The Rheingau district in Germany is located along the banks of the Rhine River, just north of the city of Wiesbaden in the central western section of the country. Although total production represents less than 5% of Germany's total, the Rheingau is one of the most famous wine regions in the world. Legend has it that Queen Victoria enjoyed wines from this area during her reign.

Most, but not all of the vineyards are planted on the banks of the river, with some a bit inland. The vineyards closest to the river feature slate soils, giving the wines a noticeable minerality. Riesling is far and away the leading variety here, representing more than three-fourths of the plantings. Other varieties include Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder and Kerner.

A typical Rheingau Riesling displays flavors of apricot and peach, unlike the petrol and white flowers notes of a Riesling from the Mosel. The Rheingau district spans for about 30 miles along the Rhine River; famous wine towns include Eltville, Rauenthal, Hattenheim and Winkel.

As the Rheingau has a celebrated name, the Rieslings from the finest producers here are more expensive than many other German regions. However, the prices are generally reasonable, especially as they are usually based on the size of production as well as the aging potential, as even a Kabinett offering, basically an off-dry wine, can age well for up to a decade in the best vintages. (Wine/Appellations)