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Hessische Bergstrasse Wine Region

Location
The Hessische Bergstrasse wine region is located in the German state of Hessen. It lies in an area between the Neckar, Rhine, and Main rivers.

Size
1,126 acres (456 hectares) - Germany's second smallest wine region. 756,879 gallons (28,651 hectoliters) of wine are produced annually in the Hessische Bergstrasse (76% Prädikatswein; 24% Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete). This accounts for only .3% of the volume from Germany's entire wine region.

Climate
The Hessische Bergstrasse is known throughout Germany as the "Spring Garden." Spring begins here a little bit sooner than in other regions of Germany. The region is also protected from winds by the hills of the Oden Forest.

Average Temperature: 50 °F (10° C)
Average Hours of Sunshine: 1,600 hours per year
Average Precipitation:  (720 mm)

Grape Varieties
80% of the regions wines are white wines - of these, the Riesling is the most produced. 20% of the regions wines are red wines. The following grape varieties are planted.
     
  Riesling 53.5%
  Müller-Thurgau 10.1%
  Grauburgunder 8.3%
  Spätburgunder 6.4%
  Silvaner 5.3%
  Kerner 3.3%
  Weissburgunder 2.7%
  Dornfelder 2.2%
  (Statistics from www.wein-plus.de)

Characteristics of Hessische Bergstrasse Wine

The region is known for its Riesling wines - most of them are dry to medium dry. Those wines from vineyards of higher elevations tend to be less acidic than those from the northernly areas. Wines here also tend to be similar to those from the Rheingau region: fragrant, rich, fresh, and full of body.

History
Grapes were first planted in this region over 2,000 years ago by the Romans. The oldest written record of vineyards in the region dates to the 8th century. At this time the fields were cultivated by monks.

In 1803, the northern part of the region became "hessisch" (belonging to the state of Hessen) and southern part became "badisch" (belonging to the state of Baden). The entire area, although it crossed state lines, was known as the "Bergstrasse." In 1971, the area in Hessen officially became its own stand-alone wine region and was named the Hessische Bergstrasse.





Hessische Berstrasse
Photo: © pure-life-pictures - Fotolia.com
   
 



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