Not only the regional alcoholic drinks, also the food and drinks provided by RVE Budenheim at the control stops were appreciated by the riders.

Finally Spring has come (fingers crossed it stays), in time for a weekend of biking and getting sun burned. E.g. on a century ride through Rheinhessen; an area located directly South of famous Rheingau with its historic vineyards of Reinhardshausen and Eltville (the latter including the monastery of Eberbach, known to every cinéast from the shooting of „The name of the rose“).

As it is a pretty rural area, this Rheinhessen, prepare for cows on the road as well as at tour control stations.

In a way, Rheinhessen is perceived as the poor cousin – with the small cities of Alzey, Bingen and Worms being full of history and beautiful, but secluded places that cannot compete (at first glance) with the posh Rheingau towns of Rüdesheim and Wiesbaden.

Small is beautiful, not posh and proud

But Rheinhessen is important, also when it comes to history, including the history of wine.

Historical landmarks all along the route, with no tourist in sight to see those remnants of times past

Especially of ice wine which was harvested and pressed in Rheinhessen’s little village of Dromersheim. This history dates back almost 185 years when in 1830 the wine makers of Dromersheim harvested the grapes that had endured a freezing -22°C. What a surprise when the grapes, after having been picked in February (to save what little value was still in them) could actually be pressed and made into wine – very little quantities could be made, but extremely high quality (and extremely high sugar content, with ice wine being served as dessert wine today).

Most of the wineries have resided in the same building for centuries already, adding a charming flavor to the villages and countryside

And not only the wine is sweet, its (re-)presentation is as well: Currently and until the next wine harvest later this year, the Tamara I., Isabel I. and Corinna I. are the ruling Ice Wine Queens of Dromersheim.

Usually, alcohol and sports don’t go together, of course. However, the author seeks forgiveness: After this tour through all these vineyards, riding alongside of grapes for miles on end, admiring all those wineries of old, majestically residing inside of quarry stone buildings that have seen two, three or even more centuries already…

… after this tour a tiny sip of regional sparkling wine must be in order – to celebrate a ride in hills that were as hard on the leg muscles as they were soft on the eye and mood.

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