How wonderful vagaries of nature can be! Not only to us, the Rheingau holds one of the most fascinating and beautiful landscapes in Europe. Thanks to its beauty and culture, the Rhine valley has even been appointed world heritage.
“ I wish my faith was strong enough to move mountains! The mountain of Johannisberg would be the one I would let me follow everywhere.“
Almost all of our vineyards are located in and around Johannisberg, at the bottom of the Taunus mountain region. Geologically, the locations of our vineyards have unique characteristics. Below a 20cm layer of soil, the ground holds pure Taunus-quartzite. The roots of the old grapevines go very deep into the ground. Therefore, they are supplied with highly mineralized groundwater. Due to constant westerly winds, which are characteristic for the Johannisberg plateau, even during rainy years the grapes dry again very quickly and therefore stay healthy. This is how our delicate high quality Riesling becomes uniquely fresh, playful and fruity. Therefore, locations of the vineyards, such as Johannisberger Hölle and Johannisberger Vogelsang, have a unique structure.
The vineyards of a winery are the basis for a good wine. Thanks to the perfect conditions of climate and the geological state of the ground, the grapevines can grow in a great way.
The German word “Hölle“ means “hell“, which is a common name for a vineyard location. Yet, there is no connection to hell in the usual sense of the word. The name can be lead back to the old German word “Halde“, which means steep hillside. For the first time, Johannisberger Hölle was mentioned in 1180 as “helda in monte sancti Johannis“. This refers to the steep and stoney hill, which leads from Schloss Johannisberg, which is the castle on the hill in Johannisberg, 30 percent southwest towards the valley. This area has a great geological variety. Mainly, clay and loess soil can be found in this location, but also a mix of stones and pebbles. There is a big variety of climate as well; in the early evening, cold air from the forest nearby blows through the valley of Elsterbach and over the vineyards. This is how the fresh and lively character of the wine is conserved, which is characterized by a fine acidity and highly mineral taste.
Johannisberger Hölle Parzelle
“Parzelle“ is a plot of this vineyard location. The plot “Steinhaus“ is the plot showing the best quality within Johannisberger Hölle. It is the highest part of our vineyards. Within this plot, the vines of our leaseholders are located, too. Geologically, Johannisberger Hölle is part of the Taunus mountains. In the ground, Taunus quartzite and its decomposition rock can be found. The roots of the old grapevines reach very deep into the primary rocks of the Rheingau. The deep groundwater has been mineralized by the quartzite. Riesling adapts a lot to the ground it grows on and therefore you can clearly taste the minerals in our wines grown in the Steinhaus plot. The thermal westerly wind dries the grapes quickly after it has rained and lets them ripen to the highest grades of quality wine.
The literal translation of “Vogelsang“ is “bird song“. The name can be lead back to the sounds of the birds living in the woods close by and was mentioned for the first time in 1399 as “fogelsang“.
The southern-facing hillside lies east above Schloss Johannisberg, reaches an altitude up to 200 meters and is partly surrounded by woods. The cool influences have a high impact on the microclimate; therefore the grapes need more time in order to ripen than grapes in other locations. Due to the clay and loess soil with pebbles, which can save big amounts of water, the wine made from these grapes is characterized by fine minerals, long-lasting finesse and a versatile aroma, which shows its potential especially after a certain period of aging.
“Dachs“ means “badger“ and as the badgers like building their sets in the loess soil of this location, the badger is the name giver of the vineyards on that hillside. Also, clay and stoney loess soil can be found in this location. Due to that ground, the wines from the Dachsberg are given a certain spicy and racy acidity, which is harmonically added with a playful fruitiness.
“Hase“ means “rabbit“ and hares could especially be found here, as they are the name giver to this vineyard location. The beginning of Hasensprung is located east of the village exit of Johannisberg in the valley of the Ansbach and it does not end until Schloss Vollrads.
The southern and southeastern hillside of 97 hectare offers a multiple layered ground with deep loesses, but also flat grounds with pebbles, clay and loess. In the upper part of the location, westerly winds and cold air coming up in the evening keep the grapes healthy. During the day, the grapes can soak up the sun.
Due to this diverse climate and good soil condition, wines from Hasensprung are characterized by a special fruity taste and delicate acidity.
The south facing location of Magdalenenkreuz, which appears like a cloak coating the left side of Rüdesheim, was named after a crucifixion group with Maria Magdalena, that was put up in that area. In the western part of the vineyards, Magdalenenkreuz is quite close to the neighbour village Geisenheim and offers a great view over the river Rhine and Bingen.
The slightly rising slope offers a calcareous loess soil. In the lower part, a high groundwater level can be found; therefore there is a sufficient water supply, even during dry weather.
Winemakers by heart also see themselves as ambassadors of wine and their region. A hike through our vineyards gives you the perfect opportunity to watch our work in the vineyards and thereby getting to know our philosophy.
Would you like to enjoy some wine refreshment during your hike? We always have some chilled wine to go held ready in stock at our wine restaurant, at to go prices.
Enjoy your day of hiking!