Nahe

Known for: Small production of high quality dry and off-dry Riesling with some reds as well.

  • White v. Red Breakdown: 75% white, 25% red
  • Top 3 Grapes: Riesling (28%), Müller-Thurgau (12.7%), Red Dornfelder (10.5%)

Located on the River Nahe, the area is a combination of orchards, meadows, and vineyards. The range of soil types and variety of terrain results in outstanding Riesling. The best sites are on the steep slopes of the Nahe (noticing a trend here? Top vineyards on steep slopes to catch the sun’s rays?). Riesling reigns — 27% of vineyards are planted with it.  Nahe used to be known for some the best quality Riesling in Germany but the modernization of the wine industry left the more rural producers in the dust and it has struggled to regain its golden reputation.

The wines are acidic, spicy, yet floral and peachy – kind of like a cross of Mosel and Rheingau. These wines tend to be harder to find, and more expensive given how small the region is, but they can be excellent and in warmer years are often dry or just slightly sweet. Sommeliers constantly rave about one producer out of Nahe, Dönnhoff, whose Rieslings are, indeed, perfection.