Roter Hang (Red Slope) – prime locations in Rhine-Hesse


The Roter Hang is a unique view you can enjoy even from a long way off, with the gentle elevation of the tranquil village of Nierstein, the majestic sweep of the Rhine beside it and countless vines dotting the banks and the hillsides.

It is one of the most important vineyard sites in the world, sitting to the south of Mainz, not far from Nierstein and Nackenheim. Although it is dominated by the green of the vines, when the soil is loosened under the grapes and you can see the bare rock below, it becomes apparent where it gets its name: from the reddish shimmer of the soil, known as Rotliegend. The rock, also known as red slate, is coloured by iron compounds and was formed some 280 million years ago when the Rhine gorge collapsed to produce the Nierstein Formation and the perfect conditions for outstanding wines!

The view on the Roter Hang is wonderful to enjoy with a glass of wine, Rhine-Hesse

The view on the Roter Hang is wonderful to enjoy with a glass of wine, Rhine-Hesse

This extraordinary terroir, combined with the very special climate in Rhine-Hesse and the expertise of the winemakers, gives the wines of the Roter Hang their unmistakeable flavour. You should definitely try the wonderful wines from Orbel, Heiligenbaum, Ölberg, Hipping, Brudersberg, Pettenthal and Rothenberg – they are among the best in the whole of Rhine-Hesse.

Enjoying wine on a slope with a breathtaking view, Rhine-Hesse

Enjoying wine on a slope with a breathtaking view, Rhine-Hesse

The annual wine presentation at the Roter Hang is a real experience. It is an opportunity to sample the very best wines in the region at the exact spot where they are grown. The winemakers present their wines at various stations, and you can take a gentle stroll from one stand to the next and discover how the signatures of the individual winemakers flavour the different wines. It is a lovely way to spend an evening, watching the sun dipping down below the horizon, its last rays bathing the slopes in red while the Rhine gently flows by – definitely a unique experience you will never forget.

Wine tasting at the St. Antony winery in Nierstein, Rhine-Hesse

Wine tasting at the St. Antony winery in Nierstein, Rhine-Hesse

But fear not, if you cannot make it to the wine presentation, there are lots more wine festivals and events held in these picture-postcard villages every year. You can also enjoy the hospitality and taste the wines on the estates of the individual winemakers.

But if you would rather gain a more general overview of the wine region of Rhine-Hesse, the ‘Rheinhessen AUSGEZEICHNET’ wine bars are always a good choice. This accolade is only awarded to wine bars that embody the region and its people, the wine culture and the way of life in a really special way. You are served excellent wines in a lovely setting, with flawless service and knowledgeable, friendly advice on wines. They are often an opportunity to meet the winemakers in person and talk wine, or maybe they can just explain a few things to you. You can find an overview of the ‘Rheinhessen AUSGEZEICHNET’ wine bars around the Rote Hang in our map.

The Rotliegend wine experience

The Rotliegend wine experience


In our next video, Martin Seidler rhapsodises about the view of the Roter Hang near Nierstein. Its perfect location right next to the Rhine combined with the fine minerality of the red slate produces unbelievably powerful wines. But it is not only the outstanding terroir that influences the taste, the skills of the experienced winemakers are also critical to the quality of a wine. Tasting the wines at the estate itself, or even in the middle of a sea of Rhine-Hesse vines courtesy of a converted vintage van, is an unforgettable taste experience.

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