Rheingau is the heart of the German winemaking culture, and is situated a 40 minute drive to the west of the City of Frankfurt. Three thousand hectares are under vine, 80% of which are planted with Riesling, making up around 7% of the total global Riesling plantings. Geographically, the Rheingau Wine Growing Region belongs to the Rhein-Main-Region, amongst the warmest and driest climatic areas in Central Europe, with 582 mm of annual rainfall and 1,600 hours of sunshine. This is the ideal climate zone for Riesling grapes, which benefit tremendously from the daily temperature change; the warm days and cool nights contribute fresh and fruity aromatics to the wines.
Riesling is Germany's most significant grape variety. Approximately 40,000 hectares are planted globally, of which 22,000 hectares are located in Germany. It is an excellent variety to pair with food, and also to drink by itself. Outstanding in its wide spectrum of styles, Riesling is lively and intense as a Dry Wine, juicy and rich as a Noble Sweet Wine, and zesty and refreshing as a Sekt, or sparkling wine.
Wine Classification in relationship to German wines is the classification of wines into three categories:
I - Wines from one of the best vineyards in Germany. Dry wines are designated as First Growth. Fruity wines wiht natural sweetness are denoted by the traditional Prädikats.
II - Only wines from classified sites of superior quality bear the name of a vineyard.
III - High-quality wines that reflect regional character.