We spent one week in Rhinehesse and one thing is for sure: here it is ALL about wine. You cannot get away from it. You will spot wine everywhere. Doesn’t matter whether you drive through the beautiful landscape and you spot vine right beside a cereals field or you enter a village and the vine entwines along and above the street or at the huge gates is a sign saying „bottles of wine“. It is all about wine.
The villages consist of only one street with one row of houses. Towards the street they are shielded by a huge gate. Once in a while you get a glimpse into the patio. Otherwise you wish you had a long stick with a camera attached so that you could look over the wall. If the gates are open you will mostly see cosy and nicely decorated places.
Inbetween there are wine shops where you can taste wine or there is a ‚Straußwirtschaft‘ – a small tavern in the backyard or a winery’s bar. Big places, parks or promenades? No way! They hardly exist. But it is worth while to stroll through the villages. You might be surprised in one way or the other. Suddenly there is a mill’s water wheel turning at the wall of a house. Or there is no bridge and you have to drive through the brooke. Or there is an old house with chimes (Glockenspiel) at the front.
There are anyway many many half timbered houses, interesting sculptures, sayings and fine decorations to be admired. You just have to look closely.
Rhinehesse does not show off. Rhinehesse is reserved. As people lock behind the gates, Rhinehesse does not shout out its attractions. Also the landscapes are not dramatic. Endlessly the smooth hills extend. Covered with wine or fields. There is nothing else to be seen. No meadows, no cows, no horses. Some wind turbine turn and everywhere in the valleys there are villages. That’s it.
If you look closer – not only into a patio – but also look for an attraction you might make a find.
In Oppenheim there are underground passageways, which has no comparison. In Alsheim there are so many narrow passes that the path network is called paradise of narrow passes (Hohlwegparadies).
In Guntersblum there is a small and bizarre wine tavern, which is a must see: Winzer Frey.
In Flonheim and in other villages you can find the unique trullos.
In Flörsheim-Dalsheim there is a still existing fortress – the ‚Fleckenmauer‘.
Everywhere there are ways, theme trails like wine paths or hiking trails or cycle routes. And inbetween there are tiny viewing towers or pick nick places.
In Eckelsheim you will find an old impressive church ruin – Beller Kirche – as well as the beach path of the senses (Strandpfad der Sinne). Here you can learn a lot about the history of the region and you can walk a short bare foot path. Right next to the church you can take part in a wine tasting. Again we came to the subject wine. Would you like some ‚Spundekäs‘ with it? That is a special cheese from the region which is served with pretzels.
As one person told us at our arrival: In Rhinehesse you will find soft tourism. This means you have a nice walk, get something to eat and drink, stroll back and stop at a tavern! A completely new definition for us but perfectly for Rhinehesse. Here you take it easy!
Have fun exploring it!