If you are still planning where to go this Christmas, how about visiting a wine region with a world-famous Christmas market? In following three weeks, we will share with you three of our favourite wine regions to visit around Christmas. Pack up and go or if you, like us, couldn’t find the time to travel this year, join us to taste some leading examples from these regions.
On the top of our list – we’d recommend Rudesheim am Rhein of Germany. Just an hour drive away from Frankfurt and right opposite to the vibrant city of Bingen, Rudesheim is known for both wines and Christmas market. Rudesheim situates at the western end of the wine region of Rheingau. It occupies a very unique spot along the river Rhine – this picturesque town of just about 10,000 residents overlooks where Middle Rhine river joins Nahe river. Rudesheim’s Christmas market has had a long history and effortlessly blend in with the old town’s Rhine Romanticism architectural style.
Along Drosselgasse lane, the busiest street of Rudesheim old town, be prepared to find over 100 stalls celebrating Christmas with traditional food, drinks, décor and festivities. Whenever you feel like you need some distance from the crowds, take the cable car (Seilbahn Rudesheim) from the heart of the old town – right next to Rudesheim’s famous round-the-year Christmas shop – to Niederwald monument. Feast your eyes on a panoramic view of Rheingau and Rheinhessen lying on both sides of Rhine river and take a stroll around the monument and the Romanesque castle of Bossenburg.
What to drink when you are in the land known both for Riesling and Pinot Noir?
As a municipality, Rudesheim (am Rhein) covers two important wine towns: Rudesheim itself and Assmanhausen. The earlier is known for rich, decadent Rieslings made in traditional Pradikat styles, all thanks to the presence of extremely steep south-facing slopes (some parts reaching 70% gradient), which allows berry to ripen slowly over an extended period time to reach great maturity.
Assmanhausen vineyards right above the town itself on a cone shaped slope called Hollenberg (Hell’s Mountain). On very fine days, these southwest facing slopes receive maximum afternoon sun exposure and gain a glorious crimson shade of red around sunset. This partly explains the visual reference of Hell in its name. Assmanhausen is known particularly for its Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). Assmanhausen vineyards are classified “First Growth” (Erste Gewachs) quality, blessing its Pinot Noir output with a duo core of fruit purity and slate-quartzite earthiness.
Already have other travel plans set for this Christmas but still want to get a taste of Rudesheim this Christmas? Try some of their reputed Rieslings.