Wines from the Bergstrasse
There are around 900 hectares of vines on the slopes on the Bergstrasse. Most of them are cultivated by hundreds of sideline winegrowers. Together with a few full-time businesses, these “after-work winemakers” cultivate the areas of the “wine island Groß-Umstadt” and the area from Seeheim-Jugenheim to Heidelberg. The largest producers are the cooperatives in Heppenheim, Schriesheim, Groß-Umstadt and Wiesloch. Since 1972, the Bergstrasse has been divided into two country-specific wine regions: Hessian Bergstrasse and Baden – Bergstrasse area. Both are united by the mentality of the winegrowers, the climate, the soils, the vines. Riesling is the typical white wine grape. The Pinot Noir dominates in the red wine sector.
There are many ways to experience the Bergstrasse wine. The winegrowers and their partners offer public and private wine tastings and tours. In the wine guide you will find information, suggestions and contact details. You can find folk and wine festivals in the event tips brochure, as well as in our event calendar.
As well as fruity and sophisticated white and rosé wines, the Bergstrasse’s winegrowers offer sparkling wines too, made using methods such as fermentation in the bottle (the traditional method used in Champagne) through to Secco. Plenty of sunshine also translates into characterful reds. The range is completed with a selection of fine brandies. In the Hessian part of the wine region, vintners harvest ice wines in cold winters. The wine guide describes the region, its climate, soils, grape varieties and winegrowers with their products, and also tells you which varieties, vineyard sitesand cultivation methods the individual vintners work with. A brochure that you can order from Tourismus Service Bergstraße tells you whether and when the wineries are open for tasting and whether they serve the wines on the premises or have holiday accommodation.
The wine guide includes an overview for guests who would like to get to know the Bergstraße wines outside a specific estate, and describes wine taverns as well as wine (education) trails, wine hikes among the vineyards and seminars. It also lists the major wine events along the Bergstraße.
Vineyard sites along the Bergstrasse
At present there are 21 single-vineyard sites in the Hessian and 22 in the Badische Bergstrasse region. Wines from neighbouring single-vineyard sites can be offered in 4 Großlagen (collective sites within a district) – Rott, Wolfsmagen, Schlossberg and Rittersberg. All sites are shown on a map that is included in the guide.
More information from the regional winegrowers’ associations: Weinbauverband Hessische Bergstraße, Heppenheim and
Badischer Weinbauverband, Freiburg
or the national winemarketing ogranization (DWI) Deutsches Weininstitut
Grape varieties on the Bergstrasse
The vineyards on the Bergstrasse stretch from the northern edge of the Odenwald to Heidelberg. The soil structure and the climate allow the cultivation of many different grape varieties. The Bergstrasse is mainly white wine area. Riesling dominates on the Hessian Bergstraße, in the Baden Bergstrasse area mainly Pinot varieties are cultivated. The vintners use the vines to produce typical regional wines that stand out from mass-produced products with brand names. Each wine bears the signature of the winemaker and lives from the peculiarities of the grape variety.
Riesling, one of the oldest and noblest vines, places high demands. Due to climate change the wine growers of the Hessian Bergstrasse have for years been growing not only the fine-bred white Riesling, but also the Red Riesling which tolerates heat better.
The grape variety, which is also called Ruländer or Pinot Grigio, can produce a wide variety of wines. The spectrum ranges from sparkling with fine-bred acid to oily with rich aromas. Some winemakers also produce noble sweet wines from the vine.
The vine, also known as Müller-Thurgau, loves loess and loam soils. The fruity wines often have a pleasant nutmeg tone. They thrive excellently on the sun-kissed mountain road.
The mutation from the Burgundy family is also known as Pinot Bianco. It thrives excellently on the Bergstrasse and produces characterful wines with fine-bred acidity, which some winemakers also develop in barrels.
The Bergstrasse vintners produce a wide range of wines and sparkling wines from Pinot Noir. It ranges from Blanc de Noir and ice wine to rosé to light or heavy red wines, with aging in large wooden barrels or barriques.
The Saint Laurent wines from the Bergstrasse captivate with their velvety and sustainable fruit aromas in the bouquet. The winemakers like to put higher qualities in the barrique to round off the taste.