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  • Multicultural soil

The soil is the origin

Incredible but true: volcanic eruptions and powerful earth movements mixed up the subsoil near the Nahe River in such a way that more than 180 different soil formations remained.

Such diversity is not found anywhere else in Europe. Here, the Rhenish Slate Mountains, the Nahe Hills, the North Palatinate Uplands, and the foothills of the Mainz Basin come together – each with its own unique geological inventory:

Clays and sands deposited over 400 million years ago became, among other things, clay slate and quartzites. A lush, tropical lake and river landscape with primeval amphibians, sharks, and dinosaurs generated the famous “Rotliegend” (underlying red) strata after violent volcanic eruptions and subsequent desert climate. The subtropical sea, in turn, left behind clay marls and colorful sands and gravels.

The present landscape was largely formed by the end of the current Ice Age. This infinite variety of rocks, with their special influence on the desirable conditions of the vines, also shapes the unique vineyard soils of the region. In combination with the expertise of our “genuine types,” we are able to create truly great wines.

 

Please click on the hotspots on the map for more information on the respective soil compositions:

Sand and gravel

The former river gravel marks out the previous course of the lower Nahe. During recent ice ages, snowmelt streams carried away large amounts of rock debris. Every summer, the stream valleys cut deeper and deeper, so that the oldest gravel terrace is approx. 80–100 meters above the present river level. The light soils store water well and produce delicate, lively wines with a fragrance of yellow apple, lemon, and grapefruit. In years with high soil moisture, even peach-apricot aromas develop, and do so very quickly. The sparkling typical summer wines should be consumed quickly.

Phyllite

It is only possible to see silvery phyllite gleaming in the sunlight in the Wallhausen region.  Clay was pushed down to great depths, where the high temperature and pressure created folds and schist. The heat-induced metamorphosis of the minerals produced the lustrous sericite. Riesling grown on phyllite develops aromas of green apple, gooseberry, and grapefruit only after several months. The wine is also characterized by two features: pronounced fruit acidity and an unusual minerality.

Red sandstone

Vineyards and houses glow sandstone red in the Bad Kreuznach area.  When the desert sand washed up after rare but heavy rains in the lower Nahe valley, mighty dunes developed there due to the wind, which solidified over time. The easily warmed soils give Riesling wines a marked fragrance of yellow apple, ripe pear, and citrus. The elegant, fruity wines are very lively and characterized by a vivacious fruit acidity.

Quartzite

The Soonwald quartzite occurs with particular density in the lower Nahe region. This especially hard quartzite was created during mountain formation from river sediments initially deposited to form sandstone due to high pressure and temperature. The rock soil creates the finest nuances of peach and apricot as well as striking fruit acids in the wine. The wine type is a delicate, light, and vivacious Riesling with a fresh acidity structure.

Clay slate

In the lower Nahe, one can find a whitish-reddish clay that does not resemble slate. When a large sea retreated in the Devonian age, it uncovered slate, which was then exposed to hot and humid climates. This led to intense chemical weathering and the hard black-gray clay slate became a friable, brightly colored rock. Riesling wines grown on this soil develop aromas of lemon, grapefruit, and peach, with an added characteristic herbal note. The fruity acids and minerality are also striking, and give these long-lasting wines a streamlined and delicate character.

Loess

Fertile loess is found on almost all valley sides of the Nahe. During the last ice age, strong dust storms developed below the terminal moraines. The storms swept away the humus layer of the tundra and deposited the fertile dust hundreds of kilometers away in front of the Hunsrück massif. The rich soils produce powerful, full-bodied wines, and the aromas are dominated by yellow ripe fruits such as mirabelle plum and pear. Fruit acids form very slowly on the calcareous soil and thus ensure that delicate, harmonious Riesling wines are the result, which are ideal to accompany food.

Porphyry

Dark reddish-brown rocks found in the mid-Nahe are the remnants of powerful lava flows from approximately 290 million years  ago. The lava coverage extended over several hundred square kilometers and became up to 300 m thick. The easily warmed soils that develop on porphyry are very shallow and do not hold onto water well. The Riesling wines develop exotic aromas: mango, honeydew melon, and apricot characterize them, as do the lively, elegant fruit acids. The late-ripening wines are characterized by their minerality and longevity, noble sweet Rieslings are captivating with their wonderful interplay of fruitiness, acidity, and sweetness.

Sand and gravel

The former river gravel marks out the previous course of the lower Nahe. During recent ice ages, snowmelt streams carried away large amounts of rock debris. Every summer, the stream valleys cut deeper and deeper, so that the oldest gravel terrace is approx. 80–100 meters above the present river level. The light soils store water well and produce delicate, lively wines with a fragrance of yellow apple, lemon, and grapefruit. In years with high soil moisture, even peach-apricot aromas develop, and do so very quickly. The sparkling typical summer wines should be consumed quickly.

Conglomerate

Conglomerate creates imposing  rock formations that characterize the landscape  of the Nahe region. When the Nahe region was a desert 280 million years ago, rock debris from the Hunsrück region was washed into the Nahe plain during the rare but heavy downpours. This debris was consolidated into conglomerate over time. The easily warmed soil creates delicate aromas of peach, apricot, and yellow apple in the wine. These long-lasting wines are captivating with their spicy notes, vivacious acidity, and intense minerality. As refined sweet wines, the Rieslings also have tropical aromas.

Conglomerate

Conglomerate creates imposing  rock formations that characterize the landscape  of the Nahe region. When the Nahe region was a desert 280 million years ago, rock debris from the Hunsrück region was washed into the Nahe plain during the rare but heavy downpours. This debris was consolidated into conglomerate over time. The easily warmed soil creates delicate aromas of peach, apricot, and yellow apple in the wine. These long-lasting wines are captivating with their spicy notes, vivacious acidity, and intense minerality. As refined sweet wines, the Rieslings also have tropical aromas.

Red sandstone

Vineyards and houses glow sandstone red in the Bad Kreuznach area.  When the desert sand washed up after rare but heavy rains in the lower Nahe valley, mighty dunes developed there due to the wind, which solidified over time. The easily warmed soils give Riesling wines a marked fragrance of yellow apple, ripe pear, and citrus. The elegant, fruity wines are very lively and characterized by a vivacious fruit acidity.

Light sandstone

The light, sandy soils are found particularly in the vineyard areas of the upper Nahe. They are reminiscent of the tropical climates that prevailed at the time of their creation. White beaches and sandbanks accumulated on riverbanks, with small fossil remains. Over time, the sand turned into sandstone and became a popular construction material. The sandy, dry soils produce early ripening wines that taste of green apple, citrus, and gooseberry, depending on the stage of ripeness. The hearty fruit acidity creates lively, uncomplicated summer wines which are easy to enjoy.

Clay slate

In the lower Nahe, one can find a whitish-reddish clay that does not resemble slate. When a large sea retreated in the Devonian age, it uncovered slate, which was then exposed to hot and humid climates. This led to intense chemical weathering and the hard black-gray clay slate became a friable, brightly colored rock. Riesling wines grown on this soil develop aromas of lemon, grapefruit, and peach, with an added characteristic herbal note. The fruity acids and minerality are also striking, and give these long-lasting wines a streamlined and delicate character.

Porphyry

Dark reddish-brown rocks found in the mid-Nahe are the remnants of powerful lava flows from approximately 290 million years  ago. The lava coverage extended over several hundred square kilometers and became up to 300 m thick. The easily warmed soils that develop on porphyry are very shallow and do not hold onto water well. The Riesling wines develop exotic aromas: mango, honeydew melon, and apricot characterize them, as do the lively, elegant fruit acids. The late-ripening wines are characterized by their minerality and longevity, noble sweet Rieslings are captivating with their wonderful interplay of fruitiness, acidity, and sweetness.

Conglomerate

Conglomerate creates imposing  rock formations that characterize the landscape  of the Nahe region. When the Nahe region was a desert 280 million years ago, rock debris from the Hunsrück region was washed into the Nahe plain during the rare but heavy downpours. This debris was consolidated into conglomerate over time. The easily warmed soil creates delicate aromas of peach, apricot, and yellow apple in the wine. These long-lasting wines are captivating with their spicy notes, vivacious acidity, and intense minerality. As refined sweet wines, the Rieslings also have tropical aromas.

Light sandstone

The light, sandy soils are found particularly in the vineyard areas of the upper Nahe. They are reminiscent of the tropical climates that prevailed at the time of their creation. White beaches and sandbanks accumulated on riverbanks, with small fossil remains. Over time, the sand turned into sandstone and became a popular construction material. The sandy, dry soils produce early ripening wines that taste of green apple, citrus, and gooseberry, depending on the stage of ripeness. The hearty fruit acidity creates lively, uncomplicated summer wines which are easy to enjoy.

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