Stone, wine and biotopes: Koblenz for nature lovers


You are sitting on a vineyard wall in the sunshine high above Koblenz. The scent of wild marjoram is in the air. You can still taste the wine you just enjoyed, fresh and full-bodied with rich minerality. A rare swallowtail glides noiselessly through the air nearby. At your feet is the bright white ice plant. This widespread, broad-leaved stonecrop is a good food source for many insects. You soak up the moment with your eyes wide open. Just like the wall lizard right in front of you. Do not move a muscle. The shy little beast is already scurrying deep into the cracks of the slate wall in which you discovered a fossilised crinoid earlier on. This is a delicate little creature that dates back some 400 million years. The stone of the Lower Moselle near Koblenz conceals all sorts of amazing fossils.

Back in Roman times, they defied the steep slopes by building vineyards with pretty dry-stone walls and steps. This unique man-made landscape is a feast for all the senses.

Vineyards with Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in the background, Koblenz

Vineyards with Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in the background, Koblenz

“Many of our visitors come for the wine-tasting. And then they discover the delicious nature. For us, it’s really lovely when they suddenly see the magic in something like a spider’s web glittering in the dew,” explains nature trail guide Bernd Doetsch. The indulgent tour of the Koblenzer Heyerberg vineyard he offers with Betina Thilmann-Marx is called the living vineyard. She says: “There is something new to experience here every season, every day. Even a wine tastes different in different weather.”

View of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz

Enjoying wine with a view of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz

They both come from Koblenz and remember how all the biodiversity of the terraced vineyards was almost lost. The spectacular hillside vineyards were no longer viable. The undergrowth was threatening to take over. But then the terraces were redesigned so they were perpendicular to the slope. This allowed vehicular access, at least in the less steep areas. Once again, the vineyards and well-tended fallow areas combined into a colourful whole.

Vintor Christof Schwaab calls the vineyard he tends using traditional methods in Koblenzer Marienberg his ‘wine garden’. Arches dating back to the 13th century are evidence of the art of dry-stone walling in the High Middle Ages and a visit becomes a geological voyage of discovery. After all, one of the two nature conservation areas in Koblenz is right next door. The ice-age loess profile. The porous wall of prehistoric fine sand deposits stands an impressive 24 metres tall.

It is a paradise for the bees and wasps making their nests there. And for nature lovers like Christof Schwaab: “Up here, it’s a real oasis. But you are still in the city. There is a simply breathtaking view down to Deutsches Eck where the Moselle flows into the Rhine.”

Koblenz boasts a total of six wine-growing areas, four on the Moselle and two on the Rhine. All you need to explore them is sturdy shoes and a sure footing. Or you can take the easier option and enjoy the WeinSpaziert wine discovery tour of the city and its wines. For every attraction, there are funny stories to bring a smile to everyone’s face. And there are wines to sample too.

View of the Fortress and the Ehrenbreitstein district, Koblenz

View of the Fortress and the Ehrenbreitstein district, Koblenz

Enjoying wine at Deutsches Eck, Koblenz

Enjoying wine at Deutsches Eck, Koblenz

More recommended excursions for wine and nature lovers in Idar-Oberstein:


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Reichhaltiges und gemütliches Frühstück im Hotel