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The production area is located in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany and is named after the region. The name is derived from the historical affiliation existing from 1816 to 1919 as the province Rheinhessen of the Grand Duchy of Hessen. The vineyards cover 26,758 hectares, making it the largest German winegrowing area in terms of area. The vineyards are located on the left bank of the Rhine bend between Bingen, Mainz and Worms in the shape of a huge triangle. Many finds are evidence of ancient viticulture, such as a Roman water pipe in Ingelheim. In Nierstein is the oldest vineyard in Germany, the Glöck vineyard, which was mentioned in a document in 742. Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) had a palatinate (palace complex) there and according to legend, he discovered its excellent suitability for vineyards on a Rhine journey. He promoted viticulture here by clearing forests in the Rhine plain and planting vineyards instead. The Riesling (Rissling) was first mentioned here in 1546 by the botanist Hieronymus Bock (1498-1554).

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