Tracing the Rhine from Hochheim to Lorch, Rheingau consists of approximately 3,000 hectares of vines accounting for only around 3% of Germany’s entire vineyard plantings. However, many of these are situated on the south-facing slopes between the Taunus Hills and the Rhine, providing excellent wine growing conditions for the classic grape, Riesling which takes up around 80% of plantings. Pinot Noir (also known here as Spatburgunder), along with Muller-Thurgau makes up the remainder. Soils vary between shale, quartzite, phyllite, and loess contributing to the firm style and depth of structure in Rheingau’s acclaimed Rieslings. With only around 20 inches of rainfall per year (comparative to that of the Napa Valley in California) and more than 1600 hours of sunshine per year (with around 1300 of these occurring during the winegrowing season) perhaps this helps to explain why the people of Rheingau decided to claim the motto, “a pure, unadulterated zest for life” as their own!