The wine in the Ahr valley tends to be Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Dornfelder, Portugieser and Frühburgunder, an early ripening mutation of Pinot Noir. In other words – it’s all about the red in this part of the Rhineland. Few wineries bother to export their product outside of Europe, largely because domestic demand is high enough that they don’t need to bother. The Ahr Valley is very small and there are many excellent vineyards practically right next to each other. Here are seven of our favourite vineyards along the Ahr.
Jean Stodden Winery
Located about 30 seconds from the train station in Rech, the Stodden Winery offers free wine tastings when buying some bottles and more formal tastings, lasting 2.5 hours, that include a wide range of wines from Stodden and other local vineyards. Email is the best way to arrange a tasting.
Get a real bang for your buck at Ahrweiler Winegrowers Association eG, a wine growers co-operative that has been going since 1874. More than 70 winegrowers work 25 hectares of vineyards, the results of which are stored in vaulted cellars just waiting to be tasted. Email ahead to make arrangements for a full tasting, or pop by and see what’s new.
H.J. Näkel Kreuzberg
Right on the Ahr River in the town of Dornau, Kreuzberg is open daily and offers free wine tastings to visitors intending to buy wine on-site. For visitors who mostly just want to sample what’s on offer, a proper tasting service is available for 25€ per person.
Sisters Maike and Dörte took over the family business from their father Werner and have oriented the winery to the future. Collaborations in Baden and South Africa keep things interesting as well. If the winery is open, which is located behind the elementary school in Dernau, then tastings are available. No need to call ahead.
The usual tasting for visitors intending to buy wine is offered here as well as a more in-depth tasting, which much be arranged in advance. Please note that Weingut Burggarten is not able to offer tastings in languages other than German. Email the winery for further details.
Weingut Rudolf Fürst
A tour of the vineyard on the edge of the village of Bürgstadt and a full tasting ranges in price from 25€ to 40€ and must be arranged in advance. If you’d like to buy some wine spontaneously, then of course the vineyard is happy to let you have a try before you open your wallet.
Run by the Linden family, Weingut Sonneberg sits at the end of the Red Wine Trail in the town of Bad Neuenahr. At Weingut Sonneberg, 18€ will get you a tour of the vineyard and a proper tasting lasting around 2.5 hours. Unusually, the vineyard is open on Sundays.