Gutenberg Museum… the centuries old St Martin’s Cathedral… a quaint old town … the unique Chagall windows at St Stephan's… Rhine River cruises - these are well-known reasons to visit Mainz.
Yet few visitors know that Mainz is Great Wine Capital of Germany! In no other German city wine is as much part of the local culture as in Mainz. Here are some tips what to do in Mainz as a wine lover.
Join one of the many 'wein fest' in Mainz
Starting from spring all the way through to late autumn there is almost no weekend without a Wine Fest. Here are a couple wein feste in Mainz for you to check out [note that some pages we link to have no English version, but Google Translate works very well]:
‘Wein Marathon’ in Mainz, taking place annually late April/early May. With one ticket you can enjoy a set of 15 tastings, poured at wine stalls located across the city. All participating estates are winemakers from the Mainz region. A great way to explore the city and its wines in one go – and don’t worry, you don’t need to run.
‘Mainzer Weintage’ mid of May is a classic wine fest beautifully located at the Rhine River Esplanade in Mainz. There are over 60 stalls with wines from the wine Region of Rheinhessen, local food, and there is a live music programme, too.
‘Weinmarkt Mainz’ is probably the biggest of all wine fest in Mainz – and one not to miss. It takes place last weekend of August and the first weekend of September. The Weinmarkt has become famous for its relaxed atmosphere and participation of high-end winemakers of the region.
Al-fresco Wine Tasting in Mainz
Mainz has become famous for its al-fresco wine tasting opportunities on public squares, typically offered on Saturdays.
Take a stroll of the Saturday Marktfrühstück literally ‘market breakfast’. This weekly Saturday event piggybacks on the picturesque farmers market around the cathedral. Get a glass of wine, a roll and a sausage and do as the locals do: chill-out Mainz style.
Marktfrühstück takes place every Saturday from late March through to Mid November, 9.00 am to 3.00 pm.
On sunny days have a glass of wine at Weinausschank am Rheinufer. Located smack on the Rhine River promenade in front of the town hall, this dedicated wine stall is manned in weekly turns by different vintners of the city of Mainz.
Every Saturday from April to October one of the 20 winemakers of Mainz will be opening his or her estate for a public tasting, from 11.00 to 5.00 pm. Check out the dates and locations of the Weinfrühstück here.
Explore the Wine Taverns (Weinstuben) of Mainz
Mainz is home to a plethora of Wine Taverns and -Pubs serving wines and regional food at very reasonable prices. Drinking wine here is all except posh: expect a convivial atmosphere and don’t be surprised if you find yourself sharing a table.
Here are our favourites in the city center :
- Weinbistro Laurenz - superb selection of regional and international wines, very good cuisine. Close to the train station.
- Weinhaus Wilhelmi – one of the most historic wine taverns in town, limited selection of wines, hearty food and a most authentic experience. Close to the town hall.
- Heiliggeist – a spectacular venue located in a former religious building, with contemporary dishes and an extended wine list covering some of the best Rheinhessen has to offer. Between riverside and cathedral.
Shop Wines in Mainz
Even in times of online shopping there is a set of excellent owner operated wine shops in Mainz:
- Weinraumwohnung two outlets on the fringes of the city center. Very good quality price ratio with focus on wines of Rheinhessen and young and upcoming winemakers.
- Weinkontor Kessler features a great selection of wines from Rheinhessen and Pfalz, with a good choice of top-of-the-range wines. Tucked away in a historic house of the old town, this gem is hard to find, but worth the effort.
Take a Wine Tour into the regions of Rheinhessen and Rheingau
Mainz sits right between the winemaking regions of Rheinhessen and Rheingau. Within a 15 minutes’ drive you will hit a vineyard. For drop-in tastings, visit Castle Johannisberg, Monastery Eberbach in Rheingau, or – on the Rheinhessen side of the River - the estate Wasem and the Winzerkeller in Ingelheim.
If you would like to visit small or family winemakers directly at their estate, better call in advance and make an appointment. Agree on a price for the tasting, else you will be expected to buy a couple of cases.