Diversity of Soils in the Nahe Winegrowing Region

The Nahe winegrowing region boasts the largest diversity of soils and the densest variation in Germany. Over 180 different types of soil are thought to exist here.

In view of this geological diversity, the Nahe occupies a special position: quartz and porphyry, melaphyre and bunter can be found in the central Nahe region. In the Bad Kreuznach area there are residual soils and clay overburdens consisting of sandstone, loess and silt.

Conglomerate

Conglomerate forms impressive rock formations that shape the landscape of the Nahe. When the Nahe region was a desert 280 million years ago, rock debris from the Hunsrück floated to the Nahe basin during the occasional heavy rainfall. This debris solidified over time to form conglomerate. The easily warmed soil creates fine aromas in wines tasting of peach, apricot and yellow apple. The long-living wines stand out with their spicy notes, racy acidity and intense minerality. The sweet Riesling wines also contain tropical aromas.

Light sandstone

The light sandy soils are particularly found in the vineyards of the upper Nahe. They are reminiscent of the tropical climates prevailing at the time when they arose. White beaches and sand banks mixed with small fossil remains formed on the banks of the river. The sand turned into sandstone over time and was a popular building material. The sandy, dry soils yield early maturing wines that depending on their stage of maturity taste of green apple, citrus and gooseberries. The hearty fruit acid brings them to life and turns them into simple summer wines that are easy to enjoy.

Sand & gravel

As the former river gravel, they show us the earlier course of the lower Nahe. During the most recent glacial periods, the streams of melting snow carried with them large amounts of rock debris. This way, the river valleys cut deeper and deeper each summer so that the oldest gravel terrace lies about 80 to 100 metres above the current river level. The light soils store water well and yield elaborate and lively wines with a scent of yellow apple, lemon and grapefruit. In years with high soil moisture, peach-apricot aromas also develop and then mature very quickly. The characteristic sparkling summer wines should be drunk at an early stage.

Phyllite

The silvery phyllite is only to be found gleaming in the sunlight of the Wallhausen area.  Argillite sank to great depths, where it was strongly folded and slated by high temperatures and pressure. The heat-conditioned metamorphosis of the minerals yielded the shiny sericite. The Riesling on phyllite only develops aromas of green apple, gooseberries and grapefruit after several months. The wine additionally stands out with two features: an accentuated fruit acid and a distinctive minerality.

Red sandstone

The vineyards and houses of the Bad Kreuznach area glow in red sandstone.  When the desert sand was washed up in the lower Nahe valley after occasional but heavy rainfall, huge dunes developed there due to the wind and hardened over time. The easily warmed soils lend Rieslings an accentuated aroma of yellow apple, ripe pears and citrus. The elegant and aromatic wines are very lively and shaped by a racy fruit acid.

Sand & gravel

As the former river gravel, they show us the earlier course of the lower Nahe. During the most recent glacial periods, the streams of melting snow carried with them large amounts of rock debris. This way, the river valleys cut deeper and deeper each summer so that the oldest gravel terrace lies about 80 to 100 metres above the current river level. The light soils store water well and yield elaborate and lively wines with a scent of yellow apple, lemon and grapefruit. In years with high soil moisture, peach-apricot aromas also develop and then mature very quickly. The characteristic sparkling summer wines should be drunk at an early stage.

Conglomerate

Conglomerate forms impressive rock formations that shape the landscape of the Nahe. When the Nahe region was a desert 280 million years ago, rock debris from the Hunsrück floated to the Nahe basin during the occasional heavy rainfall. This debris solidified over time to form conglomerate. The easily warmed soil creates fine aromas in wines tasting of peach, apricot and yellow apple. The long-living wines stand out with their spicy notes, racy acidity and intense minerality. The sweet Riesling wines also contain tropical aromas.

Quartzite

Soonwald quartzite is particularly abundant on the lower Nahe. The river sediments that were initially deposited as sandstone yielded this particularly hard quartzite as a result of the high pressure and temperatures during mountain formation. The stony soils enable the finest peach-apricot nuances and striking fruit acids to develop in the wine. The wine type is the elegant and mildly vibrant Riesling with a fresh acid structure.

Conglomerate

Conglomerate forms impressive rock formations that shape the landscape of the Nahe. When the Nahe region was a desert 280 million years ago, rock debris from the Hunsrück floated to the Nahe basin during the occasional heavy rainfall. This debris solidified over time to form conglomerate. The easily warmed soil creates fine aromas in wines tasting of peach, apricot and yellow apple. The long-living wines stand out with their spicy notes, racy acidity and intense minerality. The sweet Riesling wines also contain tropical aromas.

Argillaceous shale

A whitish to reddish silt can be found on the lower Nahe that hardly seems reminiscent of slate at all. When a large sea retreated in the Devonian age, it left behind slate that was subsequently exposed to hot and humid climates. This led to acute chemical weathering and the hard, dark grey argillaceous shale turned into a tender, brightly coloured stone. Rieslings from this soil develop lemon, grapefruit and peach aromas as well as a characteristic herbal note. Other distinct features include the fruit acid and minerality that make the long-living wines lean and delicate.

Red sandstone

The vineyards and houses of the Bad Kreuznach area glow in red sandstone.  When the desert sand was washed up in the lower Nahe valley after occasional but heavy rainfall, huge dunes developed there due to the wind and hardened over time. The easily warmed soils lend Rieslings an accentuated aroma of yellow apple, ripe pears and citrus. The elegant and aromatic wines are very lively and shaped by a racy fruit acid.

Loess

Fertile loess can be found on virtually all banks of the Nahe. During the last glacial period, fierce dust storms developed below the end moraines. The storms carried with them the humus layer of the tundra and deposited the fertile dust hundreds of kilometres away in front of the Hunsrück. The rich soils yield powerful, full-bodied wines, with the aromas dominated by yellow matured fruits such as yellow plums and pears. Fruit acids only develop in a very restrained manner on the chalky ground, thereby producing tender and well balanced Rieslings that serve as the perfect accompaniment to a meal.

Porphyry

Dark reddish-brown cliffs along the central Nahe are the remnants of huge lava flows gushing around 290 million years ago. The layers of lava stretched over several hundred square kilometres and were up to 300 metres thick. The easily warmed soils that develop on porphyry are very shallow and not good at storing water. The Rieslings develop exotic aromas: Typical examples include mango, honeydew and apricot as well as the lively and elegant fruit acids. The late-maturing wines are distinguished by their minerality and longevity, and the sweet cultivated Rieslings stand out with their wonderful blend of fruit, acidity and sweetness.

Light sandstone

The light sandy soils are particularly found in the vineyards of the upper Nahe. They are reminiscent of the tropical climates prevailing at the time when they arose. White beaches and sand banks mixed with small fossil remains formed on the banks of the river. The sand turned into sandstone over time and was a popular building material. The sandy, dry soils yield early maturing wines that depending on their stage of maturity taste of green apple, citrus and gooseberries. The hearty fruit acid brings them to life and turns them into simple summer wines that are easy to enjoy.

Argillaceous shale

A whitish to reddish silt can be found on the lower Nahe that hardly seems reminiscent of slate at all. When a large sea retreated in the Devonian age, it left behind slate that was subsequently exposed to hot and humid climates. This led to acute chemical weathering and the hard, dark grey argillaceous shale turned into a tender, brightly coloured stone. Rieslings from this soil develop lemon, grapefruit and peach aromas as well as a characteristic herbal note. Other distinct features include the fruit acid and minerality that make the long-living wines lean and delicate.

Porphyry

Dark reddish-brown cliffs along the central Nahe are the remnants of huge lava flows gushing around 290 million years ago. The layers of lava stretched over several hundred square kilometres and were up to 300 metres thick. The easily warmed soils that develop on porphyry are very shallow and not good at storing water. The Rieslings develop exotic aromas: Typical examples include mango, honeydew and apricot as well as the lively and elegant fruit acids. The late-maturing wines are distinguished by their minerality and longevity, and the sweet cultivated Rieslings stand out with their wonderful blend of fruit, acidity and sweetness.

 

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