orleans variety, were found here.
Bad Kreuznach – A Spa Town On The Nahe
A beautiful town located in Rhineland-Palatinate, Bad Kreuznach is best known for its medieval bridge, the Alte Nahebrücke. The bridge dates back to 1300 and it is entirely made of stone. The peculiarity of this bridge is that it has 4 houses on it, which were owned by craftsmen and merchants.
Another landmark of the town is the Church of Saint Paul, where the communist philosopher Karl Marx got married in 1843. The church was consecrated in 1332, and through the years it underwent several renovations.
Bingen – “Hear the Mice Squeak!”
The place gives you an insight into the history of the entire region. First of all, Bingen-am-Rhein is the birthplace of Saint Hildegard von Bingen, an influential polymath, mystic and musician. The name of the town comes from the Celtic word Bingium, which means “hole in the rock”. The Via Ausonia, a Roman military road, started from Bingen and connected it to Trier.
Something curious about Bingen is a tower built outside the town called “Mouse Tower”. A local legend says that the name comes from an episode that occurred when Hatto II was the ruler of the town. During a famine, he didn’t give his grain to the poor people and tricked them into an empty barn. As a punishment, once he returned to his tower, he found an army of mice that ate him alive. I know it’s a bit creepy, but the tower is worth a visit as it is on the river bank overlooking a medieval castle.
Natural Spots of the Nahe Valley
Bingen Forest – Home to Rare Flora and Fauna
This forest lies on the boundary of the counties of Mainz-Bingen, Bad Kreuznach, and Rhein-Hunsruck-Kreis. It is part of the Hunsruck, a shallow mountain range in the central Uplands of Germany. The site includes the Kandrich hill, the highest of the area (638m).
The Bingen forest also includes various castles and ruins of old settlements, evidence of the Roman times. The Bingen Forest and Mogenbach Valley is a loop trail that passes through the forest and is approx. 30km long.
The Soonwald-Nahe Natural Park – Hiking and Wellness
The Soonwald-Nahe Natural Park is one of the best places to profit from all the amazing things the Nahe region has to offer. It has viticulture and semi-dry grassland. The best time to inhale the fresh air comprising oxygen is on the rainy days, which makes the forests deciduous.
The Soonwald-Nahe Natural Park was founded on 4th March 2005, dedicating the core zone to quietness and wellness. The park has a forest that covers 47% of the area and 41% of agricultural land. If you are more of a hiker, there are many trails that you can cover. One of the best, also to profit off the landscape, is the 15km-long Kauzenburg-Ebernburg loop trail.
Food & Drink to Try From the Kitchen of the Nahe
Asbach Uralt – A Sweet Spirit
Wine is not the only drink you need to try while in the Nahe region. There is a variety of German brandy that was first distilled near the town of Rüdesheim am Rhein. The spirit has a bright amber colour and leaves a sweet aftertaste in the mouth. The Absbach Uralt is best drunk neat, but it can also be added to coffee to make the Rüdesheim Kaffee. The drink is prepared by adding a flambé mixture of Asbach Uralt and sugar to some coffee. All is then topped with whipped cream.
Saumagen – Germany in a Dish
This dish is typical of the Palatinate and it’s easy to find in any local restaurant around the state. It consists mainly of pork meat with potatoes, carrots and onions all stuffed into a pig’s casing. This sort of sausage is then served with the traditional Kartoffelsalad. White wine from the Nahe wine region goes really well with this typically German-flavoured dish.
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Map of Wineries in Nahe wine region
Discover the long wine tradition of Nahe and discover some of the best wineries in this region
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