The Best Vineyards in Germany’s Ahr Region
Hikers explore the vineyards of the Ahrtal | © Alan Gordine/Shutterstock
The stretch between Ahrweiler and Blankenheim along the Ahr river is known to be a paradise for red wine
. Wine making in the area has a 2,000-year-long history, and today some 45 vineyards produce some of Germany’s best Pinot Noirs. Here are seven of the best Ahr-region vineyards.
is one of the front runners in producing Pinot Noirs of the highest quality. The self-taught winemaker and his wife have raised the bar for red wines coming from the region
. Their complex and full-bodied wines have been praised by international critics. Their passion has sparked projects in South Africa
, where the family now produces a range of critically-acclaimed Sauvignon Blancs, Shiraz, Tinta Barrocas, Touriga Nacional, and other varieties. Their Ahr wines can be tasted and bought in their shop in Dernau.
The family’s winemaking history can be traced back to 1670. The vineyard
was originally located in Marienthal and moved to Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
at the heart of the Ahrtal in the 1970s. Since then, the vineyard has expanded to be the wine region’s largest privately owned establishment. Still a proud family business, the production focuses mostly on Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Précoce varieties. Their red wines have won several prestigious awards over the years, which can be sampled at tastings, events, and their recently re-opened wine bar in Marienthal.
Jean Stodden – Das Rotweingut
After studying oenology and working at vineyards in South Africa and the US, Alexander Stodden
followed in the footsteps of his late father. Continuing the centuries-long family tradition, he almost exclusively grows the Pinot Noir variety on his 16 acres (6.5 hectares). Quality has always been more important than range, making the family an expert of red wines. Tastings can be booked online and include a tour of the vineyard and the tasting of six wines.
The Burggarten vineyard
claimed an award for their Riesling
last year, but Paul Schäfer and his sons also cultivate Pinot Noir and Dornfelder grapes. The multi-generational business is dedicated to combining tradition with innovation. Their wines mature in barrels stored in the historic vaulted cellar. The vineyard offers tastings on their own, or in combination with accommodation at their guesthouse, meals, and a guided tour of the vineyard.
Between Heimersheim and Ahrweiler, the team of father and son
mostly cultivate Pinot Noirs on the steep hillsides, but also have a passion for the rarer Pinot Noir Précoce. The two share the notion that one has to be in touch with nature to some extent to produce high-quality wines. And multiple awards seem to prove them right. Their wines are available from their small wine shop in Heimersheim and online.
is ranked in the Top 100 of Germany’s vineyards. Their philosophy rules out mass production and innovative wine-making technologies, but champions the traditional vinification process. The results are full-bodied Pinot Noirs and sweet Rieslings. You can indulge in the award-winning wines during one of their tastings. Bookings are available for individuals and groups.
Weingut Max Schell
The Max Shell vineyard
manages acres of vines from a tiny village with a population of 600 called Rech. Three generations have produced high-quality Pinot Noirs, Portugais Bleus, and Rieslings
. Their 2016 Blanc de Noir won the Ahr wine of the year award. The team around Wolfgang Schulze-Icking offers tastings on-site, in their tasting room or wine cellar.