Mainz is a way of life – and it puts Germany on the Great Wine Capitals map.
Mainz is bursting with culture and history, which is artfully blended within this vibrant city. Renowned for its Carnival and wine celebrations, and famed for Johannes Gutenberg who introduced the printing with movable types to Europe.
Mainz is perfectly situated for adventures. Retreat from the lively capital to relax and explore the valley of gently rolling hills in which the proximate Rheinhessen wine region lies.
Mainz is modern and lively, and yet also offers itself as a fascinating city with culture going all the way back to Roman times.
You will happily immerse yourself in Mainz’s historic centre; with its picturesque half-timbered houses, cosy wine taverns, cafes, shops and boutiques, and St Martin’s Cathedral which has stood majestic on the Mainz skyline for over a thousand years.
Be sure to make time to sit in the typical wine bars, or outside by the riverside, enjoying a quality glass of Rheinhessen Riesling wine.
Situated on the banks of the Rhine river, the German wine capital of Mainz is famous for churches and its theatre culture. A must-see are the two copies of the world-famous Gutenberg Bible in the Gutenberg Museum, and the luminous blue stained-glass windows of St. Stephen’s church, which were created by Marc Chagall (click here for more information).
Mainz is also renowned for its annual carnival which is one of the largest in Germany. Mainz Carnival starts in January with the great New Year’s parade. During the carnival, the city is alive with its classy parades, energetic street parties, vibrant celebrations, and an electric atmosphere.
Be inspired at your own pace with a guided walking tour of the city. Or experience the city from the Rhine River. Mainz has an easy to navigate road and public transport network, effortlessly linking the city and vines. And, should you desire, you can even hike from Mainz to the Rheinhessen wine region!
There is a long tradition of organic viticulture
Rheinhessen is a dynamic wine region, with wine makers that are known for their innovation. This is Germany’s largest wine-growing region, with 26,500 hectares of vineyards, confined to the north and east by a great blue bend in the Rhine River.
The Mainz and Rheinhessen’s tantalisingly Riesling wines, with fruity and floral aromas, have been causing such a stir of late. The flavour of the Riesling grape is heavily influenced by the soil in which it’s grown, adding complexity to the wine due to mouth-watering character and minerality. Typically the Riesling wine from the Rheinhessen region is deliciously dry.
Also, everyone is talking about Rheinhessen’s classic Silvaner grape once again. Get ahead of the crowd and taste the white Pinot varieties the region has to offer as they are becoming increasingly popular too.
A typical refreshment in summer is the Weinschorle – a white wine mixed with sparkling water.
Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Dornfelder are at the head of the list of Rheinhessen red wines. Due to climate change, the region’s red variety is complemented by Merlot and a wide variety of cuvees.
Did you know – Rheinhessen is ahead of all German wine regions in organic viticulture. There is a long tradition of organic viticulture in Rheinhessen and, thanks to its current popularity; the number of organic winegrowers in the region is on the rise. This has the wonderful effect of increasing expertise and facilitating the exchange of the latest know-how, benefitting everyone!
Just surrender to the relaxed atmosphere and visit the wineries in Rheinhessen. Meet the inviting and friendly winegrowers of the Rheinhessen region, taste through the wine assortment and buy your favourite drops. Discover interesting local wine tours or attend the numerous events hosted by the wineries like book readings and concerts.
Also amongst the natural beauty of the area you have many activities which might spark your enthusiasm; hiking and cycling possibilities through the hill country; or perhaps a sightseeing tour by Oldtimer-Bus, special Jeeps or a traditional covered wagon is more your scene.
Back in the city, you should meet for a glass of wine, enjoy good company and conversation, as it is part of the lifestyle of the people of Mainz. The many taverns, wineries, wine shops, bars and restaurants of Mainz are also known for great food.
In the period between March and November, the famous Mainz Market Breakfast (Mainzer Marktfrühstück) takes place every Saturday as part of the traditional weekly market in Mainz’ city centre. Do you want to taste a typical Mainz dish? Then try Spundekäs – a deliciously creamy and rich cheese spread or dip. And be sure to take a piece of Fleischwurst sausage when it’s on offer – with its mild, lightly-smoked flavour. Dishes like coq au vin or zander (Rhine) are also typical of the region.
Thirsty for more? Dive into the details in our Insiders Guide – it contains everything you need to plan your city visit and wine tours.
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Gentle hills, excellent wines, warm people and historic places are just some of the features that draw guests to Germany’s largest wine-growing region.
Breathtaking landscape with numerous hiking and biking trails
Rheinhessen’s nature is a blessing for the soul. Green in summer; radiant red or yellow in autumn. The hilly landscape offers hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails, where you can enjoy walking through the vineyards and cast a glance over the shoulders of winegrowers at their work. A variety of thematic trails pick up interesting geological and historical facts. On the Alzey “Küstenweg” (eng. coastal path) for instance, you learn that where there is a sea of vines today, there was once a primeval sea.
Almost 3,000 wineries produce excellent wines on the fertile soil. Especially the Rieslings cause a sensation worldwide. The wine shops here are the best place to get information about the modern, uncomplicated wines – and to taste them. The shops are, besides, as diverse as the products themselves. Enjoy their special architecture, exciting events or an extraordinary variety of wines.
The book printing in Mainz, the imperial palace in Ingelheim, the Nibelungen saga in Worms, the jewish history of the ShUM Sites in Mainz, Worms and Speyer – Rheinhessen is full of an important past. Impressive castle ruins best to explore by a trip on a river cruise, vineyard watch towers full of heartbreaking love stories, churches with mysterious architecture that no one can fully explain – you can find history on every corner.
Young, fresh, innovative – these are some of the characteristics of young winemakers in Rheinhessen. With great responsibility, a lot of commitment, clever ideas and a strong passion for wine, they support their family businesses. Here are four of them:
As a wine queen, Judith Dorst promoted the famous Rheinhessen Riesling even in China. Her study at the Geisenheim University, a renowned school with focus on viticulture, followed. During an internship abroad, she even got to know the wineries of California. Today Judith and her husband are an integral part of their family winery. A team in which each individual gives his or her best.
A breath of fresh air
Having grown up in the middle of vineyards, Philipp could think of nothing else but becoming a winemaker and joining the 200-year-old business of his parents’ winery. He quickly discovered the potential to switch to organic viticulture in order to protect his beloved nature. The result: Since the 2013 vintage, the wines of the Bernhard-Räder winery are organic and vegan certified. The winery’s motto: Preserve traditions and open up to the new.
Wine unites hearts
Alina and Sebastian Engel is a lovely young winemaker couple. While for resolute Alina nothing else came into question than to become a winemaker, Sebastian at first took other paths. Fate wanted Alina to cross his path and the passion for wine started. His ignited fascination for wine earned Sebastian the title of second best young winemaker at the national finals in 2017.
Internships are open to students currently studying at an academic institution in a Great Wine Capital City
Your contact in Mainz Rheinhessen:
Mainz City Hall