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On the following pages you find detailed information about the wine growing region Mittelrhein, covering the stretch of the Rhine, known throughout the world as the romantic Rhine valley. This page is meant to be a useful hint for the continuously growing crowd of wine enthusiasts, always looking for hidden treasures, of which there are so many to be found among the family of Middle Rhine wines.
But in general, much of the editorial content is less bloomy than the title might suggest.
The Middle Rhine boasts legendary sites like the ‘Lorelei’ and the ‘Drachenfels’. On the banks of the mighty, narrowly winding stream are a myriad of picturesque villages usually crowned by one of the 60 castles, fortresses and ruins on the hilltops. The beauty of the area has inspired most prominent writers. Goethe, Schiller, Murray, Baron Lytton, and Lord Byron. All of them were rock stars of their time and they raved over the magnificence of this narrow strip of land. Consequently, in the nineteenth century, the Middle Rhine valley had become the home of romance for the English speaking nations (Ruland, 1906).
Geographically, it is the connecting link between the famous Rheingau and Mosel valleys. But in contrast to the later, it has received very little international attention when it comes to the wines produced in the area. In my personal and many connoisseurs’ opinions, this is not due to a lack of high quality wines. It is rather due to the strongly divided, mostly family owned and managed wineries as well as a general lack of information available on these. In order to close the latter gap, this page is going to pull together all the bits and pieces available on the Middle Rhine region, its vineyards, its wineries and wines, to draw a comprehensive picture for the interested, English speaking reader, wanting to gain knowledge about and assess the mid-western German wine-scape, in particular the wines from the Middle Rhine valley in 2014.
Why Middle Rhine? With only 446 hectare of vines under cultivation (status: 2013), it is the second smallest wine growing region in Germany. Many wineries in the world offer more in their portfolios. Plain and simple, it is out there! And the region boasts a myriad of characteristic vineyards (108!), wineries and wines that ought to be discovered by the world. Other wine growing regions of Germany offer similar features, but three things are distinctive here:
First of all, since Roman times and throughout the history thereafter, wine has been a major deal on the Middle Rhine / Mittelrhein (wine region). Wine growing clearly represents a corner stone of this unique region, accredited by the UNESCO as a ‘World Heritage’ site. Second of all, the late history shows a strong laps of this historic wine growing area, hence desperately needs more attention. Finally, there is no point in starting with the lot, when there is only limited ability to process. I’m tempted to quote Laotse at this point, but surely, the journey has just begun.
For now, the mission is to build an information platform. Furthermore, I hope it is going to be a wake-up call to the stakeholders of the region that seem stuck on internationalizing their communication efforts, hence don't use the opportunities presented in the 21st century; yet.
To his sister
“Childe Harold,” Canto III.
The castled crag of Drachenfels
And peasant-girls, with deep-blue eyes,
Bliss Carman, et al., eds. The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative. 1904.
Descriptive Poems: III. Places
Lord Byron (1788–1824)