The Rheingauer Riesling Routes
The approx. 120 km long walking routes "Rheingauer Riesling Routen" invite hikers to get to know unique cultural historical sights on the hike between between Flörsheim/Main to Wicker and Lorch/Rhine and/or Kaub which is situated in the World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
Hikers can enjoy the unique view onto the Rhine and can leisurely stroll through the vineyards. The wine-growing estates and Straußwirtschaften, located along the way, provide refreshments such as a good glass of wine from the Rheingau.
The Rheingau Riesling Routes have been sign-posted with the Rheingau roemer. Sturdy shoes are important, as well as a trail map (most recent version) and a carefully thought-out routing with start and finish. Resting places, sights and opportunities for refreshment are also part of planning a hike.
You can see a current map of the Rheingauer Riesling Routes here.
The following route suggestions in key words with a list of numerous places of interest along the way is intended to help you plan your visit.
Kaub - Lorch/Rhine (8.5 km):
Train station Kaub, from vineyard path (Weinbergsweg) to Schenkelbachtal, afterwards forest path (Waldweg) via Niedertal (historic border) along Höhenweg below Scheibig and Engwegerkopf with view onto the Rhine and Bacharach. After crossing the brook Retzbach (Lorchhausen) through the vineyard site Seligmacher to Lorch/Rhine.
Lorch/Rhine - Assmannshausen (12.5 km):
From Bodental one can choose between two trails. Either: past the parish church and shortly before reaching the wayside chapel (Wegkapelle) to the left. After traversing the Bächergrund along the forest, hike above the vineyards with great view onto the Rhine Valley. Or: pass the Hilchenhaus, the train station, the wayside chapel. Afterwards along the hiking trail of the wine-growers from Lorch (Wanderweg der Lorcher Winzer) into Bächergrund. Continue through the vineyards via the camp ground Suleika into Bodental. The two ways have conjoined. Above the little pond the forestry hut "Gerd Simons". Good resting opportunities at Paul Claus Hut ("Paul Claus Hütte") with great view onto the Rhine. Shortly before Bacharach Kopf (Bacharacher Kopf) turn to Assmannshausen. Magnificent view over the vineyard site Höllenberg, onto the Rhine and Assmannshausen.
Lorch/Rhine - Aulhausen - Rüdesheim/Rhine (14 km):
From Lorch/Rhine to Bacharach Kopf ("Bacharacher Kopf") as described above. If your destination is Rüdesheim/Rhine you should choose the trail running straight ahead passing the fruit growing estate leading towards Aulhausen and then towards Niederwald Monument ("Niederwalddenkmal"). To Rüdesheim/Rhine by foot or by cable car.
Assmannshausen - Höllental - Aulhausen - Bacharach Kopf ("Bacharacher Kopf") - Höllenweg - Assmannshausen Loop Trail (not suitable for prams) (6 km):
From the car park at the town exit into the direction of Aulhausen. Foot path passing the state winery through the Höllental. Before reaching the town exit of Aulhausen to the left. Slowly ascending to Bacharacher Kopf and the junction to Assmannshausen. A break recommended at "Heidenruhe". The foot path leads through the forest and vineyards of Höllenberg down to Assmannshausen. Beautiful view onto the Rhine and Sonnenwald.
Assmannshausen - Abbey of St Hildegard - Nothgottes - Marienthal - Johannisberg (15 km):
Trail starts at parish church Assmannshausen. Then through Frankenthal. Passing abandoned vineyards with a far view onto the Rhine Valley and onto ruins of Ehrenfels castle. Below the Niederwald Monument to the street Rüdesheim am Rhein - Presberg (An der Ulm). Next destination is Abbey of St Hildegard. The street turns to Nothgottes at right angles. On a shady forest path into the direction of Marienthal. To Johannisberg along the street which to a great extent has a pedestrian way. Halfway to the left.
Assmannshausen - Rüdesheim/Rhine (5 km):
From the parish church in Assmannshausen as described above to the ruins of Ehrenfels castle. A little above and to the east of the ruins of Ehrenfels castle we turn in two bends into the "oberer Bergweg". Straight ahead to Rüdesheim/Rhine.
Rüdesheim/Rhine - Geisenheim (3 km):
From Oberstraße via Hugo-Asbach-Straße onto Eibinger Weg to the Institute for Vine Breeding. We stay on the path to the north of the experimental plantation by the Research Institute up to Nothgottesstraße (K 630). The city centre of Geisenheim can be reached through the Research Institutes park.
Geisenheim - Winkel (7 km):
We start at the northern bypass (Albert-Schweitzer-Straße). Via the upper vineyard path of the site "Kläuserweg" to Johannisberg Grund (side-trip to Johannisberg Palace via the footpath which turns above the Monument commemorating the female wine harvesters ("Denkmal der Weinleserinnen"). After Winkel we cross the main road at the winery "Prinz von Hessen". Through the Elsterbachtal past Anker- and Weißmühle. Then on the right side to the wine-growing estate "St. Bartholomäus" and over Elsterbach. Along Adalbert-Stifter-Straße to the main road Winkel - Johannisberg (for tours of the "Brentanohaus" continue along the way on the main street and walk underneath the rail bridge).
Winkel - Vollrads Palace - Kühnsmühle - Hunting lodge Philippsburg - Unkenbaum - Eberbach Monastery (10 km):
From Brentanohaus (former B 42) a short distance into the direction of Johannisberg, then along Greiffenclaustraße onto Vollradser Allee. From Vollrads Palace (Schloss Vollrads) to the street Oestrich - leisure facility (Freizeitanlage) Pfingstbachwiesen. Past Kühns Mill (Kühns Mühle) via the site Klosterberg to the hunting lodge Philippsburg (Jagdhaus Philippsburg). Wide view onto the Rhine Valley. From Unkenbaum (an oak) to Eberbach Monastery the distance to be covered is approx. 1.5 km.
Winkel - Vollrads Palace - Gottesthaler Mühle - Hallgarten - Domäne Neuhof - Kiedrich (9 km):
Hike to the street Oestrich - Pfingstbachwiesen as described above. Along this vineyard path to Gottesthal Mill (Gottesthaler Mühle). At the baroque wayside cross we reach the street which leads through the vineyard sites Klosterberg and Schönhell to Hallgarten (a side trip to the Jewish cemetry from 1673 is well worth a visit). At the water retention basin the trail turns toward north and leads hikers past the wayside chapel "Maria Hilf". We leave Hallgarten at Eberbacher Straße. Along the famous Leimersbach, then to the left to the Domäne Neuhof and to the famous Steinberg. We cross the street Hattenheim - Eberbach Monastery towards Wachholder Hof into the direction of Kiedrich.
Kloster Eberbach - Kiedrich - Eltville/Rhine (7 km):
Towards the south of the exemplary vine plantation outside the monastery wall a footpath leads through the forest to Kiedrich. The trail can be started at the car park. Upon leaving the forest we cross the Grünbach and hike through the vineyard site Klosterberg. From Kiedrich via the footpath along the Kiedricher Bach located east of the village at the base of the vineyards to Eltville/Rhine.
Kiedrich - Rauenthal - Eltville/Rhine (7 km):
From the Kiedrich parish church via Kiedricher Grund (brook in Kiedrich). The shortest way upwards leads through the vineyard sites Wasseros and Sandgrub. Well worth a visit: a side trip to the ruins of Scharfenstein Castle. Down into the valley Sülzbachtal through the forest, afterwards past the new and former forestry house. Up on the hill a break is recommended also because of the wine. Along the vineyard path to Bubenhäuser Höhe. An especially beautiful view onto the Rhine Valley to Mainz. Further along world-famous vineyard sites past the State Domaine and along the Wiesweg in the valley Sülzbachtal. The wine cellars/the administration of the State Wineries are located on the right side in the direction of the city centre.
Rauenthal - Martinsthal - Frauenstein - Schierstein (16 km):
Via a street which is closed for cars (Alte Chaussee) to the wine village of Martinsthal. At the town exit into the direction of Walluf, the Frauenstein path (Frauensteiner Weg) leads hikers through the vineyard sites Langer Berg and Wildsau. We reach Frauenstein via Estate Armada (Gutshof Armada) from the north. Our next destination is Nürnberger Hof. Highly recommended: a side trip to Goethe's Stone (Goethestein). Continue after Schierstein through Leierbachtal and the more elevated vineyard sites Homberg and Hölle.
Eltville/Rhine - Niederwalluf - Frauenstein (7 km):
From the Castle of the Sovereign Elect Eltville/Rhine (Kurfürstliche Burg Eltville am Rhein) via the towpath to Niederwalluf. At the marina we turn northward, cross the former road B 42 as well as the federal railway and reach the underpass of the national road (B 260) straight ahead. After the bridge (Autostraße Wiesbaden - Eltville am Rhein) we are in the vineyards. Turn towards Frauenstein, then via a hollow towards village centre.
Mainz-Kastel - Kostheim - Hochheim - Flörsheim-Wicker (6 km):
At the station square in Mainz-Kastel we start our hike on this side of the Rhine. Via the footbridge to Maaraue (Sports and leisure centres). The towpath on the bank of the Rhine ends in the Lesselallee on the bank of the Main. After having crossed the bridge Floßhafen-Brücke we are on the bank of the river Main and Mainz-Kostheim in the Kiliansanlagen. Well worth a visit: a tour of the historic district. Via Main dam and the federal railway towards the Kostheim vineyard site Weißerd. Through the Hochheim vineyard site Reichestal to the motorway overpass. Now through the newly built quarter heading towards the old quarter of Hochheim. Past the parish church through famous Hochheim vineyard sites we reach the site Königin Victoria Berg with the Victoria Monument (1854). The trail leads westward along the cherry wood past the Wiesenmühle. Via Annakapelle and Kriegergedächtniskapelle we reach Flörsheimer Warte. Rheingauer-Riesling-Pfad and Wickerer-Wein-Weg conjoin on Landwehrweg, an informative loop trail about viticulture and the history of the landscape. In Wicker, the "Gate to the Rheingau", a break at the wine tasting stand is recommended. Wicker is the final destination - and at the same time the beginning of the Rheingau Riesling Trail.
Places of Interest along the Rheingau Riesling Routen:
Lorch/Rhine: Viticulture since 1085. Worth seeing: numerous aristocratic residences, Hilchenhaus (1548), Parish Church of St Martin with its carved altar dating back to 1483, art and local history museum with enthroned Mother of God with a bunch of grapes (around 1350). Vineyard sites: Schloßberg, Kapellenberg, Krone, Pfaffenwies and Bodental-Steinberg.
Lorchhausen: the "Gate to the Rheingau". Viticulture since 1211. Vineyard site Seligmacher.
Assmannshausen: First documentation 1108. The Spätburgunder red wines from Assmannshausen have been famous since 1507. Famous vineyard sites: Höllenberg, Hinterkirch, Frankenthal. The hotel "Gasthaus zur Krone" enjoys international renown with the room where Freiligrath stayed.
Rüdesheim/Rhine: The Drosselgasse promises "Wine, music and cheerfulness". Worth seeing: "Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Cabinet", the "Museum of Wine History" at Brömserburg Castle (12th century), the Toy Museum, the Protestant parish church St James with the Weinstockfenster and the Benedictine Abbey of St Hildegard. The famous Niederwald Monument can be reached by car, cable car or by foot through the vineyards. A nice hike leads to the ruins of Ehrenfels castle.
Geisenheim: first mentioned in 772. Several old aristocratic residences. Today school town with two secondary schools (Gymnasien). The Institute of Research and the University of Applied Sciences for viticulture and horticulture are world-famous. Worth seeing: the Catholic Parish Church of the Holy Cross (Heilig Kreuz) with the cross designed by the carver Hans Backoffen from Mainz dating back to 1518 and the pilgrimage church of Marienthal with a miraculous figure of the dolorous Mother of God (around 1300).
Johannisberg: Viticulture since 817. Owes its name and development to the Benedictine Order, which founded the monastery at the beginning of the 12th century. In 1716 the monastery complex came into the possession of the abbey of Fulda which built the existing palace and brought about the flourishing of viticulture. 1775 discovery of Spätlese (late harvest), 1787 first Auslese (quality distinction) and 1858 first Eiswein (ice wine). Recommendation: visit the wine cabinet and wine tavern.
Winkel: First mentioned 850. Worth seeing: parish church of St Walpurgis and the Brentanohaus, where Goethe spent his time in 1814. The "Graue Haus" (Grey House) is among the oldest stone houses of Germany.
Vollrads Palace: Residence of the Matuschka-Greiffenclau family since around 1330. Wine-growing estate, wine tavern and Lucullan wine tastings.
Mitteleim: Former town hall worth seeing as well as nice, old half-timbered houses. Outstanding: the Romanesque St Ägidius basilica (12th century) with valuable pulpit and statue of St Urban, patron saint of wine growers.
Oestrich: Old wine village with noteworthy historic city centre. The wine-loading crane is among the wine monuments (1745). Reichhartshausen Palace, Eberbach Monastery's former trade centre of wine, and the Oestrich Castle ("Oestricher Burg") today houses the "European Bussiness School (EBS). In the garden of the EBS a Siamese Temple can be found, a gift by the Thai royal couple.
Hallgarten: Wine village more than 800 years old located between the vineyards at the foot of the Hallgartener Zange. Worth seeing parish church of Maria Himmelfahrt (the Assumption) and Schröter's Mother of God with pottery (Schröter-Gottesmutter mit der Scherbe) (around 1415).
Hattenheim: dates back to the 10th century. Charming village square with especially beautiful half-timbered houses. Magnificent, old patrician farms, such as Greiffenclauer Hof (1555), Schönborn`sche Hof (1640), Raitz von Frentz`sche Hof (1667) and Hattenheim Castle (Hattenheimer Burg) (15th century).
Eberbach Monastery (Kloster Eberbach): Former Cistercian monastery founded in 1136 which has influenced the development of viticulture in the Rheingau and its culture significantly up to 1802. Place of various cultural events revolving around wine and music. Abbey museum. Worth seeing: wine tasting in historical rooms.
Erbach: Significant wine village with the famous vineyard sites Marcobrunn (12th century), Hochrain (1519), Steinmorgen (1211). The Hotel Reinhartshausen Palace ("Hotel Schloss Reinhartshausen") possesses considerable vineyards on Schloßberg and on the Insel Mariannenaue (Mariannenaue Island).
Eltville/Rhine: Known as the town of wines, sparkling wines, and roses with Castle Festival. Oldest town of the Rheingau (since 1332). Worth seeing: the Castle of the Sovereign Elect with Gutenberg Monument, aristocratic residences, the Parish Church of St Peter and Paul with the Willigis Stone (Willigis-Stein).
Kiedrich: The "Gothic wine village with a history of 1,000 years. The parish Church of St Valentine (1493) has numerous art treasures like the charnel chapel of St Michael, among others the oldest still functional organ of Germany and the enthroned Mother of God in the chancel. Even today the choir of boys and men sings the Gregorian Choral in the Germanic dialect. Many old wine-growing esates and wine taverns. The ruins of Scharfenstein Castle (12th century) and Vineyards of Matrimony (Weinberge der Ehe) are located a little above Kiedrich.
Rauenthal: Viticulture was first mentioned in 1211. The parish church of St Anthony with the Mother of God with a bunch of grapes, (15th century) is a special treasure. Famous vineyard sites: Baiken, Gehrn and Wülfen. Magnificent view onto the Rhine Valley from the lookout Bubenhäuser Höhe.
Martinsthal: Old wine village. Historical wine tavern "Zur Krone".
Walluf: The oldest settlement of the Rheingau (770). Numerous mills formerly constituted the main livelihood. The 1,000 year-old ruins of the Church of St John (Johanniskirche). Picturesque bay with towpath leading to Eltville/Rhine. Meadows with scattered fruit trees.
Wiesbaden: Hesse's state capital with spa and health resort. Worth seeing: Kurhaus with Casino and spa park (Kurpark), State Theatre, Kochbrunnen, City Palace, Old Town Hall, Greek chapel, Museum with Collection of Nassau Antiquities, state library. City winery with the vineyard site Neroberg. Biebrich Palace with park. Winery making sparkling wines of world renown in Biebrich and Schierstein.
Wiesbaden-Dotzheim: (since 1128) with the vineyard site Judenkirsch.
Wiesbaden-Frauenstein: Castle from 1221. Wine growing-community with old farms such as Armada, Groroth and Nürnberg. Europa vineyard with vines from eight partner countries. Vineyard site: Herrenberg with Goethe's Stone.
Wiesbaden-Schierstein: With Jupiter Column dating back to 221 AD. Viticulture since 973. Sites: Hölle and Dachsberg.
Mainz-Kostheim: (since 790). Imperial assembly under Charles the Great 795. Vineyard sites Steig and Berg.
Hochheim/Main: (since 754). Historical town centre with half-timbered houses from the 17th century, the market square where the baroque Madonna from Hochheim (18th century) stands. Sites: Domdechaney, Kirchstück, Herrnberg as well as Königin Viktoriaberg with the monument from 1854 commemmorating the visit of the English Queen. Local history and wine museum. World-famous wineries and wineries making sparkling wines.
Flörsheim-Wicker: Viticulture documented since 927. Gate to the Rheingau with wine tasting stand. Wickerer Weinweg, a wine and cultural historical hiking trail. St Catherine's Church (Kirche St. Katharina), half-timbered houses dating back to the 16th and 18th centuries, Flörsheim Watchtower (Flörsheimer Warte) (lookout across the entire Rhein-Main area). Vineyard sites König Wilhelmsberg (with column dating back to 1866), Mönchsgewann, Nonnenberg, Stein, Flörsheimer Herrnberg, Chapel of St Anne of Flörsheim (Flörsheimer St. Anna Kapelle).