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Nahe Wine

Nahe is a relatively small wine-growing region in Germany, with around 10,400 acres (4200ha) of vineyard in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The region shares borders with Rheinhessen to the east, Rheingau to the north-east and Mittelrhein to the north. The Nahe river lends the area its name and flows as a tributary to the Rhine at Bingen.

Nahe’s best vineyards can be found on steep volcanic slopes dotted along the river, usually facing south and south-east. Up until the German wine law's classification of 1971, all Nahe wine was sold as 'Rhine wine', but since the Pradikat’s review of the classification system, only Riesling wines may bear the name of the area’s top vineyards.

Bingen: where Nahe meets Rhine

If the Mosel is Germany’s delicate wine daughter, and Rheingau its masculine son, then Nahe is undoubtedly the middle child. Not withstanding Nahe’s geographical position between these two important wine regions, it displays all the characteristics of a middle sibling. Often overlooked yet budding with potential, Nahe is a late bloomer in the German wine scene. The Romans neglected to cultivate the region’s volcanic soils until at least 500 years after the Mosel had been planted. Yet by the 19th century it was regarded as one of the nation’s foremost viticultural areas. Economic hardship in the early to mid 20th century saw Nahe slip to relative obscurity until the 1990s when a Riesling renaissance occurred.

Nahe’s tumultuous past is reflected in the array of vines planted there over time. Muller-Thurgau had been the most common grape variety since varietal records began, but by the 1990s had slipped to less than one-fifth of the total plantings. During the 1960s Silvaner accounted for more than half of the total vineyard area, though in the 21st century it has dropped below 10%. Riesling is now king among quality producers, with red varieties Dornfelder, Spatburgunder and Portugieser having quadrupled in number since 1990. The region continues to evolve as producers such as Hermann Donnhoff take Nahe wines to the international stage.

This region may be broken into three distinct sub-regions, though only one Bereich has been described. They are the Upper Nahe in the south-west, Bad Kreuznach and surrounds, and Lower Nahe to the north-east. The stretch of land from Monzingen to Traisen displays some of the best terroir for Riesling, and typically produces pungent wines of spice and mineral complexity. The Alsenz river to the south has also been important, though is somewhat forgotten in recent memory.

Volcanic rock dominates the vineyards in Upper Nahe, though the actual soil composition is extremely vaired with up to four soil types found in certain locations around Oberhausen. Temperatures rise as the river heads north and the altitude drops towards the region’s capital, Bad Kreuznach. The best vineyard sites are found on the city’s northern outskirts.

The Lower Nahe is quite distinct from its regional neighbors and shares much of its soil compositon with Rheinhessen. Here Rieslings are grown with Grauer Burgunder, Weissburgunder and Silvaner, all of which display more citrus and stone fruit than the musk and spice associated with the sub-region's upper counterpart.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein, Nahe, Germany Riesling $449 1928
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $51 1973
Weingut Donnhoff Riesling, Nahe, Germany Riesling $20 2086
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $90 3063
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe, Germany Riesling $53 3164
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe, Germany Riesling $85 3204
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $46 3549
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe, Germany Riesling $25 4645
Pieroth Blue Burg Layer Schlosskapelle Qualitatswein, Nahe, Germany N/A $10 5106
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $35 6112
Schafer-Frohlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe, Germany Riesling $55 6645
Weingut Donnhoff Riesling Trocken, Nahe, Germany Riesling $18 7130
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe, Germany Riesling $48 8148
Weingut Donnhoff 'Felsenturmchen' Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $36 10056
Weingut Emrich-Schonleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe, Germany Riesling $48 10644
Weingut Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Nahe, Germany Riesling $23 11789
Weingut Donnhoff 'Felsenturmchen' Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe, Germany Riesling $45 11895
Hallgarten Blue Kreuznacher Kronenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe, Germany Riesling $11 12461
Schafer-Frohlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $33 12597
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Tonschiefer Riesling Trocken, Nahe, Germany Riesling $20 14558
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $45 16377
Weingut Donnhoff Schlossbockelheimer Kupfergrube Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $45 16768
Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Spatlese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $58 19534
Weingut Emrich-Schonleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Auslese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $48 20493
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Nahe, Germany Riesling $480 21534
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