10 Tips for a Winelover’s Layover in Frankfurt

You have a long layover in Frankfurt and you are not sure what to do? You like wine? Then this self guided wine tour might be for you: check out our 10 tips for hours well spent on a quick trip of Rheinhessen and Rheingau. There is no shortage of opportunities to tour, see and taste some of the best these two regions have to offer.

Winelover's layover in Frankfurt

We’ll assume you set up your base in Great Wine Capital Mainz, which is a short 25 minutes trip from Frankfurt Airport – almost quicker than into Frankfurt city. From here all destinations below are a maximum of 40 minutes away.


10.00 am… Breakfast in Mainz at Café Dicke Lily – Gutes Kind

Shake off tiredness and prep your day with a good breakfast. At Dicke Lily, in a unique neighbourhood, close to the former sekt (sparkling wine) producing district of Mainz you’ll be in for a tasty treat. Enjoy a selection of breakfast options, cakes and coffee in relaxed and whimsical decor. From here…

1.00 am… take a City Tour of the Old Town of Mainz

Start with a visit of the Stefanskirche and marvel at its world-famous Chagall Windows, then descend into the old town, make sure you visit not only the Martins Cathedral but also the cloister garden hidden at its back. Walk down Augustinergasse, the old town’s high street, and drop by the Rhine River promenade.  Take lunch light with a freshly baked Pretzel from local pretzel-king Ditsch. By now you earned your first glass of Riesling, no shame of stopping at one of the many wine-taverns on your way!

3.00pm… Wine Villages Tour upriver in Rheinhessen

Visit the winemaking towns of Nierstein and Oppenheim. With the river Rhine on your left you’ll be able to marvel at the majestic Rote Hang, one of Rheinhessens most famous vineyards. Before reaching Nierstein drop by Weingut Gunderloch and taste wines at their newly renovated historic estate. Once in Nierstein, take a walk of the town – make the effort to climb up towards Kilians Church, at which you will be rewarded with sweeping sights of the Rhine River and views of the oldest documented vineyard in Germany, the Niersteiner Gloeck. On your way back through the town make stop at Weingut Antony for their great Riesling wines. Since its about to get late by now, postpone your trip to Oppenheim to next time and head back to Mainz for…

7.00pm… Dinner at Weinhaus Wilhelmi, Mainz

With over a hundred years of ongoing business history Weinhaus Wilhelmi is probably one of the longest running wine taverns in Mainz. Jammed-in between locals you will enjoy sound traditional German food with some of the most quaffable wines of the region – all of that at most reasonable prices. For a more refined wine selection you’d change location and move to …

9.00pm… Post Dinner Wines at Laurenz Weinbar Mainz

This is where you would want to try properly matured Rieslings. Or some completely different blends or grape varieties. The list of wines by the glass is huge. Don’t succumb to the temptation to try them all because next morning you will be up for a…


10.00 am …Monastery Visit at Kloster Eberbach, Eltville Rheingau

Kloster Eberbach – that is where Rheingau’s Riesling story got started over a thousand years ago, at least according to many locals. As of today, the huge estate is one of Germany’s best preserved monasteries – with a huge tasting room (more about Eberbach in this blog post).  Soon you’ll be ready for…

12.30pm… Lunch at Anleger 511 in Eltville

This unpretentious, self-service eatery is a great place to watch the world go by. Enjoy simple German fare right on top of the River Rhine – some of the most enjoyable al-fresco dining places of the Rheingau. Add some sunshine and this place fills up quickly.

2.00pm… Castle and Winery Visit Schloss Johannisberg, Geisenheim

Same as Eberbach, Johannisberg looks back at some some 1,200 years of viticultural history – and claims the title of the world’s first Riesling estate. Originally founded as a Benedictine monastery, Johannisberg Abbey has been – and still is – a key estate for Riesling in Rheingau and the origin of Spätlese (late harvest) Rieslings. The terrace of Johannisberg offers fantastic views of the River Valley and sets the picture for you next stop at the…

3.30 pm … Old Town of Rüdesheim

Rüdesheim’s old town is so well preserved, it looks a bit like Disney world. Just in real. Stroll down infamous Drosselgasse, but avoid all tourist traps – most of Ruedesheim’s dining places are targeted towards large scale group tourism. Enjoy looking, but we’d recommend being very selective when choosing your stops. Weinwelt Breuer will be a good one: this is the tasting room-cum-cellar of the innovative winemaker Breuer. Keep some energy for your last stop with…

6.00pm… Winetasting and Snacks at tasting room Rheinweinwelten, Rüdesheim

Our last tip comes with a bit of a caution –  since we haven’t visited ourselves yet, but heard rave reports: Rheinweinwelten is a just-opened tasting room with 160 open wines from 80 winemakers of the Rheingau region. The wines are poured from wine dispensers in tasting portions. If we did not have a flight to catch we would probably want to hang around here for the rest of the night.

That’s it. Enjoy your tastings and tour and have great travels in Germany!

On a PRACTICAL NOTE: Public transport in the region is well organised – most wine destinations above can be reached at affordable pricing by train and bus. Still, given this tour takes you into the villages and countryside public transport is the least time-efficient way to organise your wine tour, compared to driving (don’t drink!) or taking a guided tour (with us for example).