You’ll find not only spectacular roses in the region, but some great wine making grapes. Eltville is the home to at least three of the area’s most famous vineyards, Steinberg, Rauenthaler Baiken, and Erbacher Macrobrunn.
It is special and it won’t take you long to realize why this area’s been continuously inhabited since about the Stone Age. So strategic and important was Eltville in the Middle Ages that some 14th century Emperor and Pope had continuously fought over it.
For sure you’ll have plenty of medieval sights to keep you busy between your trips to the local vineyards for some serious wine tasting. Between vineyard stops, take a visit to the 13th century Electoral Castle (and remnants of the town’s walls dating from the same time), the Schloss Reinhartshausen, the 14th century Church of St. Peter and Paul, and the Crass Castle.
And you’ll just find yourself appreciating all the details of the timber framed houses surrounding the town’s market square.
But the real gem of Eltville is the Cistercian Monastery and the beginnings of winemaking in the region. The Monastery itself is a 12th century design, with a hospital added in the 13th century. The monks complemented some Gothic side chapels some time in the 14th century and a library at the turn of the 16th century. The library was very fitting since Eltville’s medieval economy was helped along by its large book printing industry.
The monastery offers tours that give you an inside look into the solitary life of a monk in the Middle Ages. Or, you can just visit on a Friday afternoon for wine tasting!
Books and solitude aside, the area’s built on grapes and Eltville capitalizes on that since the area’s developed for tourism but isn’t “touristy.” Come to town in late April/early May for the Rheingauer Schlemmerwoche, when the local wine cellars are open for sampling.
If you like the autumn, try visiting on the last weekend in October for the Kappesker Weinlesefest, the wine harvest festival.
Better yet, just come, enjoy, and have a drink! ;-)