With a vineyard area of ca. 3,000 ha (7,400 acres) the Rheingau numbers among the smallest, but most important,
wine-growing regions of Germany. It is a compact region known for the indisputable quality of its wines,
its long-term commitment to high-quality grape varieties, its constant efforts to produce the best quality
possible, and the beauty of its landscape and warmth of its hospitality. These factors, as well as the Rheingau's
great viticultural tradition, all contribute to the region's special position.
Rheingau panorama view
For nearly 1,000 km (620 miles), from Basel to its confluence with the North Sea, the Rhine flows from south
to north - with one brief exception. Near Wiesbaden, the river makes a right-angle bend and proceeds westward
for some 40 km (25 miles) to just past Rüdesheim, where it resumes its northerly course.
A broad ribbon of vines, some two to three kilometers (one to two miles) wide, stretches from Hochheim,
near the confluence of the Main with the Rhine, to the Hessian state border - via Wiesbaden, Eltville,
Hattenheim and Rüdesheim - wine country at its best. The mostly south-facing slopes between the Rhine
and the Taunus Hills provide grapes with optimal growing conditions. This portion of the Rhine often
resembles a series of lakes, whose broad surface - up to a kilometer (half mile) in width - intensifies
solar radiation and helps balance differences in temperature between night and day. The vines are
protected from cold northerly winds by the forested summits of the Taunus Hills. Meteorological data
confirm these ideal growing conditions - average annual temperature: 10.4°C (50.7°F). Average hours of
sunshine per year: 1,612. Average annual precipitation: 634 mm (24.7 inches).
Rheingau wines are rich in nuances, thanks to the region's wide range of very diverse soils.
For more than 130 years, Weingut Balthasar Ress has been at home in the heart of this unique
wine-growing region, in Hattenheim.