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The production area is located in Hessen in Germany between the rivers Neckar, Rhine and Main in the protection of the Odenwald on the western slope of the Odenwald. The vineyards cover 467 hectares of vineyards along the Rhine. The Romans already cultivated wine here and laid out the "Via strata montana" (mountain road). The first documented mention was in 755 regarding the donation of a vineyard in Heppenheim
Climate and soil
The mild climate prompted Emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) on his return from the coronation in Frankfurt to exclaim: "This is where Germany begins to become Italy. Due to early spring and late autumn there is a relatively long vegetation period with best sunshine and sufficient rainfall. This results in optimal conditions for viticulture. The main wine communities are Heppenheim and Bensheim with mainly loess loam soils. Buntsandstein is only found on two small "islands" (Heppenheimer Steinkopf and Maiberg). Only in the northern area (e.g. Zwingenburg) do granite weathered soils occur sporadically.
Areas, municipalities and locations
The wine growing area is divided into two areas, Umstadt (Odenwald wine island) and Starkenburg, in three large vineyards and 23 individual vineyards. The winegrowing communities with their individual sites:
There were no major changes compared to 2009. White wine varieties dominate with almost 80%. The undisputed leader with a share of over 40% is the Riesling, followed by the rising star Ruländer (Pinot Gris). The status 2018 (0 = less than 0.5 ha):