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WSET Diploma: Unit 3: Germany > Rheingau > Flashcards

Flashcards in Rheingau Deck (42):


North bank of the Rhine facing South, protected by the Taunus mountains, optimal conditions for ripening the grapes. Soils of slate, loess and loam on slopes, sandy loam in the valley. Dark soil of slate absorbs daytime heat and provides warmth by night. Suits Riesling, accounts for 80% of the plantings. Well- known and best vineyards around around Assmanshausen (also known for quality Spatsburgunder production), Rudesheim, Geisenheim, Johannisberg, Winkel, Oestrich and Hochheim.
Balanced, elegant and fruity wines from hills sites. Riesling with more body and richness from the flat sites.



(pronounced ‘karta’), an association of rheingau wine producers founded in 1984 (although the first wines were vintage 1983), and the designation given to one or two special Riesling bottlings made annually by each member in accordance with the association’s strict standard for yields, must weights, and permissible vineyards of origin. (Paradoxically, these may not be labelled with the names of specific vineyards, although if a grower offers both a qba and kabinett Charta bottling, they will typically originate from different single sites.) Charta Rieslings must be finished trocken or halbtrocken—a stricture intended as homage to tradition—and pass three blind tasting tests, after which they are bottled in tall flute-shaped bottles embossed and labelled with a double Romanesque arch. (Some estates use this as an opportunity to commission Charta-dedicated artists’ labels.) The qualitative impetus behind this association and its wines is often rightly associated with the subsequent emergence of erstes gewächs and grosses gewÄchs as quality wine categories, although the number of participating growers has fallen slightly in recent years from a high of nearly 50.


Schloss Johannisberg

German wine estate in the rheingau with a history closely interlinked with that of the entire region. First planted by Benedictine monks around 1100, it served in the 18th century under the prince-abbot of Fulda as a model for viticultural success with Riesling. Legend has it that Schloss Johannisberg played an important role in the discovery of botrytized wines. Grapes affected by noble rot were allegedly first harvested at Johannisberg unwittingly, giving rise to the auslese, beerenauslese, and trockenbeerenauslese styles in which, among German growing regions, the Rheingau took the lead. In 1802, Johannisberg became secularized and the property of the prince of Orange. It was won four years later by Napoleon, who presented it to Marshal Kellerman, duke of Valmy, who owned it until 1813. From 1813 to 1815, the property was administered by the allies Russia, Prussia, and Austria; it was then given to the Habsburg Emperor Francis I of Austria at the Vienna Congress. In 1816, he presented it to his chancellor, prince of Metternich Winneburg, whose descendants sold their majority share in the property only in the 1970s. The property today belongs to the Oetker family whose vast network of businesses includes the sparkling wine producer Henkell as well as the G. H. von Mumm estate with which neighbouring Schloss Johannisberg has long had an interlocking relationship. The longstanding prestige of the estate has resulted in the name Johannisberg Riesling being a synonym for German riesling.


Rheingau – 3,200ha

o North bank of the Rhine facing south; west of Frankfurt;

o protected by the Taunus mountains -> optimal conditions for grape growing

o Slate, loess and loam soils on steep slopes and sandy loam in the valley

o Dark soils absorb heat & radiate it at night, allowing for riper, more concentrated Rieslings.

o Best vineyards around Rudesheim, Geisenheim and Johannisberg

o Balanced, elegant fruity wines from hillsites; richer style in the valley

o Pockets of high quality Spatburgunder esp. Hochheim on the Main & Assmanshausen

o Geisenheim: world’s leading viticulture centre; Charta organisation merged with local VDP organisation

o Only 7 cooperatives that account for 10% of harvest; iconic Chateaux:
- Schloss Johannesberg – 900yr old 60ha wine estate; claims discovery of botrytised wines by mistake in 18th
- Schloss Vollrads: 800yr old wine estate; member of VDP
- Kloster Eberbach: monastery founded in 1135 w powerful influence on the region; still producing highly rated wines


Mittelrhein - 450ha

Neighbouring region to Mosel and Rheingau. Top quality Rieslings can rival top Rheingau.


Robert Weill- Region of Production:



Robert Weill- Winery Location:



Robert Weill- Year Established:



Robert Weill- Summary:

Dr. Robert Weil (1843-1923), a former professor of the Sorbonne in Paris, purchased his first vineyards in the village of Kiedrich in 1867. The Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 brought his Sorbonne days to an end, and in 1875 he increased the size of his holdings and focused all of his energies on winemaking, marking the official "starting point" of the winery. By the 1890s, the wines of the Rhineland were some of the world's most popular and expensive. Weil's wines were selling internationally and received much acclaim--not to mention fetched high prices. The estate still has three bottles of the 1893 Auslese in their cellar, a wine that was a favorite of Queen Victoria, Czar Nicholas II and Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today the estate is managed by Wilhelm Weil, great-grandson of Robert; he has been credited for bringing the quality of the estate back to its highest levels.


Robert Weill- Vineyard Holdings:

90 ha total, planted 100% to Riesling

Kiedricher Turmberg: 3.8 ha Erste Lage monopole; mostly phyllite soil

Kiedricher Gräfenberg: 9.05 ha Grosse Lage; mostly phyllite soil

Kiedricher Klosterberg: 6.2 ha Erste Lage; mostly phyllite soil


Robert Weill- Average Total Production:

50,000 cases


Robert Weill- Top Wines Produced:

Gräfenberg Riesling GG

Gräfenberg Rieslings: Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein

Turmberg Rieslings: Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese

Klosterberg Rieslings: Spätlese and Auslese


Robert Weill- Inaugural Vintage (for top wines):

Kiedricher Gräfenberg in 1875


Robert Weill- Style / Vinification Techniques:

The estate has vineyards planted at a density of 6,000 vines/ha. With a goal of permitting long hang times for the grapes, Weil utilizes green harvesting, hard pruning, green cover and canopy management. For their best vineyards, Weil's yields are between 45 and 50 hl/ha, all hand-harvested--the top Prädikat wines are picked berry by berry with 15-17 tries! Weil's Gutswein, Ortswein and some Prädikatswein are fermented with cultured yeasts and fermented and aged in stainless steel. The late-harvest wines ferment with ambient yeasts in 1,200-liter stück and are aged in the those same vessels. These wines are also macerated for several hours, and 20% of the wines are fermented on their skins, then blended into the final cuvée later in the process.



The Rheingau is considered by most to be Germany’s most historic and important region. Here the Rhein River turns east/northeast offering the vineyards a perfect southerly exposure. Like the Mosel, Riesling is by far the most important grape here but the relatively warmer climate makes for riper grapes, a richer wine style, and proliferation of outstanding dry wines—as in Grosses Gewächs—from top vineyard sites. There are also two places in the Rheingau—Assmanshausen and Hochheim—where Pinot Noir ripens successfully every year.

Top vineyards: Rüdesheim Berg Schlossberg, Schloss Johannisberg, Schloss Vollrads, Erbacher Marcobrunn, Kiedricher Gräfenberg, Hochheimer Hölle

Producers: Robert Weil, Schloss Vollrads, Schloss Schönborn, Langwerth von Simmern, Franz Künstler


Which mountain range is the Rheingau near?

Tanus Mtns. Near the towns of Mainz and Wiesbaden


Which direction do the vineyards face in The Rheingau?



Why is the Rheingau famous?

It is the home to modern viticulture tradition in Germany.


What style do Rheingau Rieslings usually have?

Rich concentrated flavours, firm structure and wonderful fresh acid


If the Mosel is Germany's oldest winemaking region then the Rheingau is____________

Where modern viticulture first appeared


What are two of the most famous vineyards in the Rheingau?

Kloster Eberbach and Schloss Johannisberg


In the 19th Century what area did the German wine industry rest on?

The Rheingau's rieslings


Where is the Geisinheim research centre based?

In the Rheingau. However it is less affected by crossings than the Rheinhessen


The Rheingau is suited to which grape varietal more than any else?

Riesling. It has more plantings than most of the other anbaugbiets


What is the only bereich in the Rheingau?



What are two pseudonyms for Riesling than trace back their origins to the Rheingau?

Rhine (after the river) and Johannisberg


Where are most of the vineyards in the Rheingau found?

Between the cities of Wiesbaden to Rüdesheim, on the northern bank of the river.


What helps to make the Rheingau more warmer than the Rheinhessen?

The heat generated off the Rhein river


What soils are in the Rheingau?

In the Upper Slopes it is slate, but in the lower vineyards, closer to the water it is a mixture of clay, loess, alluvial sand and red slate.


What helps to make a more powerful style of riesling in the Rheingau than in the Mosel?

The varied soils and the favourable mesoclimate. The style is more fuller bodied, but the acidity can still be bracing


What type of wine makes up half the wines produced in the Rheingau?

Dry riesling.


The VDP has___________

More Erste Lage sites listed here than any other anbaugebeit


In the Mosel they use green glassed bottles. What do they use in the Rheingau?

The Rheingauer Flöte, is sometimes used, which is coloured brown


What is Assmannshausen known for and where is it located in the Rheingau?

It is northwest of Rudesheim and is the centre for red wine production. It is known for Spatsburgunder.


In area of Assmannshausen what vineyard is know for producing the best red wine?

The Hollenberg vineyard, which is owned by August Kessler


Rheingau: Important Gemeinden and Einzellagen

Assmannshausen: Höllenberg

Rüdesheim: Berg Roseneck, Berg Rottland, Berg Schlossberg

Geisenheim: Schloss Johannisberg

Johannisberg: Hölle

Winkel: Schloss Vollrads, Jesuitengarten, Hasensprung

Hattenheim: Pfaffenberg (monopole of Schloss Schonborn), Mannberg, Steinberg

Hallgarten: Schönhell, Jungfer

Erbach: Marcobrunn

Kiedrich: Gräfenberg

Eltville: Sonnenberg

Hochheim am Main: Hölle, Kirchenstück


Which vineyard in Assmannshausen produces the best Pinot Noir?

The Hollenberg vineyard in the Rheingau


Which vineyards in Assmanshausen in the Rhiengau produce the best riesling?

Berg Rottland, Berg Schlossberg and Berg Roseneck


Where does Schloss Johannisberg sit in the Rheingau?

Between Geisenheim and Johannisberg, this is where in the 18th Century botrytis was found to be harnessed and lead to Spatlese wines


The historic orsteil of Schloss Vollrads is located where?

East of Johannesburg in Winkel. It is famous for the Jesuitengarten and Hasensprung vineyards.


What are the best vineyards in Hallgarten in the Rheingau?

Junger and Schonhell. It is also the home to Kloster Eberbach monastry


Where is Kiedrich and what is it famous for?

It is a hill village in the Rheingau which contained the Grafenberg vineyard, which Robert Weil uses for sweet wines especially at the Auslese level and above